Seminário || 2020 Migrating Rights | Keywords


Martina Tazzioli (Goldsmiths, University of London)

March 30, 2020, 14h30 (CANCELLED)

SEminar Room (2nd Floor), CES | Sofia

Discussants: Cristina Santinho (CRIA-ISCTE), Sílvia Roque (CES) | Moderator: Joana Sousa Ribeiro (CES)


As part of the 2020 Migrating Rights | Keywords event series, the seminar the “Constellation of technologies and asylum's obstructions Refugees as forced techno-users, beyond victimisation and securitisation” will take place to elaborate on the fourth keyword of the series #Humanitarianism. As with the preceding events related to the keywords #Border, #Interculturalism and Populism and #Middle Passages, this seminar too will contribute to the development of a critical understanding of issues related to migrations and border regimes.

Keyword #4 | Humanitarianism


Constellation of technologies and asylum's obstructions | Refugees as forced techno-users, beyond victimisation and securitisation by Martina Tazzioli

This presentation focuses on the constellation of technologies that migrants need to navigate in Greece, and it shows how technologies are incorporated in refugee humanitarianism in a way that multiply the obstructions in accessing the asylum system and the financial support they are entitled to. Such an insight into techno-humanitarianism leads us to complicate analyses that focus on the securitisation and victimisation of refugees, investigating how asylum seekers are governed as forced techno-users. Asylum seekers are not only crafted as risky subjects and subjects at risk; nor are they simply shaped as entrepreneurs of themselves. Rather, logics of securitisation and victimisation are intertwined with the production of hindered subjects, who are legally and physically obstructed in navigating the asylum regime.

The talk deals with the Cash Assistance Programme, which is the first EU-funded project in Europe of financial support to the asylum seekers, and it explores how through the prepaid cards asylum seekers are expected to behave as responsible techno-users and, at the same time, to comply with a series of disciplinary and spatial restrictions. The presentation goes on with an analysis of the peculiar financialisation of refugee humanitarianism within a broad constellation of technologies that are mandatory in Greece (e.g. Skype, Viber) to access the asylum or to use the cards. In the third part, I analyse the governing of refugees through epistemic disorienting, illustrating how that is at the core of techno-humanitarianism: asylum seekers as forced-techno users need to confront with a panoply of technological and bureaucratic steps that are frantically changed over time.

The talk concludes with some considerations about how to rethink critique of refugee govermentality in light of the constellation of obstructing technologies that more than monitoring and tracking refugees, disempower them in claiming rights and organising collective struggles.