Technologies of extraterritorialisation, statist visuality and irregular migrants and refugees

Joseph Pugliese*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the increasing use of technologies of surveillance and identification by both the European Union and Australia in order to biopolitically preclude and control the entry of irregular migrants, refugees and asylum seekers from the global South. The central concern of the article is how these technologies of extraterritorialisation, as deployed by the state, function to constitute regimes of statist visuality that produce both symbolic and physical forms of violence for their target subjects. In the course of the article, I critically examine the European Union’s EUROSUR project, Frontex and its Eurodac system and Australia’s Migration Legislation Amendment (Identification and Authentication) Act 2004 in order to stage a comparison of the various modalities of statist visuality deployed by states in their biopolitical governance of irregular migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, and to bring into critical focus the often lethal effects of these regimes of statist visuality. I conclude by presenting a form of counter-visuality to the state’s way of seeing by discussing the work of the contemporary Moroccan-French visual artist Bouchra Khalili, whose Mapping Journey Project stands as an agentic resignification and reclamation of the fraught journeys of irregular migrants through the surveilled lands of the global North.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-597
Number of pages27
JournalGriffith Law Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


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