Structuring Refugees & Cyberculture

intersectional alien

Ok, so I have developed the idea for my research project, now to assemble it! I have decided to divide the project into 5 parts (five focus points).

Parts 1 & 2 will be on how refugees engage with cyberculture. Part 1 will focus on how refugees map & document their experiences. Example cases I will be researching: refugees paving the way for other refugees by sharing photos/GPS locations of their migration path on social media and Google Maps censoring access to viewing refugee housing centres.

Part 2 will be a focus on how refugees interact with cyberculture to share their experiences within institutions/controlled environments (i.e. detention centres, camps and island resettlements). Examples: Free the children NAURU and footage released of a hunger strike from within Manus Island detention centre.

Image from Free the children NAURU Facebook page, uploaded 20th March 2016 Image from Free the children NAURU Facebook page, uploaded 20th March 2016

Part 3 will be a focus on those participating in cyberculture to help refugees…

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4 thoughts on “Structuring Refugees & Cyberculture”

  1. I’m a huge advocate for refugees, and I think it’s disgraceful how they’re represented in Australia. However, the one main issue about this is lack of access, as in detention centres these people are barely allowed to use technology, let alone notify people of their experiences. The other issue is similar to my issue, the moral boundaries at which we are exploiting a minority, rather than attempting to help them. Unfortunately there are a lot of gatekeepers in gaining access to refugees and I believe there was only 29 settled of 12000 syrian refugees, promised asylum in Australia. This project, if taken upon has the potential to do great things; improve technology access for asylum seekers, establishing an Arab spring-esque movement and ultimately hope that negative connotations associated with asylum seekers are buried once and for all. This will take quite a while, and I wish you luck with it.


  2. You have a lot of interesting and important stuff you’re wanting to do with this topic. I am looking forward to seeing at take shape over the course of the semester.

    One thing I think might be interesting to look into is the way futurologists have hypothesized what the future of the refugee crisis might look like? Your research instantly made me think of the second season of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (subtitled ‘2nd Gig’). The plot takes place in a near-future, cyberpunk world were there is growing tension between government bodies and the Asian refugee population – who are forced into slums.

    It’s hard to explain a whole 24 episode plot with so many nuances. I’d recommend watching it if you can find it somewhere at an accessible price point and if you have the time. But what’s particularly interesting takes place near the end, where the so-called saviour to the refugees reveals that the ultimate goal of his revolution is to migrate the refugee population on to the internet itself – abandoning their bodies entirely and freeing themselves of the politics that keep them imprisoned. Here is a link to the part in the series where this plan is revealed

    It obviously raises some ethical and philosophical questions with regards to the treatment of refugees, but I suppose that’s what we’re studying cybercultures for?


  3. I’m use to reading about how limited and censored Refugees are in Australia. I hadn’t thought of the ways they are gaining to be able to engage with Cyberculture. I’m curious to how much interaction that the Australian govt. will allow these people to have in the future, by the support of Social Media, external pressures and dedication. The proposal of internet to be made available to refugee camps, is one that will allow us to see more into this traditionally-isolated and inaccessible reality but sadly at the same time something that does not seem to have any chance of being embraced too well by our Australian detention centers – a place where no unauthorized information is legally allowed to escape under the “Deed of Agreement” introduced in 2011.

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