On the production of clandestine dis/abled bodies: European borders, migrants and policing technics

Vasilis Galis, Spyros Tzokas, Aristotle Tympas

Research output: Contribution to conference - NOT published in proceeding or journalConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


Delineating and, more so, demarcating borders, has always involved the use of material arrangements to check, control and filter the flow of people. In regards to the EU borders, a suggestive body of literature has focused on the deployment of all kinds of state-of-the-art policing technology. Our paper makes a notice of this literature but moves on to discuss the co-production of technological borders and migrants with dis/abilities. In this case, dis/ability may be a cause or consequence of migration, and may become a barrier to both accessing protection and to entering a country. Nonetheless, migrants with dis/abilities have remained largely invisible and very little is known about their cross-border mobility. We do not solely treat dis/ability as a bodily disadvantage or social oppression, but as an effect of somatechnics, that is, clandestine dis/ability is always bound up with a variety of policing technologies, repressive techniques and military technics. Instead, however, of staying at the technology of a fast patrolling boat with electronic eyes, we move on to show how exactly this EU electronic boat has clashed with a humble migrant floating device. We are interested in the somatechnological battle over border production by focusing on the creation of dis/abled-displaced bodies. Our research aims to show that the battle between border-producing technologies and human migrants also generates a new corporeal subject. Dis/abled-displaced human bodies are the other side of enabling border technologies. Based on the stories that we have found at local and national newspapers in Greece, we focus on how somatechnological battles over border production have produced clandestine dis/ability.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventMissing Links: The Somatechnics of Decolonization - University of Linköping, Linköping, Sweden
Duration: 17 Jun 201319 Jun 2013


ConferenceMissing Links
LocationUniversity of Linköping
Internet address


  • Borders
  • Policing Technology
  • Migration
  • Dis/ability
  • Somatechnics


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