Infrastructure Space and the Future of Migration Management

The EU Hotspots in the Mediterranean Borderscape

Kenny Cupers, Alaa Dia, Dr. Chiara Pagano, Artemis-Maria Fyssa

This project proposes a comparative, interdisciplinary and multi-sited exploration of the infrastructure of migration management in five countries located in the Mediterranean borderscape (Greece, Italy, Libya, Tunisia, Turkey). Consisting of a pluridisciplinary research team of political scientists, architects and sociologists, it will examine and compare the infrastructure of the new Hotspot approach of the EU both in the operational hotspot facilities in Greece and Italy, as well in its complementary extensions in Turkey, Tunisia and Libya. The research will provide a visual mapping and documentation to grasp the physical scope of this infrastructure in the Mediterranean borderscape. To examine the hotspots as an infrastructure space the project will also conduct comparative ethnographic analysis to explore the complex interactions between government policies (at the EU and member state levels), technical apparatuses (from fences to fingerprinting devices), security and humanitarian practices (such as border patrolling and search-and rescue operations), consultancy expertise, and political contestation of by citizens and non-citizens (at the local and international level). The project aims to develop a new framework for the analysis of the power of infrastructure in migration management that deciphers how infrastructure not only enables migration policies but reconfigures social and political relations in the affected localities and beyond.

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Image: Lampedusa hotspot © Dr. Vicki Squire, 2016