SOAS University of London

Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

Carceral Geographies of Migration Control

Dr Lauren Martin (Durham, Department of Geography)

Date: 1 March 2017Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 1 March 2017Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G52

Type of Event: Seminar

This talk will explore the carceral geographies of migration control in Europe. Drawing on carceral geographers’ recent efforts to rethink the relationships between confinement, mobility, and state control, I will explore the ways in which carceral tactics have been put to work beyond the detention center, prison, or camp. The talk will review a series of technologies that work through migrants’ everyday reproductive activities, such as the UK’s Azure Card, pocket money distribution in Italy, and dispersal practices in various EU countries. I analyze how some mechanisms of humanitarian protection—registration, accommodation, and support for destitute migrants—have incorporated surveillance, constrained mobility, and behaviour modification. Through these examples, the paper argues that mobility requirements (to specific shops, for example) and limitations (to home areas, for example), denial of cash, and relationship to dispersal places particular pressure on care relationships between family members and within communities of support. While we must retain a critique of the specific spatialities of detention and imprisonment, the paper shows how we can also trace “carceral circuits” (Gill, Conlon, Moran, and Burridge) at work beyond walls, fences, and cells. This respatialisation of carceral control enrols banal practices of reproduction and care and risks being overshadowed by more spectacular displays of penal control.

About the speaker

Dr Lauren Martin is a Lecturer in the Department of Geography at Durham University and her research interests include legal geographies, borders, migration control, and feminist political geography. Her current research explores the role of non-state organizations in the provision of migrant care and the role of cash and cashlessness in asylum and migration regimes. Her previous work explored airport security practices, US family detention policies, criminalisation and migrant precarity, and political geographies of labour migration. She is currently Reviews and Open Site Co-Editor for Environment and Planning D’s

Organiser: Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

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