Iconographies of 'Taking Back Control'


  • Karine Chambefort-Kay Université Paris Est Créteil / IMAGER, Paris, France


As the Brexit drama unfolded in the UK, the slogan of ‘taking back control’ became the mantra of the 'Leave' campaign in the 2016 referendum, pointing to the perceived loss of sovereignty of the country to the benefit of European institutions. ‘Leavers’ demanded the redrawing of legalboundaries which they felt to have been blurred by the overlapping of European and national political institutions. The myth of pre-European national sovereignty was now feeding the myth of ‘taking back control’. Physical boundaries also became a stake when the campaign took an anti-immigrant turn: Leavers advocated against the free circulation of workers from the EU and for the restoration of borders. Notably, during the campaign, the UKIP party (UK Independence Party, pro-Brexit,) resorted to misleading maps that seemed to announce a further enlargement of Europe to the confines of Syria. Such distortion of facts was meant to arouse fear of an uncontrollable wave of immigrants coming to Britain.


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How to Cite

Chambefort-Kay, K. (2021). Iconographies of ’Taking Back Control’. ARCHIVO PAPERS, 1(2). Retrieved from http://archivopapersjournal.com/ojs/index.php/apj/article/view/9