International workshop: IDentities and identity: biometric technologies and migration in the border world – University of Copenhagen

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11 January 2018

International workshop: IDentities and identity: biometric technologies and migration in the border world

Through the participation, pre-circulated papers and presentations of 13 national and international researchers as well as other invited participants the workshop explored the distinction between the work on 'IDentities' (as a search for unmistakable and unequivocal stable markers of individual bodies, through biometric technologies) and the social processes of identification (experienced, lived and far from static) that take place through border practices. We did so by examining how - in our specific empirical fields - these ID technologies come into being, the various ways in which migrants are perceived and categorized by these technologies and representatives of the border regime and how the migrants themselves understand and deal with these 'IDentities' as they jostle against or seek to assert other understandings of themselves. The workshop aim was to expand conversations about the relationship between IDentity and identity within the discipline of anthropology through an examination of the processes of and interplay between the development, deployment, interpretation, and experience of biometric technologies in the border world, and how these technologies are shaped accordingly.
These issues were addressed by the following participants and their papers:
  • Kristina Grünenberg: Biometrics under attack – or when the 'spoofer' is on the loose.: Configuring IDentities in biometric labs and conferences.
  • Perle Møhl: IDentity, crude data and "the stuff of lived life"
  • Anja Simonsen: Crossing (biometric) borders: Identities in the making
  • Karen Fog Olwig: Social Identities in the Biometric Border World: The Case of Family Reunification
  • Nina Dewi Horstmann: Privacy is the power to selectively reveal oneself: Identity, anonymity and morality
  • Eileen Murphy & Mark Maguire: Responsibility beyond the border encounter 

Recapitulating day one: Zachary Whyte

  • Sabine Netz: When standards, technologies and the performed body matter… – On biotechnical citizenship and political subjectivities
  • Anna-Maria Tapaninen: Translations and extensions: DNA analysis for family reunification in Finland
  • Helene Ilkjær: Experiments all the way: From airport re-imagining and experience technologies to user testing and applied anthropology
  • Martin Lemberg-Pedersen: IDentities and the marketization of displacement
  • Ninna Nyberg Sørensen: Forced disappearances, DNA, and the right to know in contexts of war and peace
  • Markus Höhne: IDentifying the dead: Preliminary notes on the political economy of mass-grave exhumations in Somaliland
  • Estela Schindel: Who is the subject of biometric control? Contested IDentities and racialized bodies at the EU borders