Samkir Travel on From airport holding zones to vessels detained in harbors, from regular prisons to special-purpose facilities, these sites of detention have become objects of political anxiety and critical scrutiny, whether on the part of human rights groups, antiracist and migration activists, or concerned scholars. The figure of the camp, which famously has its origins in colonial practices of confinement and isolation, has almost monopolized the critical discussion of current practices of administrative detention. A growing archive of research, analysis, and political intervention has grown around this theme (Bernadot 2008; Dow 2004; Perera 2002; Pieper 2008; Rahola 2003). With heavy resonances with the Nazi Lager system of World War II, the analysis of contemporary detention sites from the theoretical and practical viewpoint offered by the camp has enabled a series of insights into the political workings of detention and its significance for wider questions of sovereignty, security, and biopolitics.
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This, in turn, has animated many different forms of political action and even artistic expression that have turned around the figure of the camp and its extraordinary emotive and historical implications. The highly erudite and influential philosophical work of Giorgio Agam-ben has, since the publication of Homo Sacer (1998), elevated the camp to the status of the biopolitical paradigm of modernity. Building on the work of Hannah Arendt, Carl Schmitt, Walter Benjamin, and Michel Foucault, Agamben offers an extremely astute analysis of the camp and its juridical rooting in the state of exception and martial law.
Samkir Travel 2016.