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FLOV, SOCAV STS and MERGU seminarium: Infrastructuring Migration: Three multi-sited stories about mobility and recrafted technosocial orders

Research profile seminar

Fredy Mora Gamez, Technology & Social Change, Linköping University

Infrastructures for migration and border control mediate access to rights and forms of citizenship for people in different localities across the globe. In the Greek islands of Lesvos, applicants queue in Registration and Identification Centers where several screenings and assessments take place. There, biometric measurements are routinely collected to establish the background-identity of applicants and regulate their mobility between EU Member States. Similarly, in different cities of Colombia, the country with the second most Internally Displaced Persons, migrants arrive at Centres of Assistance from red zones across the country. Here, official forms and assessment protocols must be filled in, fingerprinted and stamped to be transformed into official databases conditioning access to various forms of compensation.

My presentation will initially describe how human rights projects like EU Solidarity and Colombia¿s reparations programme are grounded in the collection of indicators, official statistics, databases and paper objects. Building on the notion of relational mobility as an effect of ¿infrastructural moorings¿ (Urry, 2003) I pay special attention to human and nonhuman actors shaping migration within specific relational frames (Lin, Lindquist, Xiang and Yeoh, 2017: 169). Taking this a step further, I suggest the gerund Infrastructur-ing to analyse ordering processes and activities of framing, where heterogeneous entities are aligned with specific roles. Infrastructuring migration refers then to a set of sociomaterial outcomes and orders where migration, objects and other emerging entities like statehood are aligned with one another in specific ways.

Infrastructuring migration is not a unidirectional process in which people are passively affected. Actors translate, betray and resist sociotechnical systems of capture in ways that are not necessarily pre-established. As critical migration studies show, mobility exceeds the categories of capture (Papadopoulos et al, 2008) and people develop arrangements to navigate contention (Tsianos, 2010). In the second part of my presentation, I will discuss whether we can also frame alternative arrangements developed by social movements of migrants as spaces of Infrastructuring. Drawing on ethnographic materials from Colombia and Greece, I use the repertoire of STS to gain a better understanding of everyday sociomaterial innovations, transformative practices of crafting, shared forms of literacy, and the sociomaterial arrangements established by social movements. These arrangements are visible in non-instituted spaces where statehood is not necessarily the main issue. In this journey, STS also becomes a potential means for the contestation of sociotechnical systems enacting migration-border control.

Fredy Mora Gamez is a Postodoctoral Researcher in Technology and Social Change (Tema T) at the Department of Thematic Studies, Linköping University. He has a doctoral degree from the University of Leicester and a Magister in Social Studies of Science from Universidad Nacional de Colombia.

Date: 11/15/2019

Time: 1:15 PM - 3:00 PM

Categories: Social Sciences

Location: F 417

Contact person: Elena Bogdanova

Page Manager: |Last update: 9/15/2015

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