In this seminar, Mahmoud Keshavarz will present his recently published book, The Design of the Passport: Materiality, Immobility and Dissent. It is an interdisciplinary study of the passport and practices as a means of uncovering the workings of what he calls ‘design politics’. It traces 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, this book shows 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.
Mahmoud Keshavarz is a postdoctoral researcher at the Engaging Vulnerability Research Program, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Uppsala University. He is the co-founder of Decolonizing Design group and co-editor-in-chief of Design and Cultural Journal.
This seminar is organized by IMER in cooperation with the at the WAIT-project at the Centre for Women’s and Gender Research (SKOK).