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Global mobility injustice: affects and temporalities of deterrence, detention and deportation


Sept 28 - 30


Prof. Sabine Strasser, UNIBE

Dr. Gerhild Perl, UNIBE

M. Moslem Ghomashlouyan, UNIBE


Prof. Shahram Khosravi, University of Stockholm

Prof. Martin Sökefeld, LMU München


Mobility of people, goods and capital is an inherent feature of our globalized times. While capital and goods are moving faster and faster, people crossing borders are increasingly differentiated in tourists or other elites with an appropriate passport and 'bogus' asylum seekers informally entering countries and apparently threatening welfare and security systems. The division between deserving and undeserving travelers and the production of racialized, gendered and class related il/legality are the

corner stones of either unimpeded border crossings or an imposed process of waiting in uncertainty. The exclusion, surveillance and removal of "unwanted" travelers creates protracted experiences ofdetainability, deportability and exploitability.


Global mobility injustice generates anger, fear, indignation and uncertainties for travelers craving for a better life as well as for citizens un/willing to protect them. Yet, mobility injustice does not only create affective responses it also encompasses many layers of complex temporalities. In this CUSOmodule we explore how affect and time intersect within politics of deterrence, detention, and deportation. How do people deal with endless periods of (situational or existential) waiting for open routes, for facilitators of journeys or unpredictable court decisions? What is the meaning of time when detention for deportation takes place early in the morning before sunrise or when stuckedness becomes chronic? How do people emotionally respond to unexpected fast changes imposed upon their lives such as deportation overnight, asylum rejection and return flights after months and years of travelling towards an imagined better place? Do concepts such as "time tricking", "time folding" and "time stretching" help to explain temporal agency while being illegalized, detained or deported? How do protracted insecurities produce fear of unpredictable futures and how does precarity over time contribute to constructions of alternative prospects? Finally, how can we mobilize ethnographic research and anthropological concepts to disrupt the representation of informal travelers as 'out of time' and thus subvert the reproduction of processes of othering? 


In this workshop, we will discuss how the differentiation in deserving and undeserving travelers create affects such as hope, fear and despair in times of uncertainties. In addition, by foregrounding affects and time as an entangled analytical lens, we explore the social effects of deterrence, detention and deportation as key expressions of global inequality in the 21st century. Along these complex layers of affect and time, this module aims at rethinking anthropologies of migration and mobility by analyzing ethnographic examples of global mobility injustice. We invite contributions from different theoretical and ethnographic perspectives that address ongoing processes of mobility injustice.





Deadline for registration 05.09.2022
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