The peripheral insider : de-presentation? On anti-migration sentiments and culture in the West

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportBidrag til bog/antologiForskning

In this paper antimigration sentiments – debated primarily as a problem of the West but for sure emerging in other parts of the globe, is taken to point to a denial of heightened global interdependence in Edward Said’s sense of ”one global environment.” The paper argues that this leaves the regime of postcolonial critique in an impasse between Western triumphalism, e.g. Francis Fukuyama’s post-hegelianism, and what we may term ’fundamentalism’ of a new order negotiating this heightened global interdependence. What is increasingly left out seems to be not only postcolonial critique but the entire prospect of cultural critique and criticism. The option of deconstruction, of ’sign on sign’ – of signified alterity, etc. to the advancement of something else, contesting in a wider sense the heritage of critique and critical thought in the postwar era, in particular, perhaps, when based on ’French poststructuralism’. Current antimigration sentiments (and of course, from different perspectives and in other contexts, in other parts of the world, left out of the debate here) seems to have a simpler solution: to deny the migrant, to re-create the world as if migration was non-existent, to conceive the world from a position beyond the ”beyond” of postcolonial critique, that is, to dispute the very idea of a global environment. That is, denial of large scale movement, of diaspora, of native informant, by way of a reconstituted system along the lines of Samuel P. Huntington’s and others notions of cultural homeostasis by way of separation of civilizations: to put it short, by de-presentation of the resident alien at root. Insofar antimigration sentiments are more than a passing whim of postmodern constituencies, they may well be seen as an attempt at ontological ’tearing with Said’s ‘global fabric’, displaying a different moment of signification, in the sense of what Cornelius Castoriadis terms the ”imaginary institution of society,” instituted as an ontologically creative form of the human ex nihilo, appearing antepredicatelively to representational signification: what Castoriadis bluntly terms ” (...) self-creation deployed as history.” Thus the intersection between antimigration sentiments and self-creation may point not only to possible imports of current cultural processes, but, equally important, to new ways of understanding globalization as meaning.
TitelThe Peripheral Insider : Perspectives on Contemporary Internationalism in Visual Culture
RedaktørerKhaled D. Ramadan
Antal sider38
ForlagMuseum Tusculanum
ISBN (Trykt)9788772899671
StatusUdgivet - 2007

Bibliografisk note

Peer reviewed. Available som e-paper on

ID: 5087982