Limerick, Ireland
Fiona Hackett, Extraterritorial, 2007, 11 photographs, each 59 x 75 cm

Fiona Hackett


Extraterritorial is the term used to describe the status enjoyed by diplomatic missions under international law. The term means that the diplomatic mission is considered part of the territory of the home country rather that being part of the host country, and as a result is exempt from local law. The host country may not enter the representing country’s embassy without permission, and, as such, is a part of another country within Ireland.

Within the context of these extraterritorial spaces, the images explore how culture influences and changes the space. These interior spaces become metaphors for social and cultural relations – the interrelationship between the culture of the host country and the home country and the intra-relationships between different countries across the world. In these spaces of culture it becomes possible to consider the geopolitics of boundaries and borders, the development of globalisation, how cultures define and mark identity, and ultimately how we make sense of and live in this world.

This ongoing project commenced in late 2006, where permission to photograph the room typically used to host receptions was sought from some thirty (of the then fifty-five) embassies based in Dublin. Though some did refuse, most were happy to give permission. Here are these extraterritorial spaces.

(Text: too early for vacation catalogue, 2008)

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