A Journey Across Borders
Over the first 6 months of 2017 I crossed a total of 26 borders within Europe. Some were simple, some were arduous, some were even invisible. In the current context of the debate on the fate of the Irish border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (whether it’ll be a ‘hard’ border after Brexit, or remain the ‘soft’ border that it is now), I found myself interested in further exploring what borders represent and how they actually impact people’s lives. The result of all these wonderings is my latest project: ‘A Journey across Borders’.
It came about as part of the University of Groningen’s Honours College, which I’ve been completing alongside my Master’s degree. The Honours College is worth an additional 15 ECTS credits (25% of a year’s workload) and comprises various masterclasses, workshops, a group leadership project (organising the Illicit Trade Summer School), and finally an individual project of my choosing, as long as it helps me meet my learning objectives.
For this final project I decided to experiment with my writing style, trying to combine both academic and informal tones into a style called ‘popular narrative non-fiction’, also known as a ‘longread’. I’ve tried to blend the storytelling style of my travel blogging with the real world issue of border management in Europe, into a standalone website that engages you as a reader and illustrates this topic through 8 separate trips that I’ve taken in 2017. You can find it here: www.AJourneyAcrossBorders.wordpress.com and I’d love to hear your feedback, thoughts, comments and any anecdotes or insights about borders that you can add to the topic. This project has been a learning opportunity for me, so I’d equally be interested to hear if this style doesn’t appeal to you, or what aspects I could improve.