Dispositifs of Touching: A Curatorial Study on the Plazas of Sovereignty

Vergara Vivanco, Leire. 2018. Dispositifs of Touching: A Curatorial Study on the Plazas of Sovereignty. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This dissertation explores the scattered geography of the so-called plazas of sovereignty, a group of rocks, islets and archipelagos spread out along the Northern coast of Morocco. These have been occupied by Spain since the Middle Ages and today remain inaccessible for Spanish, Moroccan or any other citizens. In particular, this research proposes to study the enclaves from a curatorial perspective, including the configuration of a specific project in North Morocco that takes the form of a reading group and offers a public platform for collective debate and awareness in respect to these forbidden territories. The thesis is also accompanied by a series of documentary materials on the plazas produced specifically for the occasion by artists, who have taken several site-visits to some of the nearest locations. Thus, the work explores two different registers: one theoretical, the other practical. Theoretically, it navigates a list of concepts that help to understand the inner logics of the plazas in respect to a double context: one related to the migration crisis of the Gibraltar Strait, the other related to the public ground from which to establish a curatorial practice. Practically, it allows conforming a set of methodologies of research that influence not just the fieldwork but also the text that gives an account of it. Finally, the ensemble of both registers allows curatorial knowledge to develop across an inventory of references coming out from history, philosophy, artistic practices, collective readings and lived experiences.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):



Curatorial Research, Curatorial Methodologies, Gibraltar Strait, Migration Crisis, Inaccesible Geographies

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures


30 September 2018

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

10 Oct 2018 14:44

Last Modified:

07 Sep 2022 17:14



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