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Seized: Performance Autoethnography in the UK Border Force National Museum

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>25/02/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Millennium : Journal of International Studies
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date25/02/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

This article examines representations of border security within public museums, through the example of the UK Border Force National Museum. It begins by discussing the way that international borders are theatrically experienced, and the parallel characteristics of museum spaces. I then suggest the value of performance autoethnography when analysing such phenomena, which arises from the ability to creatively situate personal experience alongside institutional scripts of border control. The article then presents a performance autoethnography that illustrates my experiences within the Border Force museum. This provides new insights into the theatrical framing of the museum and its effect on visitor interpretations. The article demonstrates that the Border Force museum replicates the theatricality of border control sites, and thus supports the ordering of bodies into insiders and outsiders; however, creative methods for knowledge production might offer a means of challenging existing border taxonomies, especially when personal experience is circulated through theatrical means.