• Invasion, Infection, Invisibility: An Iconology of Illegalized Immigration

    Francesca Falk (see profile)
    Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Global & Transnational Studies, History
    Migration, Internal--Study and teaching, Emigration and immigration, History, Immigrants--Study and teaching
    Item Type:
    Book section
    Migration, Migration studies, Immigration history, Immigration studies, Visual culture
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    In her paper on “Invasion, Infection, Invisibility: An Iconology of Illegalized Immigration”, FRANCESCA FALK contrasts in a paradigmatic way two photos of boat people: Either immigration is depicted as an invasion, or an individual refugee is portrayed as a victim, following the tradition of the Christian Iconography. Yet both discussed pictures share a common feature: the fear of infection. On the other hand, illegalized immigration inside Europe is often hidden from the public eye. The deportation camps are generally located at the geographical and social margins, and pictures of them hardly ever circulate in the Swiss media. Media consumers thus seldom come across the nationally approved compulsory measures for which they are clearly politically accountable. To counteract such invisibilities, in some cities monuments are raised in order to make illegalized immigrants and the violence produced by their deportation visible. Furthermore, the European illegalization of immigration very often hurts people coming from former colonial regions. But also these historical connections linking the past with the present are very often invisible in today’s discussion about immigration. Instead, in many anti-migration campaigns immigration is frequently depicted as a colonial invasion.
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    4 years ago
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