In January 2004, the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben caused a controversy when he canceled a course he was scheduled to teach at New York University, refusing to travel to the United States as a result of the introduction of new security measures that required foreign nationals to submit their fingerprints for entry into the United States. Following this, Agamben published a short article titled “No to Bio-Political Tattooing,” in which he explained his reasons and motivation for taking such a stance against these security measures. His refusal to subject his body and its biometric characteristics to security and surveillance practices was an attempt to resist what he saw, building on the concept borrowed from Michel Foucault, as “the progressive animalisation of man which is established ...

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