May, 2016

# 4 Migration: Open Call for Contributions

We are witnessing an acceleration of the deployment of digital technologies in border regimes as well as in migratory practices. This does not necessarily make borders ‘smarter’, but it points to spiraling dynamics between border and migration practices to which digital technologies prove central. Technologies deployed for example by European countries to manage the so-called “refugee crisis” – from fences to the EuroSur drone system – have their reverse: while digital networks facilitate surveillance systems, they foster mobility and challenge border regimes at the same time. Persisting migration in defiance of ever more sophisticated border technologies demonstrate the possible detour of control systems. For our fourth issue of spheres we invite potential contributers to consider the significance of digital technologies for migration and to investigate the relation between migratory regimes and practices on the one hand and digital cultures and infrastructures on the other.

In which way do systems of big data and border regimes interact? What kinds of devices and actors cooperate to guarantee the functioning of the complex socio-technical networks of surveillance and control and what kinds of processes of orchestration, translation and coordination do they necessitate? To what extent do specific identification and surveillance technologies reconfigure the power relations between mobile subjects and those charged with controlling their mobility. In how far does the datafication of migration implicate new problematisations of human mobility and its governance? And to what extent can resistant practices, such as border hacking, invisible theatre, or tactical media, be applied in the current situation?

How do refugees and migrants use and appropriate technologies of mobility, such as smart phones, maps and facebook, and develop strategies of counter-surveillance to cross borders? To what extent do migrant individuals and communities participate in the production and transformation of transnational digital networks? How do the experiences, histories and everyday practices of migrants moving between geographical areas and digital spaces reproduce and challenge cultural forms and identities in their environments at home, at their host country or in-between? And how do they challenge notions of space, of the digital and the geographical? Which role do digital tools play in the self-organisation and the organisation of protest of refugees and migrants in the countries of arrival? Which digital technologies foster forms of empowerment? What is the relation of supporters and refugees when fostering public and media spheres to integrate newcomers?

spheres: Journal for Digital Cultures is an open peer-re­view­ed web jour­nal associated with the Cent­re for Di­gi­tal Cul­tu­res (CDC) at Leu­pha­na Uni­ver­si­ty of Lüne­burg. It is con­cer­ned with con­tem­pora­ry, his­to­ri­cal and emer­ging dis­cus­sions about di­gi­tal cul­tu­res, thereby ex­plo­ring the theo­re­ti­cal, po­li­ti­cal and so­ci­al sta­kes wi­t­hin the­se de­ba­tes as well as scrutinising key con­cepts like pu­blic sphe­res, me­dia sphe­res, at­mo­s­phe­res and now: spheres of migration.

If you are in­te­rested in cont­ri­bu­ting, plea­se wri­te to editors@spheres-journal.org with a short ab­stract (up to 500 words). Extended deadline: August 31, 2016.