gEOGRAPHIES OF Security Detention, Capture, and Geographies of the Global War on Terror
The Exception?• After 9/11, we were thought have entered a period of ‘exceptional’ politics. Going beyond the constitution or legislative powers, shifting more power in to an executive until such time when the reasons for ‘exceptional politics’ no longer exist.• But 12 years later, what happens when the exception, becomes the norm?• A line of thinking attributed to Giorgio Agamben, political philosopher and his text “State of Exception”
UN/Exceptional?• “Power by means of its own suspension”• States find impressive and boundless power-- to arrest, detain, and interrogate--but to do so means the state has to surrender what traditionally makes it powerful, a rule of law.• The tactics surveyed this week all rely on that confusion to place state power beyond the traditional ‘checks and balances’ it is held to, for the exceptional purposes of returning safety and order.
Surveillance: How does watching and monitoring create new geographies and new spaces for control? On the body? Aboveground? Beyond the national borders?
Visibility• Surveillance brings new spaces in to perspective, visibility, and control.• The growth of CCTV has become a tool to track and monitor individual mobility--on streets, office buildings, and on public transit.• Representing a privacy over-reach, are seen as part of ‘exceptional’ politics.• Technologies of surveillance today allow the viewer to be separate from the camera--i.e. drones, CCTV--opening up spaces across distances.
US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba aka ‘Gitmo’, 90 miles off the US coastline.
Detention• Private prison/detention facilities have expanded rapidly, especially in the U.S.• Companies like the GEO Group and CCA run for profit prison-like facilities for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.• Centres have popped up in the US Southeast, and military bases throughout the world.• It becomes increasingly difficult to answer, for legal purposes, ‘where are you?’ once inside.