Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Fence

The Fence

The wall was long and high
10 meters and more
Doubled, then tripled; a dusty moat in places where the city edged too close
Separation, held apart
Families, sisters, aunts, brothers in arms

Most of the world unaware of this country within a country
Not nearly so famous as the Berlin wall, but with a story; intriguing should one know, or bother to read about it
Colonial history
Human walls, built to keep people in, built to keep people out

When will we learn?

The Melilla Wall surrounds Melilla a piece of Spain in North Africa. The Ceuta Border Fence and its razor wire encircles Ceuta, another piece of colonial Spain in Africa. I am fascinated that I knew nothing about these fences until I read the intriguing novel A Handful of Honey, by Annie Hawes - an entertaining read by the way if you like armchair travel!

prompt: fence

Again thanks for the triggering our imagination,
check out other Fences this week at Theme Thursday!


  1. i didn't know about this either - at first glance, I assumed this was in the West Bank. sobering and a good take on the theme

  2. The most provacative fence I've seen. Thanks for sharing this and I'm happy to have found your blog.

  3. I've been to Gibraltar, but had absolutely no idea that these bits of Spain remained in N. Africa. -thanks!-

  4. I have a piece of the Berlin wall somewhere in my boxes of treasures. All walls are sad but unfortunately are there for reasons. I had no idea Spain would have walls of any kind!

  5. Spain really doesn’t want to let go of those last vestiges of their “grand empire”…

  6. I learned something new today. I never knew Spain had territory in Northern Africa. And that is such a massive fence. Thanks for sharing and thanks for visiting my crazy blog!

  7. This fence is so strongly suggestive of the others we build ... mostly out of fear. A great image, even if it is so very sad.

  8. I am a writer based in Canada, and my current project is a book about communities in the world that live in the shadows of physical barriers. I spent a few weeks in Ceuta and Melilla a couple of years ago writing about the fences and the migrants they intend - but fail - to keep out.

    Ceuta and Melilla are fascinating places. Not really Europe. Not really Africa. In the plazas, Art Modernista rises over hunger-striking migrants demanding papers to mainland Europe. Rich Spaniards have their cars washed by the Bangladeshis and Nigerians who circumvented the fences. Lots of tragic stories.

    Thanks for writing about this, Lenora.


  9. Dana,

    I remember Berlin well, maybe it was the East German police who herded my friend and I off the night train, took away our passports - two young girls traveling alone - bored border guards entertaining themselves on the night watch. Maybe it was the bent old woman who grasped our hands and navigated us to the front of the East German post office que, saving us hours in purchasing stamps. Or was it no mans land, surreal to my naive, youthful outlook, spotlights, guards and all. Yes I loved Berlin, both sides, amazing to think that wall did come down, families reunited. My Canadian neighbour here now happily visits his sister he left behind so many years ago. Back then he could not.


    Thank you for your comment. Walls are a haunting topic. Best luck with your project. I will check out your URL and watch for the published book!

  10. I had no idea! None. When I first saw the picture I thought perhaps they had finished the border fence between Arizona and Mexcio.

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