Weaponising Exposure 6b - The Strategic use of the Sea


The Strategic use of the Sea

A painting of an orange life vest juxtaposed against a blue background.

[imagecaption] Ben Quilty, Vest2017 [/imagecaption]


‘Migrants do not only die at sea, but through a strategic use of the sea … Even when they drown following a shipwreck or starve while drifting in currents, there is nothing “natural” about their deaths … Our project could not limit itself to reading the sea in order to document specific incidents, but demanded that we attempt to understand the conditions that have led the sea to become so deadly. … the Mediterranean has been made to kill through contemporary forms of militarised governmentality of mobility which inflict deaths by first creating dangerous conditions of crossing, and then abstaining from assisting those in peril. This governmentality is shaped by the complex legal structure and mode of governance of the sea that enables state actors to selectively expand or retract their rights and obligations. What emerges from these conditions is a form of violence that is diffused and dispersed among many actors’.

Liquid Traces, Charles Heller and Lorenzo Pellani  in The Borders of Europe



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