Accepted paper:

Undoing the border: digital and material reconfigurations of routes and spaces for migrants/refugees

Authors:

Vasilis Galis (IT University of Copenhagen )
Jane Summerton (VTI/Swedish National Road & Transport Research Institute)
Aristotle Tympas (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)

Paper short abstract:

This paper will discuss how migrants and refugees use multiple low- and high-tech assemblages of humans and non-humans to create alternative pathways, practices and resistance against borders. The paper is exploratory and is based on multiple sources such as interviews and net-based materials.

Paper long abstract:

The flow of migrants and refugees, as well as the material arrangements that support, restrict or control such flows, entail shifting entanglements of humans and non-humans. On the one hand, the politics of delineating borders has always involved the use of policing technologies for identifying and displacing undesired migrant subjects. On the other hand, recent work has also pointed to the ways in which migrants and refugees use multiple technologies to resist and circumvent such bordering practices. Social media, smart telephones with multiple apps, computers, and other technologies provide migrants on the move information regarding navigation, safe passages, and police controls, as well as to create and sustain crucial networks. More low-tech assemblages include specially adjusted crypts in lorries enable clandestine migrants to cross borders. Our paper will discuss how migrants and refugees use multiple low- and high-tech assemblages of humans and non-humans to create alternative pathways, practices and resistance against borders by e.g. configuring new routes and spaces for travel. Following Bey (2011), we will analyze these spaces, routes and zones as temporary autonomous zones. We will show the ways in which alternative technologies, or the alternative use of technologies, are used to create such zones. Based on migration narratives, we will thus investigate how migrants attempt to circumvent national and supranational authorities' control over borders by the effective developing of a temporary infrastructural autonomy. The paper is exploratory and is based on multiple sources such as interviews and net-based materials.

panel T085
Infrastructures, subjects, politics