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Of crustacean blood and ant infection: Life in the migration exclusion zone, Christmas Island, Australia



This paper is framed by the cultural politics of nationhood in contemporary Australia and particularly by the ways in which the nation has sought to produce borders that have manifested themselves as altered cartographic boundaries and exclusion zones. The paper itself is concerned with life on Christmas Island, and is focused on the ways in which multiethnic Christmas Island locals use blood metaphors drawn from the Island’s native Christmas Island red crabs and alien, predatory yellow ants, to articulate patterns of human movement and migration into island space. The metaphors reveal coalescences between the body of the self, the other, nature, and the island place. I explore these coalescences to present a picture of migration and movement from the perspective of those who live within the migration exclusion zone.