This article considers the failed asylum application of Arigona Zogaj, whose case gained notoriety in Austria when as a fifteen-year-old she evaded deportation by going into hiding in September 2007. For large segments of the public, in particular those espousing anti-immigrant positions, the Zogaj case was a straightforward matter of abiding by or not abiding by the law. However, the judicial process, especially once the case reached the Austrian Asylum Court and the Constitutional Court, was focused on a different set of issues, concerning the category of life, specifically the applicant's post deportation livability, in view of possible human rights violations. With the aid of Michel Foucault's and Giorgio Agamben's work, this article traces the striking transformation of legal personhood into livability questions in European deportation appeal cases. To assess this “deportability archive,” the article turns to literary representations of the Zogaj case by Elfriede Jelinek and Franzobel, to media reports, and, most importantly, to the texts of the two final court decisions.

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