Weaponised Exposure 6e - Civil Modalities of Necrotransport


Civil Modalities of Necrotransport

[imagecaption] Red Handprint on window at Border Force Protest organised by WACA, Narrm, Kulin Nations (Melbourne), 2018. Photo: Charandev Singh.  [/imagecaption]


As borders become increasingly militarised and states adopt and uphold policies of deterrence, migrants and people seeking asylum are increasingly being forced into boats, lorries and other forms of necrotransport in order to cross borders. Operative here are ‘civil modalities‘ of asylum seeker trauma and death (Pugliese, ‘Civil Modalities’ 2009). Civil modalities of asylum seeker trauma and death bring into focus the role of non-state actors, such as lorry companies, in enabling the necrotransport of asylum seekers through such civil technologies as lorries and containers.

The prosecution of people involving in smuggling or trafficking migrants is centred following migrant deaths in these contexts. The language of tragedy, shock and grief is used in media reports without acknowledgement or analysis of the political conditions that manufacture deaths like these. Framed as isolated incidents orchestrated by non-state actors, rather than a logical outcome of border policies that reduce access to safe migration pathways, state accountability is removed from the equation.


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