[-empyre-] Hotspotting-technology and immigration management

Huub Dijstelbloem dijstelbloem at gmail.com
Tue Feb 9 07:59:10 AEDT 2016


Hi Ricardo,



“I was wondering how your work traces out the question of how virtual
fences function in creating targeted visibility (as expanded forms
surveillance)
of immigration, how does migration hotspot* management function shutdown
invisibility and escape routes?”



Thanks for bringing in that question, it goes right at the center of some
things I have recently been working on. As I mentioned in my first post,
border surveillance policies in Europe in general and this new strategy of
hotspotting in particular mistakenly assume you can define a region as a
border just by taking in a North-West perspective. Defining the Aegean as a
border is a denial of history and a denial of transactions and exchanges
that have been going on culturally, socially, economically and religiously
between different regions for centuries.  So by defining a region as a
hotspot the first thing that happens is that all kinds of existing
relationships between a state and civil society on the one hand and between
different social organizations on the other are put under pressure. Some of
the consequences we see already. Following the questionable (to say the
least) Greek example, several European member states are studying on
jurisdiction to arrest people who support migrants (“irregular migrants” as
they are officially referred to) on the accusation of smuggling. Another
example that has been going on for a couple of years now on islands like
Chios and Lesbos is that the state closes down refugee camps that have been
created with the help of local people and grassroots organizations. So what
first was welcomed as an initiative from civil society to support the state
in housing migrants and providing them with food and health care because
the state lacked all kinds of resources (the result of a combination of
years of austerity with a lack of migration policy) is now condemned as a
criminal act, as illegally supporting illegal people. To come down to my
point, this strategy of hotspotting by defining an area as a high voltage
border and putting it under permanent control demolishes the visual
manifestations of solidarity and voluntary support and turns the long
existing relationships between state and society invisible. In doing so it
takes away one of the most important democratic tools of a group of people
namely the possibility of imaging itself as a community in relationship
with others by visualizing its deeds and performing public acts. So I think
the paradigmatic interplay between the visible and the invisible is not
just performed on an instrumental level by covering things up and exposing
others but on a political level as it interferes with a society’s
possibilities to be visible to itself as a society.



I can share some examples of activist’s attempts to re-visualize the
society’s concern for migrants on the Aegean islands in a next post,



Best,

Huub



*According to the E.U. Commission: "A Hotspot is characterized by specific
and disproportionate migratory pressure,
consisting of mixed migratory flows, which are largely linked to the
smuggling of migrants, and where the Member
State concerned might request support of better cope with the migratory
pressure."

Prof. dr. Huub Dijstelbloem
WRR - www.wrr.nl
UvA -
http://www.uva.nl/over-de-uva/organisatie/medewerkers/content/d/i/h.o.dijstelbloem/h.o.dijstelbloem.html
Academia - https://amsterdam.academia.edu/HuubDijstelbloem

2016-02-08 13:55 GMT+01:00 Ricardo Dominguez <rrdominguez at ucsd.edu>:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>
> Hola Huub y Tod at s,
>
> I was wondering how your work traces out the question of how virtual
> fences function in creating targeted visibility (as expanded forms
> surveillance) of immigration, how does migration hotspot* management
> function shutdown invisibility and
> escape routes?
>
> *According to the E.U. Commission: "A Hotspot is characterized by specific
> and disproportionate migratory pressure,
> consisting of mixed migratory flows, which are largely linked to the
> smuggling of migrants, and where the Member
> State concerned might request support of better cope with the migratory
> pressure."
>
> Very best,
> Ricardo
>
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
>
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