The “support network” in Ventimiglia includes a variety of actors and motives. As the anthropologist Agier reminds us, it’s a “culturally heterogeneous milieus, whose motives, despite their contradictory character – more or less humanitarian or political – do have effects for the protection and integration of foreigners” (Agier, 2016, p. 4). In a local, national, and international context that has become actively hostile to migrants over time, the support network is expressed as a political alternative that takes various forms.
The diverse actions taken by solidary groups on the ground give voice and body to another vision of this border and, through it, of the world and social relations between individuals. Thanks to this complex network, Ventimiglia is not only a place of closure and expulsion but also, inevitably, a place of mobilisation of various actors (individuals and groups) who fight alongside migrants for the right to mobility. To some extent, migrants and activists demand a different world in which rights are guaranteed to all individuals beyond their citizenship and legal status (what Mezzadra calls the “right to escape”, 2006).
For example, specific sites are being set up by the “support network” as concrete alternatives to the processes of marginalization of migrants in the city (Bar Hobbit – Infopoint “Eufemia/Euphemia”). Through specific resistance practices such as public demonstrations, activists, solidarity groups, and migrants openly challenge the impasse and the processes of marginalisation, expulsion, and invisibility of specific categories of people in the EU and around the world. This has the intended effect of increasing their visibility [see also Space and time of support and visibility].