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W6: Technology at/of the border: a workshop about stories and experiences

FAV 01 C, Favoritenstr. 9-11, 1st Floor, Room: HE0108

In a time of increased (forced) migration, the borders of many countries are not only experienced physically. We are witnessing new ways in which borders are being created, re-created and evolved. In this workshop we are concerned about borders mediated by digital technologies. We aim to bring together researchers and local organisations working with migrants and refugees to investigate the interplay between borders and technology. We aim to explore how borders are defined within the digital age, how they are experienced, and discuss how technology is used to enforce, challenge and overcome borders. For more information, please visit: http://displaced-hci.info/

Thursday 30 May 2019

People

Organisers

  • Maximilian Krüger - University of Siegen, Siegen, Germany
  • Konstantin Aal - University of Siegen, Siegen, Germany
  • Volker Wulf - University of Siegen, Siegen, Germany
  • Ana Bustamante Duarte PGM Department / ITC, University of Twente, The Netherlands
  • Karen E. Fisher - University of Washington, Seattle, USA
  • Franziska Maria Tachtler - HCI Group, TU Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  • Eiad Yafi - Universiti Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Reem Talhouk - Open Lab, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  • Koula Charitonos - Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University, Milton Keynes UK

Tuesday 4 June 2019

Activities

  • Welcome
  • Participant Presentations
  • Defining Borders
  • Exploring how technologies are enforcing borders
  • Exploring how technologies are challenging borders
  • Exploring how technologies are being used to navigate borders
  • Groups presenting back
  • Exploring the role of HCI research in understanding of the interplay between technologies and borders
  • Wrap up & next steps

Technology for stretching borders

Technology for stretching borders

"Technology is used to enforce borders, but also to challenge them."

Technology for stretching borders

Technology for stretching borders

Technology for stretching borders

Technology for stretching borders

Technology for stretching borders

"The technologies we now have at borders are just to restrict people."

Technology for stretching borders

Technology for stretching borders

Technology for stretching borders

Wednesday 5 June 2019

Outcomes

The workshop offered an exploratory space to share, discuss, and begin to investigate the topic of Borders in HCI in a migration-related context from a broader perspective. During the morning session four case studies were presented, covering:

  1. The used of personas as a design resource to ignite discussions on the shaping of technologies dealing and addressing borders with newcomers.
  2. The use of social media use for trespassing national borders in political activism.
  3. The case of undocumented people and the potential use of social media generated data in this context.
  4. A speculative design example of a disruptive digital service for migrants to overcome the enforcement of borders.

From the discussions in the morning, we began in the afternoon to summarise some of the points around How do we define borders, in the context of this workshop?

  • Reflections on and distinctions between the concepts of borders, bordering, and boundaries were, focussing on borders as geopolitical barriers particularly seen from the phenomenon of migration.
    • Borders were associated with: fences, barriers, databases used to identify people, among others. They were also seen as: one-sided and acting as filters, permanent but also not static in one moment in time, fixed in some cases but also dynamic since they can be attached not only to the literal border but to other institutions, elements, objects representing them, and to be related to cultural, social and geopolitical aspects. Borders were mentioned to be able to be visible in some cases and invisibles in others. Lastly, borders were also seen in our discussion, as Johnson et al 2011 referred to them, as “spatially stretching”.
  • After we initiated a process of exploration on current types of technologies used to enforced borders (prior to arrival, at arrival at the actual border, and afterwards):
    • Within this exercise elements of biometric recognition, fingerprint scanning, used of smartphones from newcomers for profiling, the use of electronic chips in passports, and targeted government advertising in digital entertainment platforms for discouraging newcomers to go to the countries, and the use of drones for surveillance were also mentioned.
  • Finally we explored further the notion of “stretching borders” and identifying case studies was done, as well as to extent some of the examples mentioned to disrupt the used of technology for borders´ surveillance or control in the migration context. Possibilities of organising a follow-up workshop were also proposed.

Wednesday 5 June 2019