A new landscape for security? Harvesting ‘hope’ for a better protection of human mobility

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This intervention considers the potential for ‘hope’ to act as an analytical tool to examine mobility, precariousness and the quest for security in the context of migrants’ exploitation, or ‘modern-day slavery’, in Australia. The image selected depicts a bucolic landscape which elicits a sense of relaxation and connection with our roots. Such a landscape speaks of our ancestry, familiarity, security, and hopes in ‘our’ territory. Yet this image represents not one but multiple stories. One of these stories connects to experiences of migrants’ exploitation, which is unrecognised by those refusing to acknowledge the harsh realities underlying such idealised imagery. This image, in which the worker is not visible but their presence leaves both an economic and non-economic trace in the rural or urban landscapes, also represents the sovereign power of the state. In this context this bucolic landscape is the backdrop for the re-enactment of post-imperialism and post-colonialism, evidenced in the government’s securitisation narrative and reinforced through the rhetoric of discontent and distrust for the ‘other’. This piece concludes with a reflection on how we can ‘practise hope’ through rendering visible the invisible and proposes ‘hope’ as a motivator to link positively human security with human mobility to see such landscape anew.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-83
Number of pages6
JournalCritical Studies on Security
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Human mobility
  • Migrants’ exploitation
  • Exploitation
  • Exploitation of migrants
  • modern-day slavery
  • Australia
  • post-imperialism
  • post-colonialism
  • human security


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