The Unbearable Lightness of Hadrian’s Wall

Ethel Baraona for The Plant

Hadrian’s Wall was built for the Roman province of Britannia in 122  ad, spanning 73 miles across what is now northern England. This defensive fortification, labelled the best-preserved frontier of the Roman Empire and protected as a  unesco World Heritage Site, is mostly a stone wall built over a stone base. Described as a barrier made “to separate the Romans from the barbarians,” it was used as a device to control, divide and exclude, just like the physical borders that exist around the world today. A significant portion of Hadrian’s Wall still stands and it is considered one of the most treasured British cultural icons. In this context, it is a good metaphor for discussing Brexit ideology and the global rise of nationalism in all forms: civic, economic, ethnic, territorial and religious, among others.

Following Milan Kundera’s words featured in one of his most famous novels: “What then shall we choose? Weight or lightness?” our partner in crime Ethel Baraona wrote this text commissioned by The Plant magazine issue #15

Title: The Unbearable Lightness of Hadrian’s Wall

Design: Isa Merino

Illustrations: Andrea Gómez

Language: English

Format: Magazine

Date: February 2020

Publisher: The Plant