Border surveillance and the politics of visualization

Date: 10 February, 12.30-13.45
Venue: Ravelijn, RA 1247
Speaker: Prof.dr. Huub Dijstelbloem
University of Amsterdam (UvA) / Scientific Council for Government Policy , The Hague (WRR)


Border surveillance and mobility management in Europe to monitor and control the influx of migrants allows for the application of technologies of all sorts. Radar imaging, fingerprinting, databases and pattern recognition have gradually transformed border surveillance in a kind of ‘laboratory’ in which states aim to relate information of the past, the present and the future in order to increase the ‘situational awareness’ of critical events. States’ attempts to make migrants and mobility more ‘readable’ often result in specific categorizations that include some groups of migrants but exclude others. By analyzing the maneuvers of state agents, international NGOs and grassroots organization in opening up and closing down critical events, this lecture aims to interpret the politics of a technological society as a specific interplay between what becomes ‘visible’ and what remains ‘invisible’.