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Histories of humanitarian technophilia: how imaginaries of media technologies have shaped migration infrastructures
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Media and Communication Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8401-5511
Utrecht University, the Netherlands ; Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4765-6464
2021 (English)In: Mobilities, ISSN 1745-0101, E-ISSN 1745-011X, Vol. 16, no 5, p. 670-687Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Contemporary migration infrastructures commonly reflect imaginaries of technological solutionism. Fantasies of efficient ordering, administrating and limiting of refugee bodies in space and time through migration infrastructures are distinctive, but not novel as they draw on long historical lineages. Drawing on archival records, we present a case-study on post-World-War-II refugee encampments. By highlighting the deeply historical role of media in migration governance, i.e. the act of mediation through technological infrastructuring, we seek to bring together the fields of migration studies and media studies. We argue that this cross-fertilization helps to historically untangle power dimensions, inherent workings, as well as human experiences imbued in the tech-based management of migration ‘crises’. Uncovering historical underpinnings of digitalized asylum regimes through the prism of media infrastructures, and socio-technical imaginaries surrounding them, points at continuities and genealogies of containing and managing people in time and space, reaching into technologies of colonial and fascist projects. We thus seek to explore the assumptions that drive the build-up of migration and media infrastructures: How are migrants, camps, media and their infrastructural interrelations imagined? Which cultural horizons are reflected in technologies, which functions are imagined for whom, and how are utilitarian ideas about humanitarianism and migration control embedded?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2021. Vol. 16, no 5, p. 670-687
Keywords [en]
Migration infrastructure; media infrastructure; refugee camps; refugee history; media history
National Category
Media Studies History of Technology Cultural Studies
Research subject
Critical and Cultural Theory
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-46191DOI: 10.1080/17450101.2021.1960186ISI: 000683656100001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85112210295OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-46191DiVA, id: diva2:1584203
Part of project
The (dis)connected refugee: The role of communication technologies in trust-building in Sweden and Germany, The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 31/2016Available from: 2021-08-11 Created: 2021-08-11 Last updated: 2022-10-18Bibliographically approved

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Seuferling, Philipp

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • apa-old-doi-prefix.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-harvard.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-oxford.csl
  • Other style
More styles
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  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
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