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  • 1.
    Seuferling, Philipp
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Media and Communication Studies.
    Leurs, Koen
    Utrecht University, the Netherlands ; Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
    Histories of humanitarian technophilia: how imaginaries of media technologies have shaped migration infrastructures2021In: Mobilities, ISSN 1745-0101, E-ISSN 1745-011X, Vol. 16, no 5, p. 670-687Article in journal (Refereed)
    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?

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