[-empyre-] : Across borders and networks: migrants, asylum seekers, or refugee?

Ian Paul ianalanpaul at gmail.com
Wed Feb 17 04:27:13 AEDT 2016

While it's perhaps not so productive for us to say that borders and
migrations are simply symptomatic of larger systems/histories, it's also
insufficient to treat borders and migrations as discrete or autonomous
objects of study. What is a border, after all, if not a particular way of
articulating a relationship between territories, between bodies, between
economies, etc.? This relationality, and all of the complexity it entails,
should be what we're after.

Ricardo cited "Escape Routes" in an earlier thread, and I think that text
in particular could be useful for us in the sense that the authors approach
borders and migrations in this multitudinous fashion: as material realities
in the present that are also structured by epistemological, geological,
political, ethical, and economic bordering(s) that seamlessly function
alongside/within/through the border practices of nation states.

I think the challenge in many ways for us is in understanding borders and
migrations (and their networks) in their historical specificity, while also
understanding how those specificities are (re)produced in much more
expansive processes that both exceed and precede them. And so, how can we
think of borders and migrations as being both cause and effect? Both agent
and object? Things that both separate and tie together? We should be able
to think of borders as being both productive and repressive, enabling
certain forms of life while seeking to eradicate others. We should be able
to think of migrations as being an expression of freedom and perhaps even
poetry, while also being able to think of them as also at times being
driven by necessity and survival. I want to be thinking on these
topologies: freedom *and* survival, repression *and* production.


On Tue, Feb 16, 2016 at 1:27 AM, Babak Fakhamzadeh <
babak.fakhamzadeh at gmail.com> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Hi Johannes,
> I like your musings, but you're putting up quite a list of potential
> discussion points. :)
> Should we discuss the wars? Perhaps. But, what, then is in need of
> discussion? That is, to what extent is the current Syrian/Iraqi
> conflict open to interpretation? I doubt few of us on this list are
> fooled by western/American propaganda in relation to the sources of
> the conflict and most of us probably have a decent understanding of
> the actual players in the conflict. But, also, we're focussing on
> migration and refugees, not on the war, no?
> --
> Babak Fakhamzadeh | babak.fakhamzadeh at gmail.com |
> http://BabakFakhamzadeh.com
> Ask me for my PGP public key to send me encrypted email.
> On Tue, Feb 16, 2016 at 2:41 AM, Ana Valdés <agora158 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> > Johannes I was deliberately in the use of the words callosity because my
> question is: do we really change a thing in the lives of the refugees or
> the migrants discussing the concept but not the roots? As Ian wrote we
> should maybe discuss the war itself or the inequalities. A discussion hands
> on is maybe the thing related in the first weeks travel to Calais and teach
> refugees English or computer skills or make theatre or dance with them
> write down their stories record their flight.
> > Ana
> >
> > Skickat från min iPhone
> >
> >> 15 feb 2016 kl. 20:56 skrev Johannes Birringer <
> Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk>:
> >>
> >> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> >> Dear all,
> >>
> >> Header:  it actually would make sense to track back to opening
> statement for this month. For me, it raised many questions, for example
> what the 'networked existence' of a refugee or migrant or asylum seeker is
> meant to denote, in the question/ proposition? And Babak, Huub, Ricardo -
> do you not eloquently evoke a crisis of the from, not the to, the issue of
> why people are fleeing?   Have we discussed the wars?
> >>
> >> Well, Ana, what would hands on discussion be for you?
> >>
> >> I really appreciated all posts, and I found Christina's painting very
> powerful, maybe because I saw it on the  same day that someone,
> accidentally (and yes I despise superbowls and police Kettling/enclosures,
> and huge movies that strive  to awe us, like The Revenant), sent me a
> mapping of the US in the 18th and 19th centuries of annexation and theft of
> millions of acres of native American lands, the map was created by Claudio
> Saunt, more about that mapping tomorrow. (and i hate the mumbling of native
> american languages in The Revenant).
> >> Today, I marvel at what Ana means by the callosity of poetry, is it
> callous or cynical to draw, to make dance, to write, to sing? and what
> exactly is political activism in the era of post democracy? What are border
> tools and apps that won't be available to the  migrant from Bolivia or
> Honduras making her way up to Mexico and then Texas? How long do your
> phones and laptop batteries last for the poetry to kick in? Would she are
> what you call her and definebher as, would we a voice here from the ones
> talked about?  And then, writers and researchers, at the limits of language
> (as Christina and Irina pointed out), artists, scholars and activists -
> what do we chat about here, then?
> >>
> >> Regards
> >> Johannes Birringer
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
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> >> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
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