Focusing on a global hub of aviation, Frankfurt Airport, this essay examines encounters between animals and technology in airport operation. In order to understand how airport practices constantly negotiate the borders with local environments or even produce new ones, we draw on Gloria Anzaldúa’s concept of “borderlands.” Extending this notion from human to nonhuman inhabitants and passengers of airports opens up for novel possibilities to apprehend the affective dimension in the life-technology intersections at airports. In this sense, the airport is a site of multiple borderlands, producing intersections that include material and imaginative, sometimes violent, boundary drawing. We examine a broad set of multispecies borders and “borderlining” practices, their material cultures, and affective economies. What kind of local, historical legacies do airports struggle with and how do they cope with the underlying tensions of partially connected sites, sectors, and spaces? Throughout the essay, we historicize three encounters of the aviation infrastructure and its living environments and their affective economies: borderlining the airfield, borderlining the animal passenger, and borderlining the animal intruder. These examples highlight different modes of encounters, like clashes, coexistence, and care.
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