Keynote 3 - Fri, Apr 27Th / 16:45
migrant labor and the frontiers of security
Sleep Dealer is part of an archive of speculative fictions – notably, the TV show Westworld and the novel Lunar Braceros – that take place in the borderlands and imagine a future of complete surveillance and the denaturing and dehumanization of labor. It presents a future of deeply integrated networks, the proliferation of security technologies, new forms of labor, and the end of migration. The movement of those living in the southern borderlands is monitored and targeted by armed military drones, the action which is part of U.S. entertainment media in the TV show, simply named “Drones”. The borderlands’ future is one in which mobility is highly regulated and controlled, while the labor needs of the Global North are met without the irksome presence of the Global South. Sleep Dealer suggests that the condition along the border represents a future of complete surveillance, the collapse of entertainment and military endeavors, and the continued dehumanization of those at the bottom of the labor market. This dystopic future exposes aspects of the present that demand critical attention and points to possibilities for resistance and collective action.
Camilla Fojas teaches in the American Studies Program and the Department of Media Studies at the University of Virginia. She is currently working on a new project on surveillance and borders tentatively titled Border Securities/Border Futures.