chapter  4
15 Pages

‘Is it a donkey?’ Presences, senses and figuration in human–technological border control

WithKaren Fog Olwig, Kristina Grünenberg, Perle Møhl, Anja Simonsen

Chapter 4 – ‘Is it a donkey?’ Presences, senses and figuration in human-technological border control – presents and analyses forms of presence detection in the control of border transgressions by using sonar and haptic technologies that ‘listen’ to and ‘feel’ for presences and hidden persons and different forms of imagery, notably radar and infrared. Such technologies do not identify individuals but only kinds of bodies – humans, birds, donkeys. The border guards develop refined skills for distinguishing the living from the inert, humans from non-humans. The chapter pursues by inverting the perspective to encompass different forms of surveillance of the surveyors themselves, whether by migrants or by management, with a vivid description of migrant technological skills and tactics for crossing the border.