Trapped in (In)visibility: Contested Intercorporeality in Undocumented migrants’ Lives

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The paper draws attention to contexts in which livelihood and residence opportunities to migrants without formal status are meagre, specifically Nordic countries where policies towards undocumented persons have notably tightened. In such conditions, invisibility becomes a key characteristic of life. The paper introduces a broad conception of visibility that identifies different ways of seeing and being (un)seen, as part of embodied agency that turns intercorporeal at the presence of other people. Drawing from existing Nordic scholarship that we read through Helmuth Plessner’s philosophical anthropology, we argue that in situations where personhood becomes challenged by forced (in)visibility, undocumented migrants are compelled to build and maintain a façade between their experienced self and social self. This allows them to manage to be seen yet not exposed, but often with dire consequences to their well-being and agency as persons.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Mar 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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