WP269 Navigating airport security as a Person of Colour



This paper explores the experience of navigating Amsterdam Schiphol airport as a Dutch Person of Colour. It asks how, and in what ways, language-use can (re)affirm the body of Colour as one that is seen as ?out of place? in a securitised environment. This is initially done through the application of Critical Discourse Analysis on Schiphol airport?s website, as well as security signs in the airport, which is then complemented by an ethnographic investigation into individual interpersonal encounters at the airport.? Drawing on work by Foucault (1982), Ahmed (2000 and 2006), Fairclough (1995) and Molotch (2011), the airport is examined as a space that coerces everybody into compliance with high levels of (self-)surveillance. However, this paper?s findings are that some bodies are more targeted by this coercion than others. It is particularly through certain modes of address implicitly signaling inclusion or exclusion, that People of Colour are made to be compliant with normative dichotomies of ?familiar/stranger?, or risk being seen as a troublemaker, a precarious body endangering the safety of the surroundings.