Processing Alterity. Digital registration of migrants as co-production of citizens and Europe
Annalisa Pelizza, University of Bologna and University of Twente
Historically, population and territorial information flows have contributed to the formation of the most powerful techno-social assemblage for knowledge handling – the nation-state. How do contemporary data infrastructures for processing non-European populations shape the multi-level European construction?
This lecture introduces the “Processing Citizenship” project (ERC StG No 714463) in the context of the broader research trajectory which I named “Vectorial Glance” (Pelizza 2016). The project asks how contemporary information infrastructures for processing “the Other” – migrants and refugees at the border, as well as inside Europe – shape the European order. As such, it aspires to contribute to technology studies on the infrastructural integration of Europe with a focus on information infrastructures. The lecture introduces data infrastructures for “alterity processing” as a field of inquiry concerned both with the management of Otherness and with the infrastructural construction of polities. Drawing on evidence collected at Hotspots involved in registration and identification (R&I) procedures in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as on design documents of data architectures, it suggests that institutional practices, (meta)data and procedures designed to translate unknown people into European-readable identities co-produce migrant people and polities.
Katia Pilati, University of Trento
Lorenzo Beltrame, University of Trento
Eliana Fattorini, University of Trento