Main content

'Build That Wall': Barriers and Crossings

Cultural discussion programme. Kirsty Wark discusses borders with Ed Vulliamy, Dorit Rabinyan, Garrett Carr and Tom Holland.

On Start the Week Kirsty Wark explores what it means to live either side of a wall, and whether barriers are built to repel or protect. Supporters of the US President urge him to 'build a great wall' along the Mexican border but the journalist Ed Vulliamy points out that there is already a wall and border guards, supported and funded by US Presidents for decades. And yet still drugs, guns, money and people continue to move north and south. Israel has been building its own separation barrier since the turn of the century, but Dorit Rabinyan is more interested in psychological barriers that drive Palestinians and Israelis apart. The map-maker Garrett Carr travels Ireland's border to explore the smugglers, kings, peacemakers and terrorists who've criss-crossed this frontier, and asks what it will become when the United Kingdom leaves the EU. The historian Tom Holland looks back at the successes and failures of wall-building from Offa's Dyke to Hadrian's Wall and asks whether they work more as statements of power than as insurmountable barriers between people.
Producer: Katy Hickman.

Available now

43 minutes

Dorit Rabinyan

Dorit Rabinyan is an author. 

All The Rivers is published by Serpent's Tail, translated into English by Jessica Cohen and is available from 2nd March 2017.

Garrett Carr

Garrett Carr is an author. 

The Rule of the Land  is published by Faber & Faber.

Ed Vulliamy

Ed Vulliamy is an author and journalist. 

Amexica: War Along the Borderline is published by Vintage.

Tom Holland

Tom Holland is a historian and TV presenter. 

He also presents Making History on BBC Radio 4.


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Wark
Interviewed Guest Ed Vulliamy
Interviewed Guest Dorit Rabinyan
Interviewed Guest Garrett Carr
Interviewed Guest Tom Holland
Producer Katy Hickman