Phillips, L. G. & Montes, C. (2017). Walking borders: Explorations of aesthetics in ephemeral arts activism for asylum seeker rights. Space and Culture, 21(2) 273-284. doi:10.1177/1206331217729509

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Australia’s Operation Sovereign Borders vehemently enforces closed borders to asylum seekers arriving by boat to Australia. Policed urban borders were enforced in Brisbane, Australia, during the G20 Summit in 2014, to protect visiting dignitaries from potential violent protest. The ephemeral arts intervention Walking Borders: Arts activism for refugee and asylum seeker rights symbolically confronted border politics by peacefully protesting against Australian immigration policy. Rather than focusing on the direct effects of the ephemeral arts intervention, this article attends to the affective workings of the aesthetic elements of the project through sensory ethnography and storying. Informed by Ranciere’s aesthetics of politics, this article explores the affective experience and potential educative gains of the ethical turn attended to in participatory arts such as ephemeral arts interventions.