Space and Reciprocity

Espaces et échanges



1. Les grands flux migratoires et leur évolution
Des migrations vers des espaces qui attirent ou une fuite loin d’espaces qui repoussent ? Qui migre, vers quelle destination, pour saisir quelles opportunités ? Et quels sont les obstacles à surmonter ?
Rôle de l’immigration dans le développement de la nation américaine
US society, a nation of immigrants


2. Franchir la frontière comme un acte de transgression
Comment et pourquoi transgresser la frontière ? Pour échapper à l’oppression ? Repartir à zéro dans un nouvel espace et se donner une chance de réussir ? Pratiquer et exprimer ses croyances ou ses convictions ?
Immigration clandestine

The Notion of Space and Reciprocity

An exchange is the act of  giving or receiving something in substitution for something else. In today’s modern-day world these exchanges can take several forms:  economic – work exchanges, exchange of goods, trading across borders,  cultural – exchange of ideas, information, education,  movement of people – immigration, student exchanges, gap years…  Our modern-day world is changing quickly and seems to be a smaller place due to improvements in technology and communication.  These different cultural, economic, sociological and language interactions have transformed and characterised our modern-day world – sometimes for better, sometimes for worse.

What is space and reciprocity?

– a continuous area or expanse that is free, available, or unoccupied.
a place
– the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit, especially privileges granted by one country or organization to another.

Is the grass always greener on the other side?
 In this notion we will take a look at:
– Immigration – looking for a better way of life, forced immigration
– Question of identity (exchange of cultures while maintaining one’s culture)
– Borders and illegal immigrants
– Living together (melting pot)

The Refugee Crisis:

“You only put your children into a boat and flee your home country when being on the water is safer than being on land.”

The refugee camps in Calais, France.


Building America – A Nation of Immigrants

Immigration streams to the USA – difficulties and hardships

Ellis Island  – Island of Hope, Island of Tears

How far would you travel to find a better life? What if the journey took weeks under difficult conditions?  If you answered “Whatever it takes,” you echo the feelings of the 12 million immigrants who passed through these now quiet halls from 1892 to 1954. Ellis Island afforded them the opportunity to attain the American dream for themselves and their descendants. Come hear their stories.

Read more :

Look at the pictures below:

How did these people feel when arriving by boat here?

What were their intentions?

How is the idea of immigrating connected to space and reciprocity?

 Watch these videos to understand more:

Why did people immigrate/Why do people immigrate?

– economic reasons
– political refugees (asylum)
– in search of religious freedom
How do people maintain their identities once in a foreign country?
Taken from:

Look at the following images, how is identity represented here?


The many passports connote different nationalities; this links to the title’s reference to “identities”. Indeed, a large part of people’s sense of identity is defined by their nationality and where they come from.

Read the following headlines, say what they have to do with someone’s identity.

Brits’ invasion of Dordogne Affected by New Taxes

Number of Immigrants to the UK on the Increase, says Minister.

The headlines talk about immigration, both of poor people to richer countries and of expats living in France. This connects with the idea of identity being put into “question” because people are moving to foreign countries. The passports also reflect this as they are the means by which people travel. I think the word “identity” has become frequently used in recent years because there is much more movement of people around the world, both for economic reasons and lifestyle choices. The headline “Number of Immigrants in the UK on the Increase” supports this point.

What this means is that people’s identity is no longer simply defined by their nationality or where they are born.

Why Do People Oppose Immigration?

Wikipedia -

Opposition to immigration exists in most nation-states with immigration, and has become a significant political issue in many countries.[1]Immigration in the modern sense refers to movement of people from one nation-state to another, where they are not citizens. The issue is complicated by the fact that there are various forms of immigration, and as such opposition to some forms of immigration does not always imply opposition to immigration as a whole. It is also important to distinguish between legal and illegal immigration in considering opposition to immigration. Illegal immigration is immigration in contravention of a nation’s immigration laws.

In the United States, opposition to immigration has a long history, starting in the late 1790s, in reaction to an influx of political refugees from France and Ireland. After passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798, opposition receded. Nativism first gained a name and affected politics in mid-19th century United States because of the large inflows of immigrants from cultures that were markedly different from the existing White Anglo-Saxon Protestant culture. Nativists objected primarily to Roman Catholics, especially Irish Americans. Nativist movements included the American Party of the mid-19th Century (formed by members of the Know-Nothing movement), the Immigration Restriction League of the early 20th Century, and the anti-Asian movements in the west, resulting in the Chinese Exclusion Act and the so-called “Gentlemen’s Agreement” aimed at the Japanese. Immigration became a major issue again from the 1990s, with burgeoning illegal immigration, particularly in the Southwest [19] The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986provided an amnesty described as the amnesty to end amnesties was passed in 1986 but had no lasting impact on the flow of illegal immigrants

Building walls to stop exchanges for economic, social, political and peace reasons.

Hadrian’s Wall


The Berlin Wall


A Peace Wall in Belfast


A Mexico – USA border fence 2006


images 1101060410_400

Watch some movie trailers about immigration:

Bread and Roses , Ken Loach (2000)

Goal! The Dream Begins!, Danny Cannon (2005)

Under the Same Moon, Patricia Riggen (2007)

Crossing Over, Wayne Kramer (2009)

Stories From The U.S.-Mexico Border -NPR

Listen to people talk about immigration in America


2 thoughts on “Space and Reciprocity

  1. The different spaces of the world are nowadays more and more connected to each other. Indeed the globalization connected the areas at different scales. This globalization is characterized by the multiplication of actors and the explosion of the flux. Consequently, the exchanges raised in the past century. These exchanges have been helped by the progress of transport. The exchanges can appear on many forms: capitals, people, goods, and data. One particular exchange is very interesting because it involves both notions: spaces and exchanges, and it is immigration.Immigration is the movement of non-native people into a country in order to settle there. The notion of immigration is compelling because these movements of people imply, with them, movements of culture. 
    Ellis Island, located in Upper New York Bay , was the gateway for millions ofimmigrants
     to the United States as the nation’s busiest immigrant inspection station from 1892 until 1954. The island was greatly expanded with land reclamation
     between 1892 and 1934. Before that, the much smaller original island was the site of Fort Gibson and later a naval magazine. The island was made part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument
     in 1965, and has hosted a museum of immigration since 1990. Long considered part of New York
    , a 1998 United States Supreme Court
     decision found that most of the island is in New Jersey.


  2. In this video, Billy D. Michelle host of Scholastic virtual field trip coming to America introduces us to Immigration in the US with Ellis Island.
    He starts by talking about the iconic New York City skyline and the statue of liberty on Liberty Island
    Half a mile north east of Liberty Island Ellis Island had an important role in shaping the culture and history of the country.
    From 1892 to 1984 Ellis Island was gateway to millions of immigrants to the US
    He then says that behind him stands the Immigration museum and they’ll tour it.
    US has always been and continued to be a nation of immigrants. Between 1892 and 1984 12 million immigrants passed through the building behind him in the way for a new life in the US. Some came searching for economic opportunities and others to escape political oppression, and some to join family members. They all shared a common desire which was to build a better life for them and their families
    Ellis Island is the symbol of the story of immigration and cultural richness of this nation.
    Beginning 1892 all third class passengers where arriving by steamship to the port of network came through Ellis Island. Most came from countries in southern and Eastern Europe. Like Turkey Greece Armenia 4m from Italy alone) Ellis Island was their first introduction to America. Most entered through theses doors I was behind before they could begin their new life in America. Can you imagine coming to a foreign country only knowing a few words and having very few belongings.
    When they entered the building they were passed through the luggage room where they put their belongings
    First part of inspection process begun at the stairs where doctors observed them from the second floor to ensure they’re healthy.
    Once they went up they entered the main hub of the immigration station or registry room or great hall because it could hold an entire population
    To determine whether they were fit to enter country or weather case required further review
    As they entered the great hall doctors did 6 second health inspections. If they were suspected for illness marked with peace of chalk and pulled out of line for further inspection if could be considered a public health risk.
    Inspectors behind desk asked immigrants waiting in line series of questions (Money convictions etc.)
    After physical exam and the questioning immigrants found them self at the top of stairs of separation:
    -Isle to the right for immigrants who were cleared that were travelling further to the south
    – Isle to the left points NY city to the north
    – Center isle as feared because it was for immigrant’s Dormitory hospital and could mean a longer stay at Ellis Island, one that could easily last


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