Exploring the meaning of borders in our world.
What are borders? Are they simply political and geographical, marked by posts, walls and fences, or should we think of them more broadly? Consider the borders within countries, determined by race, ethnicity, or caste. Borders may be physical and economic, and even perceptual—the borders of our minds.
In Postcards from the Borderlands, historian and journalist David Mould rambles through a dozen countries in Asia, Southern Africa and Eastern Europe by car, bus, train, shared taxi and ferry, exploring what borders mean to their peoples.
Mould finds topics of interest even in the most ordinary places—an airport departure lounge, a food court, a roadside restaurant, a government office. Every road trip offers a moving window display of landscape features, crops, livestock, houses, churches, temples, mosques, schools, factories, military bases, vehicles. He notes what people are selling on the roadside and the markets, the restaurant menu, the indecipherable instructions for the TV remote in his hotel room. What people wear. What they eat. How they talk to each other. The questions they ask him. The questions he asks them. Away from the tourist hotspots, he finds that it is often the commonplace that is most fascinating and revealing of culture.