Regarding the shipwreck of others: for a critical visual topography of Mediterranean migration

Chiara Giubilaro, Chiara Giubilaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article reflects on the relationship between photography and migration from a cultural geography perspective, with particular reference to the visual construction of the Mediterranean border regime. The contemporary aesthetics of Mediterranean migration is one of the domains in which visual and social norms are most closely intertwined. My main purpose is to unveil these processes of mutual (re)production by analysing how photographs forge our everyday perceptions of migration and affect our very ability to produce ethical and political responses to the events they portray. Drawing on a range of fields and approaches, including cultural geography, visual culture studies and postcolonial theories, I attempt here to develop a critical topography of looking, mapping out some of the performances and places involved in looking at Mediterranean migration. In the final part of the article, I seek to reinforce my theoretical statements by focusing on two photographic images of people being rescued along the Mediterranean route, in order to illustrate how photography can actually interfere with our ability to create spaces of cultural and political responsibility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalCultural Geographies
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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