How do people caught in between the logic of social assemblages (relationships, ordinary arrangements, personal and collective obligations and responsibilities) and bureaucratic machines imagine and strategize their lives? How effective in producing alternatives to dominant powers are these ordinary tactics? Our panel aims to look at strategies and notions that people in seemingly divergent cultural contexts employ to secure their lives. These notions and strategies stand in contrast but are intertwined with standardized, financialized, bureaucratized ways of securing the future.
People create and recreate unstable and contingent futures in their everyday lives. These futures are in constant friction with the legacies of political and social regimes that mesh with bureaucratic machines (international, state controlled and state owned systems of welfare and health care, refugee aid, migration flows regulation, market regulation, etc.) and ethical regimes (biomedical, labor, human rights, etc). For instance, stranded African migrantsí in Dakar whose ways of understanding travel challenge passports, visas and immigration controls or patients in post-socialist countries whose notions of health care contest state welfare policies, biomedical knowledge and market logics relying on informal and illicit ways. While African migrants circumvent travel regulations by investing life savings into objects that potentially get them to elsewheres of wealth, peace, and safety, patients in post-socialist countries weave medical treatment into networks of informal payments in order to ensure a proper medical care.
We are interested in looking at the epistemologies and ontologies that come out of friction. Friction produces fear but also ingenious alternatives for people to secure their present and future. And it is not risk-avoiding. In some cases, dealing with passport bureaucracy is riskier a gamble than to secure a vessel in the informal market. In other cases, it is more productive to rely on informal payments and networks, while navigating health care system prescriptively might lead to adverse consequences.
We seek papers that engage but are not limited to phenomena such as counterfeit, clandestinity, informal economies, piracy, scam, conspiracy to the extent that they become tools for crafting futures parallel worlds.
You can send abstracts (max. 250 words) to both Jonathan Echeverri (PhD Candidate, University of California, Davis, firstname.lastname@example.org) and Rima Praspaliauskiene (PhD Candidate, University of California, Davis, email@example.com) by April 6th.
Jonathan Echeverri Zuluaga | PhD Candidate
University of California, Davis Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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