Plenarveranstaltung I / Plenary session I: Power and security in times of precarity
"Domesticating security in precarious times: Securityscapes, surveillanceand affective infrastructures"
Sprecherin / Speaker:
Setha Low (City University of New York, USA)
Precarity is a state of existential and physical vulnerability accompanied by invisibility from the social and political institutions that are supposed to mitigate these risks creating forgotten corners of human fragility. Whether facing civil war, human made disasters, crumbling governments or forced migration people in the twenty-first century are experiencing a world full of instability, vulnerability and fear. This fear of everything from terrorism and violence to the lack of work, shelter, water or food is producing a world in which “security” is central to everyday practices as well as national discourse and affective climate. The pressure of the increasing precarityhas had an impact both on elites and on the growing number of informal workers. Both groups are demanding more security but in very different ways. Elite strategies emphasize the domestication of security through the architecture, urban design and management of private residential communities. These gated communities “protect” homeowners’ sense of social and financial insecurity through socioeconomic segregation, controlled physical environments and racist discourses. Informal workers, especially in Latin America, attempt to gain some kind of security through mobilization in public space or through hidden activities that reduce their visibility. Yet these two strategies are related to one another in contradictory ways. These very different securitization practices and the resulting securityscapes are uncovered through an ethnographic analysis of both gated communities and public spaces in the U.S. and Latin America.
Datum: Sonntag, 29. September 2019