Bordering On The Inconceivable : The Pacific Solution, The Migration Zone, And 'Australia's 9/11'

Document Type

Journal Article


The University of Queensland


Faculty of Education and Arts


School of Communications and Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications




Green, L. (2004). Bordering on the inconceivable: the Pacific solution, the migration zone, and 'Australia's 9/11'. Australian Journal of Communication, 31(1), 19.


This paper analyses the injudicious redrawing of Australian boundaries and borders in response to 'the others' who fled terror, and in response to 'our own' who experienced the force of terror in the Bali bombings of 12 October 2002. It asks what conception of Australia these shrinking borders and razor-wired caps demonstrate - designed as they are to communicate an anti-humanitarian response to those desperate few who brave geographical, legal, and political barriers in an attempt to seek safe haven. In contrast with the geographically 'small Australia' for migration purposes is the widespread reaction to the Bali bombings as 'Australia's 9/11'. Perceptions of the tragedy and trauma in Kuta Beach as equivalent to the 9/11 attacks on America construct the Indonesian island of Bali as part of Australia's emotional/psychological territory. In negotiating the friable boundaries between itself and 'the other', has Australia lost the sense of its place in the world?

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