Documenting death by policy: Public grievability, migrant lives, and commonplace denials

Anne Demo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Documentary mediums have been called upon to refute denials of mass suffering throughout the twentieth century. This essay argues that refutation is a documentary impulse as defınitive as the mission to amplify marginalized voices. Moreover, patterns in refuting denials of harm and moral responsibility indicate shifting conditions of public grievability. Comparing over a dozen documentaries about Prevention through Deterrence-a border control strategy nationalized under the Clinton administration-the analysis shows that migrant fatality maps and forensic lab footage not only document death but also refute commonplace denials of migrant human rights.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)615-649
Number of pages35
JournalRhetoric and Public Affairs
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language


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