February 27, 2023

Public Lecture:

Yener Bayramoglu Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellow at the Department of Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University

Monday, February 27, 12:00 CET | C419, quellenstrasse 51-55, CEU VIENNA

ABSTRACT | This lecture will explore how smartphone videos produced by migrants during border crossings challenge Eurocentric visualizations of borders. Implementing video analysis and iconographic interpretation, it will center on three interrelated aspects of the smartphone videos: (1) By circulating videos via digital platforms, migrants create a countervisuality of border crossing that destabilizes the visual politics that shape current border regimes. (2) Unlike journalistic, humanitarian, or surveillance-oriented visual images produced from above, from a safe distance, from rescue or patrol ships, migrants’ smartphone footage puts their own narratives at the center of visualization. (3) Whereas Eurocentric visualizations of migration and borders aim to elicit affects and emotions such as pity, empathy, fear, or panic, migrants’ smartphone videos depict emotions such as joy and happiness after successful border crossings. These affective visualizations of individual migration stories confound binary representations of migrants as either victims or invaders.  The shaky smartphone videos with their wandering focus and disordered mode of vision create a productive vantage point for seeing and sensing a world that is unimaginable for the normative, focused lens that structures views projected by journalism, humanitarian appeals, political mobilization, and surveillance technologies.


BIO | Dr Yener Bayramoğlu is currently Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellow at the Department of Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University. Prior to this, Bayramoğlu was invited to be Visiting Professor for Gender and Queer Studies at Alice Salomon University in Berlin. Bayramoğlu studied media and communication in Istanbul and received his PhD in media and communication studies from Free University of Berlin. His PhD on the history of queer media representation was rewarded with a scholarship from Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. He was a visiting scholar at the University of Salzburg and will be a visiting fellow of the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, New York University in Spring 2024. His work on migration, borders, digital media and queer theory has been published in several journals including Ethnic & Racial Studies and Media, Culture & Society.  He has published two books in Germany. While his first book was about queer (in-)visibilities in Turkish and German media, his most recent co-authored book explores the biopolitics and digital media in pandemic times.

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