Keynote Lecture on “Digital Europe and its Discontent” with Sandra Ponzanesi (3-4 June, Utrecht University)

Sandra Ponzanesi gave a keynote on “Digital Europe and its Discontent” at the conference on “Digital Global Mobilities. The Role of New Media and Digitization in the Security Approaches of the Refugee Crisis”.

“Digital Europe and its Discontent”

In her talk on “Digital Europe and its Discontent” Ponzanesi proposed an intervention into the notion of Europe as a closed Fortress by foregrounding migrant mobility and digital connectedness as part of everyday life, but also pertaining to new forms of citizenship and urban cosmopolitan belonging.

Though migration to and within Europe is nothing new, the recent ‘refugee crisis’ has sparked intense debate on the issues of borders, identities and belonging. Austerity measures and intensified high-tech surveillance have replaced hospitality and possibilities for circular migration, generating new bordering regimes that are not just material but also epistemological and technological. While aware of these new entrenchments and virtual re-walling, the focus here is on the possibilities that technologies enhance to stay in touch with close and far-off communities, creating diasporic hubs that allow for new forms of sociability and intimacies. Focusing on everyday digitized practices allows for a more complex, yet realistic, assessment of how gender and racial presence, agency and emancipation are re-articulated beyond the current deterministic debate of public versus private, inclusion and exclusion, agency and tradition.

The conference

This conference on “Digitized Global Mobilities” was organized by Veronica Nagy for UGlobe and took place at Utrecht University. More information can be found here and in the full conference programme.