Images of refugees, part 3: refugees at sea

Singular Things

This is the third in a series of posts about images of refugees. For the first post, click here. For the second, click here.

Photographs of refugees on land often work to make both the refugees themselves and the landscapes they’re walking on interchangeable—so many huddled figures trudging across so many featureless bits of countryside. My last post explored some of the reasons for this: they’re partly to do with the choices that picture editors make, and partly to do with the standard formats of newspapers or news magazines and the cameras, lenses, and film that were typically used to take the photos that appeared in them. (Only rarely do refugees’ own views or choices come into it.) And in the post before that I wrote, more briefly, about the typical news photograph of a group of refugees in flight, burdened with their possessions. The aesthetic roots of…

View original post 1,884 more words


The Other’s Other: Alienation After Derrida

Daniel Tutt

The concept of alienation at its core implies that the true nature of something, its essence, or its actual existence is divorced from its real nature. This definition depends on essentialism; the idea that there is a true nature to things, hence it is a metaphysical concept. What is this true nature?

It varies widely across thinkers. For Rousseau, essence is a oneness with a metaphysical absolute found in nature, but this unity has been corrupted by civilization. For Feurbach and Marx, the human is a generic being, meaning that human essence is consciousness qua the ability to universalize. Universalizing refers to “an unlimitedness free from the restrictions of immediate isolated particularity”, a universality that is only possible because of the emptiness, the lack of determinability of the human.

Essence applies to the human as something that is not its own, as a universalized ideal. Marx introduces the idea that…

View original post 2,295 more words

[workshop] Security/Mobility – Between Imagination and Authority

Security/Mobility – Between Imagination and Authority


A workshop organized by ASCA, ACGS and the University of Groningen, to be held at the University of Amsterdam, 25-26 September 2014


Thursday, September 25

Location: Bijzondere Collecties, Nina van Leerzaal, Oude Turfmarkt 129, 1012 GC Amsterdam

09.00-09.30:                  Coffee and welcome

09.30-09.45:                  Introduction

09.45-10.45:  Keynote: Luis Lobo-Guerrero, University Groningen

Opening lecture ‘Connectivity as a problem from which to think mobility and security: the case of maritime ports’

Chair: Marie Beauchamps, University of Amsterdam

10.45-12.15:                 Panel 1: Security technology and the visual

Chair: Joyce Goggin, University of Amsterdam

Discussant: Mark Salter, University of Ottawa

  • Louise Amoore and Volha Piotukh, Durham University ‘Security, facilitation and an algorithmic journey’
  • Marijn Hoijtink, University of Amsterdam, and Matthias Leese, University of Tuebingen ‘The silver bullet of interoperability’
  • Erella Grassiani, University of Amsterdam ‘Commercialized Occupation Skills: Globalized Israeli Combatant Experience as a Security Brand’
  • Nathaniel O’Grady, University of Southampton ‘Mobilizing Circulation in Emergency Response Technologies’

12.15-13.30:                  Lunch

13.30-15.00:                  Panel 2: Making the border work

Chair: Marie Beauchamps, University of Amsterdam

Discussant: Julien Jeandesboz, University of Amsterdam

  • Mark Salter, University of Ottawa ‘Everyday Failure: The Measure of Security Screening Machines’
  • Sanne Kloppenburg and Irma van der Ploeg, University of Maastricht ‘Working the automated border – biometrics and travelling bodies at the airport’
  • Andreas Baur, University of Tuebingen, ‘Centrality, De-Centrality and Internet Security’

15.00-15.30:                  Coffee break

15.30-17.00:                  Panel 3: Crime, Law, and Government

Chair: (tba)

Discussant: Rivke Jaffe, University of Amsterdam

  • Charles Brackett, University of Massachusetts ‘The European Criminal Records Information System: Mobility and the Governmentality of Unease in an Institutional Context’
  • Huub van Baar, University of Amsterdam ‘The Impact of Europe’s Securitized Borders on the Mobility of Irregularized EU Citizens: the Case of the Roma’
  • Sarah Perret, Paris-Sud XI ‘The American Naturalization Policy: A Securitization Tool of Immigration?’

18.00-19.30:   Keynote: Debbie Lisle, Queen’s University Belfast

Key note lecture ‘Antecedent Failure: a slow analysis of science, security and border technologies’

Chair: Marieke de Goede, University of Amsterdam

Location: Universiteitsbibliotheek, Doelenzaal, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam

20.00:                                 Dinner

Friday, 26 September

Morning location: Universiteitsbibliotheek, Doelenzaal, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam

10.00-10.30:                  Coffee

10.30-12.00:                  Panel 4: Imagining the Undesirable

Chair: Emmanuel-Pierre Guittet, University of Manchester

Discussant: Sharon Weinblum, Oxford University

  • Bruno Magalhães, The Open University ‘Enacting refugees: asylum requests and the social life of borders’
  • Polly Pallister-Wilkins, University of Amsterdam ‘Security barriers and the governance of circulation’
  • Nina Perkowski, University of Edinburgh ‘Humanitarianism, Security, and the Production of (In)Visibility in the Border Regime’
  • Stef Wittendorp, University Groningen, ‘Spinning a European Web of Unease: Europol as Articulator of a Transnational Field of (In)Security’

12.00-13.15:                  Lunch

Afternoon location: Universiteitstheater Room 3.01, Nieuwe Doelenstraat 16-18, 1012 CP Amsterdam

13.15-14.45:                  Panel 5: The Resistant Subject

Chair: (tba)

Discussant: Francesco Ragazzi, University Leiden

  • Beste Isleyen, University of Amsterdam ‘EU External Action in Counter-Terrorism: A Discourse Theory Approach’
  • Yiannis Golfinopoulos, Panteion University ‘’Illegals’ in the Law School of Athens: Public Presence, Discourse and Migrants as Threat’
  • Neil James Wilson, City University London ‘Living for the City: Urban Refugees and the Rejection of the Camp’
  • Christine Quinan, Utrecht University ‘Gender Surveillance: Trans Bodies in a Post-9/11 Era of Neoliberalism’

14.45 – 15.00                Coffee break

15.00 – 16:30:  Keynote: Louise Amoore, Durham University

Closing lecture ‘On the Authority of the Algorithm’

Chair: Stephanie Simon

16.30                                  Drinks

The workshop is sponsored by the NWO Vidi project ‘European Security Culture,’ the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), the Amsterdam Centre for Globalization Studies (ACGS), and the University of Groningen (RUG). Please contact Marie Beauchamps ( or Marijn Hoijtink ( for more information.

Jacques Rancière Interview: “Democracy is not, to begin with, a form of State”

Cunning Hired Knaves

This is a translation of an interview with Jacques Rancière published in last Sunday’s Público. I have translated it from Spanish, which in turn was translated by the newspaper from French.

I doubt the double translation makes a great deal of difference but thought I’d mention it nonetheless. I can’t remember if statal is a word in English but I’m to tired to check so let’s assume it is.

I didn’t think Hatred of Democracy had made that much ofan impression on me when I read it, in fact I’d sort of forgotten about it, but translating this interview I began to realise, given all the things that I naturally agreed with here, that in fact it made a pretty big impression.

Are we living a “political moment” in Europe? How would you describe this moment?

“In Europe, all the governments are applying the same programme of destruction of what…

View original post 1,899 more words

Who Speaks for Photography?

Francis Hodgson

At the ceremony on 18 September 2012 to mark the start of construction by which the former Commonwealth Institute in High Street Kensington will become a new Design Museum, Sir Terence Conran used the opportunity to once again “persuade government of the importance of design in this country”. Ed Vaizey, the Minister of Culture, replied by saying “Government has taken note of Terence’s comments, and I’ll take back what he said and see what we can do.” Sir Terence is the founder of the museum, and a generous patron. But he is also the owner of a number of businesses whose profitability might well be affected by the government’s response.

Lord Rogers of Riverside, whose 1997 book Cities for a Small Planet (based on his Reith Lectures of 1995) established his credentials as an advocate for sustainable and liveable cities, has advised both Prime Minister Tony Blair and London Mayor…

View original post 4,971 more words

The art of Homo Sacer

geographical imaginations


 James Bridle‘s new installation, Homo Sacer, has opened at FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) in Liverpool, as part of its Science Fiction: New Death exhibition:

Explore how our relationship with technology has blurred the lines between the real and the virtual; making our everyday lives feel increasingly like science fiction. Artists including James Bridle, Jon Rafman, Mark Leckey, Larissa Sansour and Ryan Trecartin, plus award-winning science fiction author China Miéville present works which explore how technology is creating new ways of living (and dying), of fashioning identities and the growth of cult-like communities.

The exhibition runs until 22 June, and you can (at least virtually) walk through it with Regine here.

There’s not much detail or documentation of Homo Sacer yet  – though see the image above – but James promises a video clip soon.  Meanwhile he explains:

The installation consists of a…

View original post 706 more words