For the past several months I have been conducting an experiment at airport security gates, shooting photographs of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) facilities and screeners to determine how long I can go on before I will be asked to stop. After shooting photos in 12 airports I have received only one warning at the US-Canada border while taking a picture of a twenty-something woman of colour being interrogated by TSA workers after she was physically searched in a nearby makeshift room. I only became visible to the TSA at the moment I witnessed her visibility, but in general as a white woman I go relatively unnoticed in a US security regime largely based on racial profiling. If I were a person of colour it is possible that many of these images would not exist, that my camera would have been taken, the images destroyed, or I might not have even taken the risk in the first place. In any case, it has become clear to me that the airport is no longer just a ‘non-place’ as Marc Auge (Auge, 1995) famously described it over a decade ago, but in the context of the US-led war on global terror it has possibly become ‘the place’, a charged and volatile domain punctuated by shifting regimes of biopower.
- Federal Employee
- Dangerous Object
- Congressional Hearing
- Airport Security
- Transportation Security
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This paper was presented at the Forensic Futures Conference at the Law School of Birkbeck College in London and the Constant Capture Conference at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2006 where I benefited from the questions and feedback of many participants. I would like to thank Dick Hebdige, Jim Schwoch, Jack Bratich, Rosi Braidotti and Amelie Hastie for also providing helpful comments and encouragement.
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© 2009 Lisa Parks
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Parks, L. (2009). Points of Departure: The Culture of US Airport Screening. In: Braidotti, R., Colebrook, C., Hanafin, P. (eds) Deleuze and Law. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230244771_10
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