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The Design Politics of the Passport

The Design Politics of the Passport: Materiality, Immobility, and Dissent

by Mahmoud Keshavarz

Mahmoud Keshavarz is a postdoctoral researcher at the Engaging Vulnerability Research Program, Department of Cultural Anthropology, Uppsala University, Sweden. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Bloomsbury Visual Arts, 2019
  • DOI:
    10.5040/9781474289405
  • ISBN:
    978-1-4742-8939-9 (hardback)

    978-1-4742-8937-5 (epdf)

    978-1-4742-8938-2 (epub)

    978-1-4742-8940-5 (online)
  • Edition:
    First edition
  • Place of Publication:
    London
  • Published Online:
    2019
The Design Politics of the Passport
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The Design Politics of the Passport presents an innovative study of the passport and its associated social, political and material practices as a means of uncovering the workings of ‘design politics’. It traces the histories, technologies, power relations and contestations around this small but powerful artefact to establish a framework for understanding how design is always enmeshed in the political, and how politics can be understood in terms of material objects.

Combining design studies with critical border studies, alongside ethnographic work among undocumented migrants, border transgressors and passport forgers, this book shows how a world made and designed as open and hospitable to some is strictly enclosed, confined and demarcated for many others - and how those affected by such injustices dissent from the immobilities imposed on them through the same capacity of design and artifice.