This article draws on ethnographic fieldwork to explore how affect and emotions are used in migration awareness campaigns and how local communities respond. ‘Aspiration management’ works to instil a sense in would-be Senegalese migrants that their hopes of migration to Europe are both dangerous and futile. The author argues that affective borderwork works at a different level than other border activities connected to legal and physical migration control. By cultivating particular emotions and morally-embedded geographies, these campaigns promote an inner, self-regulating border in the minds and bodies of people.