Select your language

Scientific articles

The #Smartphone Revolution. Traversing the Refugee Route with a Smartphone

The main purpose of the article is to analyse the relation between digitality and migration with a focus on the case of the Balkan migratory route. The analysis is rooted in the concept of “connected migrants”, who employ smartphones as a crucial tool for staying connected with others while traveling their transnational routes. A smartphone is an important signifier of contemporary migrations; its use provides the opportunity for refugees to be more autonomous, but also represents risks of increased control of migratory routes and physical violence. The article’s theoretical reflections are coupled with empirical data gathered by both non-governmental organizations and the article’s authors, who conducted four interviews with people who were granted international protection in Slovenia. The results show that migrants have a high level of digital literacy and are able to resourcefully use smartphones despite being pushed to technological margins and having a limited digital infrastructure. The authors also conclude that the use of smartphones exposes refugees to various techniques of control leveraged by the state. The state erases migrants’ digital footprints by demolishing their phones and pushing them back to the states they came from (i.e. push-backs). On the other hand, these same digital traces help the state identify the most commonly used crossings and routes to Europe.


Article inside journal

Issue No. 278 - Border Regimes
Časopis za kritiko znanosti
2019 , volume volume 47 , issue issue 278
9,00 € each (incl. tax - DDV)
Read more …