Mapping migration information infrastructures

Forced migrations within and across the Americas, the EU, and other localities are counted, predicted and managed using a variety of technologies and calculation devices. Some of these include paper forms, registration systems, databases, maps, and algorithms, among others, which grant people on the move with rights and instituted forms of citizenship. A part of my research opens up these devices and infrastructures to problematize their mediations in bordering/relocation practices and the relational (re)configuration of statehood. Using ethnography as a predominant interface, I look into how technologies, paper forms and other devices produce boundaries of nations and state projects while enacting identity categories, migration statuses, indicators, and governmental forms of (in)visibility. Drawing on science and technology studies (STS) and critical migration/border studies, I examine the co-production between migration information infrastructures and statehood.

210226-H-NI589-1169

 

Alternative forms of sociomateriality

As migration (and population) management infrastructures are enacted, there is also a less visible redistribution of order in alternative spaces. My research also explores other forms of sociomateriality occurring within and beyond demarcated boundaries of the state and institutions. While doing so, I engage with posthuman and potentially decolonial understandings of memory, affect and reparation as relational processes involving human and non-human actants. In this arena, I have become particularly interested in the material politics of practices like curating street memorials, sewing wasted materials and, more broadly, crafting by social movements.

Street mobile memorials exhibiting state crimes in Colombia.Street mobile memorials exhibiting state crimes in Colombia.

I am a member of Tema Genus, where my epistemic-political aspirations resonate with STS and the Postcolonial Feminisms research hub. I am also a researcher based in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at the University of Vienna, as part of the Technosciences, Materiality and Digital Culture (TMDC) research group. I am a member of the Grupo de Estudios Sociales de la Ciencia, la Tecnología y la Medicina (GESCTM) at Universidad Nacional de Colombia. I am also a member of the International Science and Technology Studies Research Network on Migration, Border Control Technologies and Infrastructures (STS-MIGTEC)

Research programmes and projectsShow/Hide content

Calculating migration: A multi-sited ethnography of algorithmic governance and redistribution keys

 

Two-population EA search (3)

As a consequence of the increasing instability and uncertainty around migration patterns, and sometimes populist fears about border control in Europe, governments increasingly turn to new information infrastructures, sources of digital data and forms of analysis like predictive algorithms. We ask: what are the implications of using algorithms as redistribution keys for migrants? Drawing on the interdisciplinary convergences between Migration Studies, Gender Studies and Science and Technology Studies, the aim of this project is to follow the implementation of algorithmic projects by migration control offices in the EU in order to increase statistical precision of predicting migration. Using a multi-sited ethnography, we also trace the connections of algorithms with databases available in different institutions to understand how algorithms are produced, implemented and received by different national and transnational actors (developers, case-managers, people on the move, policy-makers). This research seeks to reveal coordinations mediated by algorithms in different locations to understand how integration policies depend on information infrastructures and institutional processes. This project is a collaboration between Tema Genus, REMESO, and the European New School of Digital Societies (Frankfurt).

Material politics in the making: a multi-sited study of more than digital mobile makerspaces.

University of Vienna, Austria. Current.

Research programmes

PublicationsShow/Hide content

Mora-Gámez, F. (forthcoming June 2021). `Thinking beyond the ‘imposter’: gatecrashing un/welcoming borders of containment ´ In Woolgar, S., Vogel, E. Moats, D. and Helgesson, C.F (Eds) The imposter as social theory: thinking with gatecrashers, cheats, and charlatans. London, Bristol University Press. ISBN 152921307X, 9781529213072

Mora-Gamez, F. and Brown, S.D. (2020). ‘A reparação a despeito de si mesma: traições psi na Colômbia pós-conflito’. In Arruda-Ferreira, A., Mello-Machado, F. and Foureaux-Figueredo, B. (Eds) Governamentalidade e práticas psi: a gestão pela liberdade. Rio de Janeiro, Editora NAU, Rio de Janeiro. ISBN 978-65-87079-19-6

Mora-Gámez, F. (2020). Beyond citizenship: the material politics of alternative infrastructures. Citizenship Studies. 24, 5: 696-711. DOI: 10.1080/13621025.2020.1784648

Arboleda-Ariza, J., Prossel, G. and Mora-Gámez, F. (2020). Absent peace and Reconciliation in Colombia: a study of transition discourses in former combatants. Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy. (Ahead of print). DOI http://doi.org/10.1515/peps-2019-0042

Mora-Gámez F, Brown S.D. (2019). The psychosocial management of rights restitution: Tracing technologies for reparation in post-conflict Colombia. Theory & Psychology. 2019;29(4):521-538. doi: 10.1177/0959354319863136

Pérez-Bustos, T., Martínez-Medina, S., Mora-Gámez, F. (2018). What is ‘(un)making’ STS ethnographies? Reflections (not exclusively) from Latin America. Tapuya: Latin American Science, Technology and Society. 1,1: 131-137. DOI: 10.1080/25729861.2018.1551825

Mora-Gámez, F. (2016). “Reconocimiento de víctimas en Colombia: sobre tecnologías de representación y condiciones de estado”. Universitas Humanística, 82: 75-101. https://www.redalyc.org/articulo.oa?id=79145845004

CV Show/Hide content

CV in short

  • 2/2021-
    University Assistant, Department of Science and Technology Studies, University of Vienna, Austria.
  • 9/2017-10/2020
    Postdoctoral researcher in Technology and Social Change, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema T, Values group. Linköping University.
  • 10/2018-2/2020
    Research Associate at the School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Nottingham, UK.
  • 2016
    Doctor of Philosophy, College of Social Science, Arts and Humanities, University of Leicester, United Kingdom
  • 2012
    Magister in Social Studies of Science, Department of Sociology, Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Distinction

Awards and funding

  • Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, Project Fund. 6,109,000 SEK `Calculating migration: A multi-sited ethnography of algorithmic governance and redistribution keys´ (RJ, P20-0618), December, 2020. Principal Investigator.
  • Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, Research Initiation Fund. 200,000 SEK `Infrastructuring Migration: a series of workshops reflecting on instituted and alternative material orders’ March, 2019
  • Colombian Ministry of Science and Technology COLCIENCIAS. £55000. PhD international scholarship, Francisco José de Caldas 568 (2012) December, 2012.
  • University of Leicester, College of Social Science, School of Management. £46500. PhD Studentship. January, 2012.
  • Diploma of distinguished research. Awarded by the Interamerican Society of Psychology. (SIP) June, 2011.

Finished projectsShow/Hide content

  • `Mending the new: A Framework for Reconciliation Through Testimonial Digital Textiles in the Transition to Post-Conflict Rural Colombia´ at the University of Nottingham (UK) 2018-2020
  • `Epigenetics and the experience of migration: a pilot study´ University of Leicester (UK) 2016-2017
  • `Reparation Beyond Statehood: Assembling Rights Restitution in Post-conflict Colombia´ University of Leicester (UK) 2013-2016

OrganisationShow/Hide content