"The question is the following; why, in which way, and how, does the production of images take part in the destruction of human beings?"
Georges Didi-Huberman

In the Farhana border crossing, one can easily observe how the contemporary colonial encounter is taking place in the context of globalized and neoliberal world order. Melilla, a Spanish enclave in Northern Africa, has a long colonial history of shifting and contested borders. The creation of the European Economic Area and the Schengen space with their violent dynamics of inclusion and exclusion has made journeys across this traditionally blurred boundary much more dangerous and even lethal. The border police routinely check for cars used by the existing goods-smuggling groups operating on both sides of the barbed wire fence using heartbeat detector machines. These images have been taken in these control operations and then made available to news agencies and newspapers through the police and its media office's online archive. Having secured permission to access the archive and use the images, I have instead chosen to collect them from the local and national newspapers that have published news about these police operations. Selecting this place of appropriation allows taking into account the processes of production, distribution, and consumption of these photographs and later placed in a symbolic regime of representation: the discursive construction of migrants as intruders always trapped in their rites of passage. Farhana attempts to reconsider this signifying practice without the mediation of the institutions that first produced, disseminated, and prescribed these photographs' value. Beyond the debris left behind by customs and forensic probes and the inventory of alterations made to vehicles, these images consistently reveal re-enactments, performances, fractured representations of the body, erased faces, empty spaces, traces of presences, encounters, and trophies. The traffickers face a compulsory custodial sentence but are always kept outside the constructed frame of the image. The camera sifts through these wreckages only to show hidden, twisted bodies without faces or with a black bar on their eyes placed in postproduction. Preventing an encounter with their eyes, their faces, and their bodies' dignity allows a new function to emerge beyond identification and a reminder of police power: to define these migrant bodies.

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