You only have ten minutes to move so many tennis balls from the start line to the finish line and through no man`s land, using your ingenuity and the resources provided. Sometimes these border areas are a few kilometers wide, sometimes only a few centimeters, but they are wider where generally precise and agreed national borders, generally considered as a single line in space, are disputed or exist between hostile nations. On the Korean Peninsula, the demilitarized zone separates north and south, cutting a 2.5-mile-wide and 160-mile-long no-man`s land across the 38th parallel. Both sides of the area are heavily guarded, and the empty space between the two is equipped with sensors, booby traps and landmines. It is completely deserted, except for two “peace villages” symbolically left in space from which both governments have withdrawn since the armistice of 1953. The villagers of Daeseong-Dong, which is administered by South Korea, technically have South Korean citizenship, but they are exempt from taxes, military service and other civic duties. The North Korean village of Kijong-dong is not even inhabited, but an elaborate concrete stage equipped with automatic lights to give the buildings an inhabited and prosperous look. Outside of these two enclaves, flora and fauna have replaced human activities, turning the DMZ into a strange nature reserve, an extremely rich basic sample of species cut through various ecosystems that is home to several endangered bird species and an endangered breed of tigers. Natural vegetation has slowly erased all signs of culture and war.
No man`s land is garbage or land without property, or an uninhabited or desolate area that can be disputed between parties who leave it unoccupied by fear or insecurity. The term was originally used to define a disputed area or a dump between fiefdoms.  In modern times, it is often associated with World War I to describe the area between two enemy trench systems that are not controlled by either side.   The term is also used metaphorically to refer to an ambiguous, anomalous or indeterminate domain in relation to an application, situation or jurisdiction.   It was sometimes used to name a specific place.  Not only were the soldiers forced to cross the no man`s land during the advance and, if necessary, the retreat, but after an attack, the stretcher-bearers had to enter it to bring the wounded. No man`s land remained a regular feature of the battlefield until the end of World War I, when mechanized weapons (i.e. tanks) made the entrenched lines less of an obstacle. In March 1988, the two Berliners agreed to exchange various abandoned properties on both sides of the wall, including the triangle that was to be part of a highway in West Berlin. As soon as the agreement was announced, a group of West German squatters settled in the triangle and set up a barricaded camp that declared itself outside the laws of the two governments. West Berlin police, unable to enter the area, asked East German police to evict the squatters and push them west, but they refused, citing the wall as the limit of their jurisdiction.
West Berlin then asked the Americans or the Soviets to exercise their de facto authority as occupying powers and drive out the camp, but they too refused, perhaps for fear of anything in the border area that could bring the two superpowers into a direct confrontation. While the occupation of the Lenné Triangle is a beautiful anecdote about the radical potential of the border areas, the eastern side of the wall reveals more of its true nature. The East German border guards could have welcomed the West Berliners over the wall – no doubt anxious to embarrass their urban counterparts – but they ruthlessly prevented the East Germans from reaching the West. The wall was built to prevent such defections, and from its concrete height to a temporary eastern boundary, there was a 300-foot “death strip” where movement was prohibited. This band also stretched between East and West Germany from the Baltic Sea to Czechoslovakia. Border guards in overlapping towers have been accused of preventing “violations of the border area” by any means, including gunfire. The area was covered with various booby traps and landmines which, together with the shootings, killed several thousand people during the duration of the border. One of the best-known cases was Peter Fetcher, an 18-year-old East German construction worker who crossed the dead strip to Check Point Charlie in West Berlin. He was shot in the side and entangled himself in the last meters of barbed wire, still alive but trapped in this lower region. Guards on both sides refused to enter the Gaza Strip, and it was only after she bled to death that an East German official came to retrieve her body. The spaces between national borders are like Matta-Clark`s shards of property: their anomalous existence suggests the whole system that created them.
Just as New York City allocates every piece of land for usable value, borders and integrates the territory with laws and sovereignty. In the Middle Ages, borders were vast territories of diminishing or overlapping authority, far from the sovereign seats of power. People could easily pass through different areas without passing through demarcations or checkpoints. The rise of the liberal state and advances in mapping solidified borders into exact lines and compressed this indefinite border area into a narrow, liminal space. While sovereignty has always been defined by its territory, the rigid definition of borders is a fundamental (and fundamental) aspect of the modern state. But even precise borders inevitably leave slight cracks between nations. Shelling was not as frequent at the front as at the rear due to the proximity of the enemy. Trench mortar fire and rifle grenades were our bogeymen on the front lines.