By Francois Debrix, Cynthia Weber

In an period of accelerating globalization, the cultural and the foreign have borders as permeable as such a lot nations'-and an realizing of 1 calls for making experience of the opposite. Foregrounding the function of mediation-understood right here as a domain of illustration, transformation, and pluralization-the authors interact particular questions: How may possibly we make theoretical and sensible experience of transnational cultural interactions? and the way are we to appreciate the ways that the websites of mediation characterize, rework, and remediate internationals? as a result, the authors give some thought to foreign matters like defense, improvement, political activism, and the struggle opposed to terrorism throughout the lens of cultural practices similar to touring via airports, showing artwork and images, going online to the net, and spinning information tales. individuals: Robin Brown, U of Leeds; David Campbell, U of Newcastle upon Tyne; Michael Dillon, U of Lancaster; Debbie Lisle, Queen's U, Belfast; Moya Lloyd, Queen's U, Belfast; Timothy W. Luke, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and kingdom U; Patricia L. cost, Florida overseas U; Jayne Rodgers, U of Leeds; Marysia Zalewski, Queen's U, Belfast. Fran?ois Debrix is assistant professor of diplomacy at Florida foreign collage. Cynthia Weber is professor of foreign experiences and director of the Centre for overseas reports on the college of Leeds.

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141. 1 With the rise in postwar global travel, chances are that most of us have entered and exited our homes via the airport. As such, we probably recognize the “triple-decker melodrama” of human interaction so evident in the various arrival and departure lounges we have passed through. Although we may experience feelings of loss, hope, anxiety, joy, adventure, homecoming, and fear in airports, we seldom think beyond these personal experiences and ask how contemporary forms of power are being produced and deployed at the airport.

Speaking about airports that were constructed during the height of the cold war in the 1970s, Virilio explains how these gateways ushered in a new defense system that had to regulate a contradiction between surveillance and freedom of movement: Since the 70s and the beginnings of the world economic crisis, the construction of these airports was further subjected to the imperatives of the defense against air pirates. Construction no longer derived simply from traditional technical constraint. The plan had become a function of the risks of “terrorist contamination” and the disposition of sites conceived of as sterile zones for departures and non-sterile zones for arrivals.

What is immediately apparent in this desire to politicize the airport is how impotent traditional conceptions of power are in trying to analyze this site. Understandings of power based on fixed distinctions and hierarchies suggest that airports are places where power is simply wielded “over” us by sovereign authorities. To counter that approach, this essay argues that, like shopping malls, cinemas, bus stations, and motorways, airports are spaces where new forms of mediated power are emerging. 2 In fact, power does not exist as a “thing” to be measured at all.

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