Is security seen? Is security seen in images of peace and safety, or is it perceived in the depiction of the horrors of violence and suffering? Vision has played a crucial role in shaping the modern Western preoccupation with, and prioritisation of security. Historically, it has done so not in the neat presentation of perceived images, but in the activation of a desire for security in the depiction of its absence. This ocular demonstration has been heightened by the ‘war on terror’ conducted by neo-liberal states since 2003. Neo-liberal security is ‘Antigonish security’ - an uncanny presence that is not there. Neo-liberal security is continually evoked, and constantly anticipated. In the reiterated images of horror amplified by the seemingly endless ‘war on terror’, security operates as a terrifying visual reflex: we cannot see it but in new horrors.

About Visual Politics Seminar Series

Listed below are the past and upcoming sessions of the Visual Poltics Seminar Series. Beginning from September 2016, the majority of seminars can be heard on the UQ POLSIS YouTube channel. If you would like more details, have any questions, or if you would like to present your own work please contact Prof Roland Bleiker at