A disobedient gaze: strategic interventions in the knowledge(s) of maritime borders

Pezzani, Lorenzo and Heller, Charles. 2013. A disobedient gaze: strategic interventions in the knowledge(s) of maritime borders. Postcolonial Studies, 16(3), pp. 289-298. ISSN 1368-8790 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article reflects critically on how forms of militant research that produce knowledge about the border can produce effects in the politics of migration themselves. It does so by looking at Forensic Oceanography, a collaborative research project that we have been conducting since the summer of 2011. We first locate this research among a broader ‘ecology of knowledges’ that are generated at the border and that directly affect way the border regime actually operates, underlining their ‘aesthetic’ dimension. Secondly, we problematise more specifically the knowledge produced by activists who fight against the border regime and attempt to think how these need to position themselves strategically in relation to existing knowledge practices so as to avoid complicity with the same power structures they are seeking to challenge. Finally, since our knowledge production has amongst others been geared towards the legal sphere, we sketch out a critical reflection on the reliance on legal strategy to forward progressive changes within the politics of migration.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):



borders, migration, militant research, Forensic Oceanography

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures > Centre for Research Architecture


23 November 2013Published

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Date Deposited:

10 Jan 2022 14:56

Last Modified:

10 Jan 2022 14:56

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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