Memory, Activism and Social Justice NUBS 3.15
Jul 07, 2023 11:00 - 12:30(Europe/London)
20230707T1100 20230707T1230 Europe/London 9.10. Migration, activism and memory NUBS 3.15 MSA Conference Newcastle 2023 conference@memorystudiesassociation.org
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Data Mortis: The Afterlife of Human Rights Data Migration
Individual paperMemory, Activism and Social Justice 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/06 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/07 22:00:00 UTC
Carried out in various ways, data migration pertains to the process of moving data from one system to another. It is a mechanism of maintenance, a response to obsolescence and threats whether planned, actual, or perceived. It is necessary for the sustainability, if not survival, of data under the impetus of efficiency, performance, and innovation. In response, data workers design migration strategies that focus on reducing costs and risks surrounding loss when data moves from one space to another.      
In this paper, I explore the afterlives of data after migration. In particular, I look at the emergence of databases in transitional justice mechanisms and the practice of data migration in this domain. The human rights database has become not only a tool for legal accountability, but a site of mnemopolitics where players contend with the design of the database that invariably have implications on not only what we remember and forget, but also on how we are being made to do so. As a generation of human rights database systems sunset and new ones emerge, data migration has been a key preoccupation in the field. 
Drawing from and extending Homi Bhabha's afterlife of migration, this paper explores the scales of affects in the practice of data migration. Reflecting on my fieldwork in the human rights tech space, I trace how photographs of and data on human rights violations are migrated from one database system to another. These movements, I illustrate, shape what I call data mortis (extending Bhabha's camera mortis) and consequently how we contend with violent pasts and seek justice for the dead.    
Presenters
BO
Benedict Olgado
PhD Candidate , University Of California, Irvine
Mnemonic activisms and migratory narratives in the Portuguese public sphere: reflections from a research-action project
Individual paperMemory, Activism and Social Justice 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/06 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/07 22:00:00 UTC
In different regions and cultural contexts, people, groups and social movements such as #BlacksLivesMatter, #MeToo, among others, have fostered critical reflections on discrimination based on skin colour, gender, social class or geographical origin (e.g. Liebermann, 2020; Hillstrom, 2019). These movements' current size and strength expose the persistence and widening of social inequalities, a trend even more extreme with COVID-19 (Erll, 2020). The pandemic has exacerbated discrimination against people perceived as foreigners. Many media narratives about migration have contributed to reinforcing boundaries between 'us' and the 'others', relying on specific language that often silences and dehumanises migrants, portraying them sometimes as victims and sometimes as a threat (Volpato & Andrighetto, 2015). However, struggles against inequalities have transcended borders, and social movements have gained unprecedented visibility, giving impetus to various forms of 'mnemonic activism' in the multiple instances of public space, digital networks, academia, associations, etc. These activisms contribute to unearthing histories and rescuing long-silenced memories. Despite these important political actions, most research on migration addresses hegemonic narratives without considering the participation of migrants as subjects of these representations. Studies on how they use media to express their experiences, deconstruct symbolic borders and foster the decolonisation of knowledge and the construction of alternative futures are lacking. Based on this gap, we have built an action-research programme to analyse media content in Portuguese, seeking to understand how different social actors (e.g. activists, associations, journalists, etc.) contribute to the decolonisation of media landscapes. The programme is designed from a set of articulated tasks and analyses means used by migrants and racialised groups (often perceived as foreigners, regardless of their citizenship status) to provide counter-discursive narratives (Fenton, 2014). In this paper, therefore, we propose reflections on mnemonic activisms and narratives of migration circulating in public spheres in the Portuguese language, with a decolonial (Mignolo & Walsh, 2018) and intersectional (Crenshaw, 1991) approach to the study of collective memory. This paper will also discuss the methodological and practical challenges of this action-research proposal. With this, we aim to contribute to greater visibility of migrants as active agents in social transformation. By considering that narratives and memories are alive and can move and migrate, we assume they are also tools for constructing a future of greater inclusion and social justice.
Co-authors: 
Rosa Cabecinhas
Luiza Lins
Julia Alves Brasil 
Presenters
IM
Isabel Macedo
Researcher, Universidade Do Minho
From “1 more Mark an hour for life” to “24 hours wage for 24 hours work” - Migrant labour struggles in Germany between illegalization, wild strikes, and unions
Individual paperMemory, Activism and Social Justice 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/06 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/07 22:00:00 UTC
Migrants form the backbone of the mobile work force in global capitalism. Still, migrant workers remain (compared to the phenomenon) a relatively blank spot when it comes to organizing in unions and in researching their history/ies. While the body of research on the role of migrants in the era of industrial work in Germany grows with studies on the 'wild strikes' at Ford in 1974 (Birke 2007), the Neuss-Pierburg-strikes of 1973 (Bojadžijev 2008) and the reaction of the unions to both (Goeke 2020), there is still much to be discovered. Economy shifted drastically from production in factories (where the 70ies' strikes happened) to a neoliberally organized service sector. While unions issuing precarious work mostly still start from formally employed, workspace centred men (Kabeer et al. 2013) and organizers assume that a shared space and shared group understanding is necessary (Borghi/Mori/Semenza 2018), many sectors that Eastern and non-European migrants are employed in, are structured fundamentally different: freelance platform jobs, temporary contracts, and scattered work in private homes under precarious conditions isolate the workers (Klovborg 2019; Pichault and Semenza 2019). Shaping protection regimes for workers under those conditions would be a task of the trade unions, but they often neglect topics that are especially urgent for migrant workers (Tapia/Alberti 2019) and thus duplicate mechanisms of exclusion. They act in a tension between internationalist claims and protectionist practices (Goeke 2020). This paper sketches the relationship of trade unions and migrant labour struggles in post-Fordist Germany. The unions haven't been and are still not taking up intersectional positions in their working struggles, which can be seen in the members, the neglect of migrant run industries and the lack of issuing of political rights and precarious legal statuses of migrant workers with limited civil rights (e.g., political strikes outside of collective bargaining). At the same time, the memory on labour movements of the 1970s and 1908s is still focused on the German workforce and some connections to student movements. Because of this lack in collective memory and lack in intersectional approaches until today, migrant labour struggle recure to antiracist practices much more then on the history of labour movements. 
The paper is an in-depth analysis of some aspects connected to memory, deindustrialization and migration from broader research done within a PhD project in socio legal studies on migrant workers' struggles in Germany. It is a qualitative case study on migrant labour struggles in the fields of domestic care work, platform jobs and agricultural work. The cases represent different foci on the spectrums of race, class and gender in labour organizing and the mobilization of the law. Each case is compiled of analysis of union publications, pertinent legislation, expert, and group interviews. The proposed paper is located connected to the associations' working fields Memory, Activism and Social Justice and Movement, Migration and Refugees. 
[1] Both slogans stem from migrant labor struggles: "Eine Mark mehr pro Stunde zum Leben" comes from so called 'guest-worker' strikes in 1973 while "24 Stunden Lohn für 24 Stunden Arbeit" derives from in-live care workers from 2021. 

Presenters Francesca Barp
PhD Researcher, Hamburg Institute For Social Research (HIS)
Memory politics in the German migration society
Individual paperMemory, Activism and Social Justice 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/06 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/07 22:00:00 UTC
Considering the highly controversial debates around memory culture in the German migration society[1] this paper sets out to analyze how different stories and experiences of migration and migrantization are told and negotiated. To zoom in on these public debates and to listen to people with professional expertise and experiential knowledge my research sample consist of panel talks addressing topics such as memory, migration and identity. This sample depicts a particular way of dealing with these topics. In contrast to public media coverage, which highlights conflicting and competing claims to memory, the panel talks are held in a spirit of reciprocal learning and solidarity. Yet many moderators and panelists stress the need to recognize differences and value conflicts. 
To put it in the terminology of the modes of remembering[2] the panels take up memory claims, which are presented in public media in antagonistic terms, and try to discuss them under sometimes more agonistic, sometimes rather cosmopolitan terms. Yet even when they explicitly express the will to highlight differences and discuss conflictive issues, so to say devote themselves to an agonistic mode, they seem to pass over contradictions and avoid confrontation over controversial statements. The driving force undermining this "agonistic ambition" might be a cosmopolitan desire for harmony and equality, which implies a disregard for differences of discrimination and/or silencing among the various memories and their advocates.
Next to the modes of memory negotiations the substantive issues on which they agree and disagree explicitly or subtly are of interest. While in public opinion and academia migrants are predominantly constructed as different along the lines of national origin, my preliminary findings suggest that differences and convergences depend on a range of other factors such as experiences of racism, the degree to which their histories are silenced, the representation of their communities and how self-confidently they raise their claims.
Following up on the empirical research of the UNREST[3] project, which found out that the modes of remembering never occurred in any pure form[4], the aim of this paper is to identify the different constellations, emerging and converging trends of memory modes, those that are explicitly claimed and those that function implicitly as well as the conditions which enable and impede them. With this I hope to contribute to a better understanding of the dynamics of memory negotiations in a migration society. I aim at strengthening the empirical grounding of the memory modes and developing them further. 
[1] Paul Mecheril: Einführung in die Migrationspädagogik. Weinheim, Basel 2004 (Beltz Studium).
[2] Anna Cento Bull/Hans Lauge Hansen: On agonistic memory. In: Memory Studies 9 (2016), H. 4, S. 390–404.
[3] Stefan Berger/Wulf Kansteiner (Hrsg.): Agonistic Memory and the Legacy of 20th Century Wars in Europe. 1st ed. 2021. Cham 2021 (Springer eBook Collection).
[4] Wulf Kansteiner/Stefan Berger: Agonism and Memory. In: Stefan Berger/Wulf Kansteiner (Hrsg.): Agonistic Memory and the Legacy of 20th Century Wars in Europe. 1st ed. 2021. Cham 2021 (Springer eBook Collection), S. 203–240, hier S. 234.

Presenters
CS
Carlotta Stockmayer-Behr
PhD Student, Free University Berlin
PhD Candidate
,
University of California, Irvine
Researcher
,
Universidade do Minho
PhD Researcher
,
Hamburg Institute for Social Research (HIS)
PhD student
,
Free University Berlin
 Susannah Eckersley
Senior Lecturer & Head of Research, Media, Culture, Heritage
,
Newcastle University
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