Perception management – Deterring potential migrants through information campaigns

Heller, Charles. 2014. Perception management – Deterring potential migrants through information campaigns. Global Media and Communication, 10(3), pp. 303-318. ISSN 1742-7665 [Article]

No full text available

Abstract or Description

How are images used in the aim of governing migration? This article probes this question through the example of the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) information campaigns (ICs) in Cameroon, through which it seeks to ‘manage the perception’ of potential illegal(ized) migrants to the European Union (EU). Taking the self-reflexive perspective of a filmmaker who has documented migrants’ rights violations in several projects and is thus struck by the use of imagery of suffering migrants as a deterrent, I first draw a comparison with the practice of colonial educational cinema, which I argue bares many similarities with the IOM’s ICs. Second, I inscribe them within broader trends in migration management, which have in common a simultaneous spatial expansion beyond the EU’s boundaries and a broadening of the domains they attempt to shape. I then attend to the particular ‘media dispositif’ the IOM constitutes in its campaign in Cameroon and question the actual effects of its campaigns.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Illegal migration, information campaigns, International Organization for Migration, migration management, perception

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures
Visual Cultures > Centre for Research Architecture


27 December 2014Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

06 Feb 2015 13:24

Last Modified:

11 Feb 2015 09:55

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


Edit Record Edit Record (login required)