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Accepted Paper:

Distribution centres for exiles – confinement, sorting and resistance  
Maxime Christophe (Sciences Po)

Paper short abstract:

The accentuation of the logistical processing of exiles has recently produced a new type of distribution centres for humans seeking asylum in France. Based on a non-human rationality, these camps confine the exiles to extract data from them. Ethnography accounts experience of this dispositive.

Paper long abstract:

Since 2018, France has formed a new layer of camps in its asylum national system : Reception and Assessment of Situations Centres . Their main objective is a rapid, standardised and increasingly automated extraction of personal data to lead to a distribution of asylum seekers on a national territory.

Thus, the objective reflected in their acronym is a reception to proceed with a data extraction of exiles in the manner of logistical distribution centres for non-humans. In practice, we can notice a form of digitisation of exiles in a logic of stocks and flows to be distributed as ‘rationally’ and ‘economically’ as possible. Digitalisation, the implementation of algorithms and the strengthening of information sharing will be highlighted.

Based on a year-long ethnography in one of these camps, a one-off visit to a dozen of them and interviews with exiles hosted there, social workers and state bureaucrats, this paper aims to empirically document and make a case for a European management of asylum that is increasingly turned towards this certainly neo-liberal, but more precisely logistical, practice. Depending on the placement in the panel P029 or P083, particular attention will be paid either to the institutional and material ethnographic data (P029) or to the interviews and observations with social workers and exiles (P083).

Panel P029a
Experiencing and Resisting Technologies of Confinement, Surveillance and Data Extraction [Anthropology of Confinement Network] I
  Session 1 Friday 29 July, 2022, -