by Fiona Ferbrache
Last week, fears escalated again in relation to the war on/of terror. Two reports – one from Great Britain (see, BBC News Online) and one in France (Gordon, 2010) – highlighted the rising terror threat in both countries; the former from dissident Irish republicans and the latter from Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Yesterday, a trip to Toulouse airport revealed a visible armed-police presence inside the passenger terminal. A little ethnographic research observed how their being there attracted the gaze and comments of passers-by, although whether they inspired a sense of safety or evoked apprehension remained to be seen.
‘Geographies of Fear’ (see, also ‘violent geographies’) have diversified in the last decade owing to geopolitical events and a range of ‘new’ fears associated with these phenomena. Among them, research into fears connected to the war on/of terror, experienced in and by the western world, as explored by Pain (2010) in Geography Compass. One of the main objectives of Pain’s article is to argue that fears near terrorism sites should be perceived as exceptional rather that routinised, as often represented in the media. A second objective helps to illustrate who is most affected by fears of terrorism and Pain identities marginalised minority groups based on ethnicity, race or religion, thus providing an agenda for future research in this field.
BBC News (Online) (2010) Irish terror threat rise worrying BBC News 24 25 September 2010
Gordon, S. (2010) France warned of ‘very real’ terror threat. Sky News (online) 22 September 2010