Disjointed knowledges, obfuscated visibility. Border controls at the French-Italian Alpine border

Tazzioli, Martina. 2020. Disjointed knowledges, obfuscated visibility. Border controls at the French-Italian Alpine border. Political Geography, 79(102155), ISSN 0962-6298 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article deals with border controls at the French-Italian Alpine frontier which have been implemented to govern and contain the migrants in transit. It analyses border controls by focusing on the circulation of knowledge and the economy of visibility which are enacted at that frontier. The article illustrates how the French-Italian Alpine area has become a border-zone for migrants, showing that modes of knowledge and forms of visibility are constitutive of bordering processes. It moves on with a section on the production and circulation of knowledge at the border, introducing the notion of “disjointed knowledges” to account for the asymmetries and fragmentariness at play in border control activities. It argues that we need to start from the partial non-circulation of data and local frictions in order to understand bordering practices. Then, it engages with the obfuscated visibility produced on migrant crossing, drawing attention to how migrants’ presence at the border is alternatively visible and concealed by the authorities.

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Identification Number (DOI):



Border controls, Opacity, Knowledge, Visibility, Migration, Borderzone

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20 January 2020Accepted
23 January 2020Published Online
May 2020Published

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Date Deposited:

06 Feb 2020 09:12

Last Modified:

23 Jan 2022 02:26

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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