SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Novak, Paolo (2021) The postcoloniality of asylum infrastructure. YouTube. Available from

Full text not available from this repository.


This presentation takes as its object of analysis and investigation asylum seekers’ reception centres in a central Italian province. It builds upon literature concerned with the logistification of asylum to conceive these centres as nodes of the EU humanitarian border, yet it moves beyond the exclusive concern with the migrant-border dialectic that characterises most literature on the subject. In its attempt to dig deeper into the social ontology of the humanitarian border, the presentation de-centres the logistical gaze cast on asylum management characterising this literature by foregrounding instead the productive relation between the humanitarian border and the place-specific social dynamics that explain its emergence and reproduction in concrete settings. Accounting for the multiple and variegated histories, stories, agencies and trajectories that become entangled in the rooms of these reception centres, the paper argues that critical border scholars need to move beyond an exclusive concern with the border-migrant dialectic, and to reorient our attention towards an appreciation of borders’ place-specific configurations. In bringing to the fore the unevenness of these entanglements in each of these reception centres, the presentation also suggests recalibrating contemporary concerns with the coloniality of asylum, of migration, and of infrastructure. The expression ‘postcoloniality of asylum infrastructure’ wants to entangle colonial world-making legacies with everyday practices of place-making.

Item Type: Films
Additional Information: Presentation delivered at the Europe-Asia Research Platform on Forced Migration Seminar Series, organised by Ayşe Çağlar at the IWM, Wien University
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Development Studies
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2022 10:03
Funders: British Academy

Altmetric Data

There is no Altmetric data currently associated with this item.


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item