DIGMEX Lecture: Mahmoud Keshavarz on the design politics of the passport

  • Date: –15:00
  • Location: Zoom https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/67828578748
  • Organiser: Department of Informatics and Media in collaboration with the DIGMEX research network
  • Contact person: Matilda Tudor
  • Föreläsning

As part of its network activities, DIGMEX continuously arranges research lectures with invited speakers on vital topics for our existential perspectives on digitality and automation. We are proud to present Senior Lecturer Mahmoud Keshavarz who will talk about The Design Politics of the Passport, drawing on his recently published book by the same title.

The seminar is a joint venture between the DIGMEX research network and the Department of Informatics and Media and is open to everyone.

Mahmoud Keshavarz is a Senior Lecturer in Design Studies at HDK-Valand Academy of Art and Design, University of Gothenburg and Research Associate at the Engaging Vulnerability Research Program, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Uppsala University. His current research particularly examines intersections between design, border politics and the question of (de)coloniality. His work has appeared in various journals and anthologies in English, Swedish and Persian. He is author of The Design Politics of the Passport: Materiality, Immobility and Dissent (Bloomsbury, 2019), founding member of Decolonizing Design and co-editor-in-chief of Design and Culture.

Abstract for the talk

The presentation will pick few moments and situations around the artefact of the passport in order to trace the histories, technologies, power relations and contestations around this small but powerful artefact to establish a framework for understanding how design is always enmeshed in the political, and how politics can be understood in terms of material objects.

Combining design studies with critical border studies, alongside ethnographic work among undocumented migrants, border transgressors and passport forgers, Keshavarz will show how a world made and designed as open and hospitable to some is strictly enclosed, confined and demarcated for many others - and how those affected by such injustices dissent from the immobilities imposed on them through the same capacity of design and artifice.