Border Birds

  • Bieke Depoorter, Dries Depoorter
  • Belgium
  • 2022
  • Digital, Installation
  • World Premiere
  • IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling, DocLab: Nervous Systems

While humans erect more and more physical boundaries around the world, birds just carry on cheerfully ignoring them. The brother and sister team Dries and Bieke Depoorter took thousands of photographs of these winged border-crossers by first training artificial intelligence to recognize them in video footage. With this AI, they monitored publicly accessible surveillance cameras at several politically sensitive borders: between Mexico and the United States, Morocco and Spain, Greece and Turkey, and France and England.

The duo captured 3,747 images of birds from these cameras between March 10 and April 10, 2022, and then selected 100 of them for this project. Border Birds was commissioned by The World Project, for which 138 photographers each submitted 100 images as non-fungible tokens. Half of the proceeds from Border Birds will be donated to the European Network for Migrant Women (EMN) and the Red Cross, for the support of refugees.

For documentation and more information on the project, check out the links.


  • Spoken languages: English
Bieke Depoorter, Dries Depoorter
Bieke Depoorter, Dries Depoorter
Bieke Depoorter, Dries Depoorter
Bieke Depoorter, Dries Depoorter
Technical artist
Dries Depoorter

IDFA history

World Premiere
IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling
DocLab: Nervous Systems

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IDFA history

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