Schlagwort-Archive: Racism

Book launch “Watchful Lives in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands”

By Jonathan Alderman

Authors: Catherine Whittaker, Eveline Dürr, Jonathan Alderman, Carolin Luiprecht

Artivist: Nanzi Muro

Werkstatt-galerie, 20 April 2023

Zentnerstraße 3, 80798 Munich

The book “Watchful Lives in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands”, jointly authored by Catherine Whittaker, Eveline Dürr, Jonathan Alderman and Carolin Luiprecht as part of project B06 of the CRC 1369 “Cultures of Vigilance” at LMU Munich was successfully launched at the Werkstatt gallery on 20 April 2023. The book launch, which was introduced by Christiane Brenner (project C07), was attended by around forty people, who enjoyed the discussion of the book as well as the reception with food and drink. Each author discussed the main themes of the book in relation to the chapters that they were most responsible for writing. Together, they highlighted the intersectional nature of the racism and discrimination that people living in the in-between spaces of the borderlands face on a daily basis and the watchful practices that they develop as a result. The book launch was also the vernissage for an exhibition by Nanzi Muro, a San Diego-based artivist who had collaborated with the authors of the book by providing art that accompanies each chapter.

From left to right: Nanzi Muro, Catherine Whittaker, Jonathan Alderman, Nele Guderian, Eveline Dürr, Carolin Luiprecht

Nanzi Muro explained how she came to work with the book’s authors and how she relates to the themes of the book through her own experiences as a fronteriza whose art articulates the daily struggles of people in borderland spaces against racism and discrimination. Nanzi’s exhibition titled “El Chaparral: From Tijuana through San Diego to Munich, Germany” was displayed within two rooms of the gallery. The first showed all of the artwork from the book, while the second room was an installation featuring photographic artwork that displayed the lives of people in a migrant camp attempting to cross the border between Tijuana and San Diego. A representation of the migrant camp itself was also created, through objects such as clothes hanging from a washing line. The pictures in the El Chaparral exhibition show the precarious conditions in an encampment that formed in early 2021 as asylum seekers awaited a change in U.S. border policy to request asylum and seek a better life. The migrants spent nearly a year in the camp near the border before Mexican officials dismantled it on 6 February 2022.

Artwork by Nanzi Muro, accompanying the book “Watchful Lives in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands” (photo credit: Jonathan Alderman)
A representation of a migrant camp in Tijuana (photo credit: Jonathan Alderman)
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“I am conducting surveillance even as I research it”: Interview with Bryce Newell

by Catherine Whittaker and Alena Zelenskaia

Lecture by Bryce Newell “Radical Visibility. The Information Politics of Police on Camera” via Zoom at the Collaborative Research Centre 1369 “Cultures of Vigilance”, LMU Munich, 17.06.2020.

In June 2020, the “Cultures of Vigilance”-Team was honored to welcome Dr. Bryce Newell as a guest lecturer at the Collaborative Research Centre 1369. At a time when Black Lives Matter protests were making waves worldwide, his insights on racism, police, surveillance and sousveillance (counter-surveillance from below) could not have been more timely.

Assistant Professor Bryce Newell teaches at the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon (USA). Beyond researching issues of privacy and surveillance, technologies, information law, and policy, Newell is also a documentary filmmaker, who successfully exhibited his work at museums and campuses in the United States, Germany and the Netherlands. In his workshop, “Radical Visibility: The information Politics of Police on Camera,” we were happy to see some parts of the feature-length documentary “The Tinaja Trail” and learn about US-Mexican border control techniques, migrant deaths and responses to them. Postdoctoral researcher Catherine Whittaker and PhD Student Alena Zelenskaia, who both study migration and control over it from an anthropological perspective, went deeper into the topic and interviewed Newell on his academic career path and ethnographic field.

Poster of Bryce Newell’s film “The Tinaja Trail” (2014). A trailer can be found here.

CW/AZ: What motivated you to study police surveillance, privacy and migrant experiences? How did your scientific interest in these and adjacent topics develop?

BN: My motivation to study migrant experiences and border enforcement began in early 2010, when I became aware of how many people were dying along the US-Mexico border while trying to cross clandestinely into the United States. This was a shocking revelation to me. Because of my background in documentary and video production, I wanted to produce something that would have the capacity to inform others. So, I started to produce a film on this topic, travelling to the border multiple times over the next few years. In 2014, as the film was being finished, I decided to continue working along the border with the migrants and migrant-aid communities I had gotten to know – this time by conducting qualitative social research that would help build my research agenda as a budding academic researcher. Those efforts initiated my ongoing collaboration with Ricardo Gomez and others (including Sara Vannini, Veronica Guajardo).

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When Did You Realize You’re White?

by Catherine Whittaker

with contributions from Christiane Brenner, Eveline Dürr, Hannah Michel and Brendan Röder

When was the first time you became aware of your Whiteness?

In light of the recent Black Lives Matter protests around the globe, the conversation about racial privilege and the need to become “woke” has gained new urgency. To what extent are we aware of our Whiteness and how does that shape our actions?

At the interdisciplinary “Subjectivation Working Group” of the conspicuously White Collaborative Research Center “Cultures of Vigilance” at the LMU Munich, my colleagues and I routinely reflect on why people become vigilant and in what ways that vigilance comes to shape who they are. Vigilance often involves self-observation, such as when Christian individuals seek to avoid falling into sin, or when Black Americans anticipate how they will be perceived by White Americans.

This led us to some self-reflection of our own. How vigilant are we ourselves with respect to our “White privilege”?  What is it and how do people become aware of theirs?

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