If a ‘territory’ is defined as a geographical unit equipped with meaning and form, then borders hand down these material and symbolic units from one generation to the next with the same strength as toponyms, but not in the same way. Toponyms hand down memories in our speech, while borders hand them down in what we do. Administrative borders in particular constitute the main guidelines for many procedures concerning citizenship which are regulated by the ways in which a territory is divided in order to be governed. Since they last over time for as long as the social practices they encompass, borders tend to form layers, which generate unpredictable effects. This paper suggests that the least violent most reasonable way of transforming a ‘territory’ is not my drawing new borders, but through reuse and by changing the signification of the existing borders. Despite all the global rhetoric, a civilisation of borders is still today the most credible design for emancipation.
Keywords: Border; sign; stratification