Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Nick Lally


This project examines digital maps and images made by migrants and activists traversing or helping others to traverse the Greek-Turkish maritime border in 2015 and early 2016, when over a million people arrived to European shores, mostly by way of the Aegean Sea. These maps were made using applications such as Google Maps, Bing Maps,, and WhatsApp and circulated on public Facebook groups and pages. Through a visual analysis of these digital artifacts, I look at how they can be read to witness and contest deadly border geographies produced through migratory policies and practices of deterrence. Further, I argue that these map and image making practices innovate new evidentiary forms with which to visualize border space and document the violence inflicted there. Approaching migrant-activists as creative and adept cartographers, the resulting map artifacts this project examines are sites where aesthetic border politics, critical cartography, and counter-forensic practice come together in generative ways.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

American Association of Geographers Cartography Specialty Group Master’s Thesis Research Grant (2022)

Department of Geography, University of Kentucky, Barnhardt-Withington-Block Research Funding (2022)

Available for download on Saturday, May 10, 2025

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Geography Commons