Borders and the Barrier of the Skin

A key contradiction of globalization is its facilitation of the movement of goods while the movement of people is increasingly restricted. Furthering this tendency, biometric technologies have expanded the traditional notion of the border, regulating the circulation of gendered, racialized, and classed bodies.

Departing from the idea of the body as a physical and abstract concept to address processes of circulation and control, writer, curator, and philosopher Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz examines the institution of the skin in Western thought. As the material yet permeable boundary between the inside and the outside of the body with protective and regulatory functions, the skin becomes the frontier between self and other and takes on economic, juridical and political consequences. Philosopher Achille Mbembe suggests that borderization, the process of transformation of certain spaces to uncrossable territories for some people in the name of security, is the organized violence that characterizes the contemporary world order and leads to a segmented planet that operates at multiple speeds.

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Documenting Migration in Contemporary Art: Bouchra Khalili’s The Mapping Journey Project

How to raise awareness of the most recent refugee crisis in the Mediterranean in a way that does not spectacularize human suffering? Beginning with Bouchra Khalili’sThe Mapping Journey Project, this essay addresses how the present crisis has manifested as image and has made its way, across a variety of methodological and ethical approaches, into works of…

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