Visual securitization of Calais migrants
Shetty, Vaibhava Purandar
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Since the advent of social media, political communication has become increasingly visual. The increasing use of visuals in political and security discourses presents fundamental challenges to Securitization Theory (ST), which analyses security through the performative aspect of a speech-act. Texts and visuals complement each other to generate security constructions and therefore, ST needs to adopt a multimodal analysis to theorize the performative aspect of text and visuals in combination. This thesis has two main objectives. First, to present a visual securitization framework that can analyse how discourses of security are constructed through visuals. This will be achieved by drawing theoretical and methodological insights from Rose’s four sites of critical visual methodology, which analyses a visual’s meaning-making along its production, circulation, and consumption stages. The applicability of the framework will be demonstrated through the case study of Calais migrant situation, where visuals were used by truck drivers, travellers and mass media to Calais migrants as security threat. The second aim of thesis is to analyse how visuals can facilitate the saliency of securitizing moves of actors with insignificant positional power. This thesis argues that for actors with insignificant positional power, visuals are an effective heuristic artefact to gain publicity around their securitizing moves. To this effect, the thesis highlights the importance of publicity in the ST.