Biometric capture: disrupting the digital codification of black migrants in the UK

Fubara-Manuel, Irene (2020) Biometric capture: disrupting the digital codification of black migrants in the UK. African Diaspora, 12 (1-2). pp. 117-141. ISSN 1872-5457

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The current system of the surveillance of migrants relies on biometric capture. To be captured is to be codified into machine-readable representations. This paper merges technological codifications with political discourse to explore the disproportionate capturing of black migrants in the UK. Using the historical treatment of Nigerian migrants in the UK as an illustration, this paper interrogates how contemporary technologies are used to codify and confine black migrants. This paper explores works from digital artists – Keith Piper and Joy Buolamwini – to address this codification of blackness using biometric technology. It calls for new technological cultures of coding that centre the disruption of violent systems of capture. Failure is defined as this disruption of hegemonic systems of codification and capture that aim to subjugate black communities. This paper stresses that it is only when technologies of capture fail that black and migrant communities can truly experience digital freedom.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: biometrics, surveillance, migration, capture, race, biométrie, enregistrement
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Depositing User: Sarah Maddox
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2020 07:34
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2021 16:11

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