Beyond the Space of the Project: The Politics of Representation and Contributions to Knowledge

  • Zoë O’Reilly


We live in a world where mechanisms to exclude people seen as ‘other’ which were once considered ‘exceptional’ have now become ‘normal’. People seeking protection in European countries, and elsewhere, are detained, dispersed and deported, their lives treated as ‘waste’ or ‘reject’. As part of this politics of exclusion, there is an increasing number of liminal spaces, between and within borders, in which such people are detained or forced to live, kept waiting in often inhumane conditions, and often for years at a time. The Irish Direct Provision system is part of this increasing network of liminal spaces. The increasing ‘fragmentation’ of labels used to designate refugees and asylum seekers and the often negative representation in mainstream media and government discourse, and the ‘othering’ and stereotyping that this creates, serve to justify various mechanisms of exclusion and to further exclude those people.


  1. Agamben, G. (1995). We Refugees. In Symposium (M. Rocke, Trans., Vol. 49, Issue 2, pp. 114–119).Google Scholar
  2. Augé, M. (1995). Non-places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity (J. Howe, Trans.). London and New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  3. Bourriaud, N. (2002). Relational Aesthetics. Dijon: Les presses du réel.Google Scholar
  4. Cahill, C. (2010). Why Do They Hate Us? Reframing Immigration Through Participatory Action Research. Area, 42(2), 152–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Derrida, J. (2000). Hostipitality. Angelaki, 5(3), 3–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Foucault, M. (1979 [1975]). Discipline and Punish. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  7. Friend, M. (2010). Representing Immigration Detainees: The Juxtaposition of Image and Sound in “Border Country”. Forum for Qualitative Social Research, 11(2), Art. 33.Google Scholar
  8. Goodnow, K. (2010). Introduction: Expanding the Concept of Participation. In K. Goodnow & H. L. Skartveit (Eds.), Changes in Museum Practice, New Media, and Refugees: Forms and Issues of Participation. Oxford: Berghahn.Google Scholar
  9. Haynes, A., Devereux, E., & Breen, M. J. (2009). In the Know? Media, Migration and Public Beliefs. Translocations: Migration and Social Change, 5(1), 1–21.Google Scholar
  10. Irish Refugee Council. (2010). Without Rights or Recognition. Dublin: Irish Refugee Council.Google Scholar
  11. Kester, G. (2000). Dialogical Aesthetics: A Critical Framework for Littoral Art. Variant, 2(9) [online]. Available at:
  12. Luvera, A. (2008). Using Children’s Photographs. Source Photographic Review, issue 54 [online]. Available at:
  13. Maguire, M., & Murphy, F. (2012). Integration in Ireland: The Everyday Lives of African Migrants. New Ethnographies Series. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Mountz, A. (2010). Seeking Asylum: Human Smuggling and Bureaucracy at the Border. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mountz, A. (2011). Where Asylum Seekers Wait: Feminist Counter-Topographies of Sites Between States. Gender, Place and Culture, 18(3), 381–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. O’Neill, M. (2010). Asylum, Migration and Community. Bristol: The Policy Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. O’Neill, M. in association with Giddens, S., Breatnach, P., Bagley, C., Bourne, D., & Judge, T. (2002). Renewed Methodologies for Social Research: Ethno-mimesis as Performative Praxis. Sociological Review, 50(1), 69–88.Google Scholar
  18. O’Neill, M., & Harindranath, R. (2006). Theorising Narratives of Exile and Belonging: The Importance of Biography and Ethno-mimesis in ‘Understanding’ Asylum. Qualitative Sociology Review, 11(1), 39–53.Google Scholar
  19. Pain, R. (2004). Social Geography: Participatory Research. Progress in Human Geography, 28(5), 652–663.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Pain, R. (2009). Globalized Fear? Towards an Emotional Geopolitics. Progress in Human Geography, 33(4), 466–486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Rose, G. (2007). Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to the Interpretation of Visual Materials. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  22. Salverson, J. (2001). Change on Whose Terms? Testimony and an Erotics of Injury. Theater, 31, 119–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sassen, S. (2003). The Repositioning of Citizenship: Emergent Subjects and Spaces for Politics. The New Centennial Review, 3(2), 41–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Smyth, J. (2010a, July 3). 150 Asylum Seekers in Mosney Told to Move Within Days. The Irish Times.Google Scholar
  25. Smyth, J. (2010b, July 3). Asylum Seekers Ready to Protest Over Transfers at Short Notice from Mosney. The Irish Times.Google Scholar
  26. Smyth, J. (2010c, July 6). Asylum Seekers Protest Transfer Plan. The Irish Times.Google Scholar
  27. Smyth, J. (2010d, July 9). Asylum Seekers at Mosney Hold Fourth Day of Protest. The Irish Times.Google Scholar
  28. Smyth, J. (2010e, July 10). State Agency Says Mosney Transfers Will Go Ahead. The Irish Times.Google Scholar
  29. Turner, V. (1967). Betwixt and Between: The Liminal Period in Rites de Passage. In V. Turner (Ed.), The Forest of Symbols. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Tyler, I. (2006). Welcome to Britain: The Cultural Politics of Asylum. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 9(2), 185–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wright, C. Y., Darko, N., Standen, P. J., & Patel, T. G. (2010). Visual Research Methods: Suing Cameras to Empower Socially Excluded Black Youth. Sociology, 44(3), 541–558.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Zetter, R. (1991). Labelling Refugees: Forming and Transforming a Bureaucratic Identity. Journal of Refugee Studies, 4(1), 39–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zoë O’Reilly
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyMaynooth UniversityDublinIreland

Personalised recommendations