Instrumentalizing the Refugee's Body Through Evidence

By Élise Pestre

The subject who requests asylum in a new state must testify to his or her fears about the persecution he or she incurs in his or her country. Once a detailed examination of the account has been carried out, any corporeal evidence of his or her allegations will be scrutinized by the administrations.
The authorities will pay particular attention to the bodies of the asylum seekers, with the objective of confirming – or not – their account, as though the bodies had the power to conserve the visible imprints of past wounds forever. This sovereign quest for battered bodies sets up the soma as an indispensible witness to the journey towards asylum taken by the refugee.


  • refugee
  • body
  • trauma
  • biopolitics
  • instrumentalization
  • globalization
  • health
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