Post by Leanne Weber, Associate Professor at Monash University, Melbourne. Leanne is a Director at The Border Crossing Observatory. She is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow researching the policing of internal borders, and a Chief Investigator on the ARC-funded projects Fluid Security in the Asia Pacific and The Australian Deportation Project. This post was originally published here.

Image by Tony Schwensen
Associate Professor Leanne Weber has joined with visual artists and curators to discuss contemporary borders at a public seminar held at the Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA). The event was associated with a stunning exhibition on Borders, Barriers, Walls, curated by Francis Parker. In the words of MUMA director Charlotte Day, the exhibition ‘explores physical and psychic barriers, between and inside nation states, metaphorical and literal―the walls that keep people in or keep others out, that defend or protect or exclude.’

The highly engaged audience was drawn largely from the visual arts, but there was no difficulty in finding a common language with which to discuss the meaning and nature of borders across disciplines. Leanne presented a ‘retrospective’ of the work of the Border Crossing Observatory with an emphasis on the theorisation of borders from a critical criminological perspective. Themes that resonated particularly well with the audience, and with the many provocative works displayed in the exhibition, included the myth of globalisation producing a borderless world; the idea of performative, de-territorialised borders; the operation of hidden power through virtual borders; and the human costs and implications of border control.

With the importance of ‘impact’ looming large for academics in all disciplines, there appears to be real promise for collaborations between social scientists and creative artists to communicate research outcomes in powerful, diverse and accessible ways. Such an approach aligns with a stated objective at MUMA to explore ‘the role that artists can play in engaging critically with the most urgent social, political and cultural issues.’

Borders, Barriers, Walls is open to the public until 2 July 2016.

Any comments about this post? Get in touch with us! Send us an email, or post a comment here or on Facebook. You can also tweet us.


How to cite this blog post (Harvard style):

Weber, L. (2016) Seeing borders from the perspectives of criminology and visual arts. Available at: (Accessed [date]).