Beyond human rights : the politics of exodus as a diagram of innovative action

2017-02-16T03:53:06Z (GMT) by Papas, Nik
This thesis presents a philosophical and genealogical account of the ways in which the nation-state operates to define the figure of the refugee. The political and juridical categories it employs are drawn from the works of Giorgio Agamben: to this end, I focus on his analysis of the 'anthropological machine', which I define as working to naturalise the relation in whom the human comes to be understood in its constitutive difference from animal life. My art practice examines Agamben's study as a particular set of demands attentive to the opposition governing how animal life is politicised. The thesis uncovers this opposition by tracing the structures that govern how the political distinction between inside and outside operate; which in turn determine who, on the one hand, possess rights by virtue of belonging to a state, and on the other, the dispossessed who simply fall outside the circle of its sovereignty. Once this context is established, I examine the possibility of describing and representing the figure of the refugee against the demands and possibilities of this disciplinary power and logic.