by Roy Pullens
The freedom of movement is a contested common right. Understood as a form of grassroots globalisation, migration is contained, managed and restricted by a top-down process of trans-nationalization. And with an increase in mobility and migration, irregular migration is being perceived as a threat to the world-order and to the integrity of the nation state. The ‘Project Nation State’ is challenged by an unregulated globalism, and as more and more people move across physical and virtual borders (pushing the frontiers by the use of new communication technologies), states and intergovernmental agencies try to enforce control of these flows.
This text is produced with the workshop in mind on migration and borders at the Incommunicado Working Conference ‘Information technology for everybody else’ in Amsterdam, De Balie, June16-17 2005, organized by the Institute of Network Cultures (Amsterdam) together with Waag Society (Amsterdam) and the New Media Centre Sarai (Delhi).
The conference on ICT for Development will give a critical overview of present and future topics in the growing field of new media in ‘non-Western countries.’ ICT for Development (ICT4D) is an important policy issue for several governments and institutes in the field of ICT and development aid. It is a field were new power relationships – and new inequalities – are produced.
ICT4D connected to the issue of migration leads us to the regulation of the movement of people. New technologies for surveillance and control are implemented in countries for the sake of ‘development’ and ‘capacity building.’ My particular attention goes out to the EU expanding the walls of its fortress and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) as one of the larger players in this field with a major influence on the course of migration and movement of people. Though active in a growing number of countries on this planet, of the activities of the latter is little known with a larger public as well as with many ‘noborder’-activists.