Image credit: Elliot Graves (FOXEP Productions)

 

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Image credit: Elliot Graves (FOXEP Productions)

 

Despite our fast-evolving world, there are still some unclaimed places on earth which even now have a significant impact on modern day society. With the support of the Royal Geographic Society and Land Rover, two researchers set off on a 10 000 km journey to Egypt and Sudan to investigate the geographical and political effects of no man’s land.

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Q&A WITH DR ALASDAIR PINKERTON

Researcher and leader, Into No Man’s Land Expedition

Q: Where did this journey lead you?

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Image credit: Elliot Graves (FOXEP Productions)

AP: Over the course of six weeks, we travelled from a place called Nomansland in the United Kingdom, engaged with artists who work in the former no man’s land of the Great War. We travelled along the line of the exclusion zone that marked the Iron Curtain during the Cold War, worked inside the UN Buffer Zone in Cyprus and, ultimately, we travelled through Egypt to visit the unclaimed trapezoid-shaped territory of Bir Tawil between the Egyptian and Sudanese borders. This, along with parts of Antarctica, is arguably, the last unclaimed place on earth.

Q: What impact does ‘no man’s land’ have on modern day society?

AP: We are told that the world is becoming ever more interconnected and interdependent, and you might think there’s little space for no man’s land in the early 21st century. But the exact opposite seems to be true. No man’s land seem to be proliferating, and not just along the edges of disputed national borders. No man’s land can appear at the heart of major world cities, they can form around sites of natural disasters or may be created to isolate areas damaged or destroyed by human activity.

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Image credit: Elliot Graves (FOXEP Productions)