Aine O’Healy (Loyola Marymount University) “Mobilities and Interceptions in the Central Mediterranean, 2011-2017”

Joining the debate on the media’s imputed spectacularization of the border zone between North Africa and Europe, this presentation focuses on the politics of audiovisual representation vis-à-vis contemporary mobilities in the Strait of Sicily, which tens of thousands of irregular migrants and refugees cross each year and an increasingly militarized apparatus attempts to intercept them. Activists and scholars have offered strong criticism of the media’s complicity in spectacularizing migration management in the Mediterranean, where policies of securitization are often carried out under the guise of humanitarian rescue. More nuanced constructions of the events unfolding in and around Lampedusa, however, have emerged in independent feature films, documentaries, and video installations. This talk will examine four or five audiovisual texts offering competing constructions the “border spectacle” of arrival and exclusion through contrasting modalities of representation.