Migration cannot be readily seen. Yet the study of contemporary migration control and border management, particularly with respect to Europe, abounds in the use of ocular terminology, such as surveillance and monitoring. We approach these issues by asking how the visualization of border lines and their crossings is enacted. More specifically, we seek to conceptualize the visual infrastructure through which border lines and movement lines are drawn, deployed, and authorized. We show how deceptibility and a dispersal of identity documents are constitutive of the specific modes of visuality at play in border crossing. Subsequently, we analyze two ways of visualizing cross-border migration. The first—medical visualization—works by permeating space with a contrast medium. The second—statistical visualization—works by composing systemic migration patterns out of migration data.

You do not currently have access to this content.