05. August 2016 · Kommentare deaktiviert für Search and Rescue in the Mediterranean Sea: Negotiating Political Differences · Kategorien: Alarm Phone, Lesetipps, Mittelmeer · Tags:

Download als pdf

Hernan del Valle


This article explores the debates that unfolded within Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) around the decision to launch search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean in 2015. It examines how, beyond the unifying imperative to help, there remained very different political interpretations within the organisation about the proper role of humanitarian actors in tackling this visible and tragic situation. The points of contention included categorisation, feasibility, medical impact, and politics, raising the following central questions: should categories matter, and is it relevant whether a needy person is classed as a camp-dwelling refugee or an irregular migrant at sea? Are the needs in the Mediterranean more serious than those in disasters else- where? Would search and rescue operations end up placing publicity and politics over impartiality and neutrality? Looking at how MSF resolved these and other issues can help illustrate the challenges aid agencies face in a world where deaths from large-scale migration are becoming a more common feature of the humanitarian landscape. […]

05. August 2016 · Kommentare deaktiviert für A sea of struggle – activist border interventions in the Mediterranean Sea · Kategorien: Alarm Phone, Lesetipps, Mittelmeer

Quelle: Taylor & Francis Online

Maurice Stierl

Cultural Studies, African American and African Studies, University of California, Davis, CA, USA


In October 2014, on the anniversary of a large migrant shipwreck in the Mediterranean Sea, activists in Europe and Africa commemorated the victims and protested their deaths by launching the WatchTheMed Alarm Phone. The Alarm Phone functions as a ‘hotline’ for travellers who find themselves in emergency situations when crossing maritime borders towards EUrope. Its shift-teams offer information, advice and the possibility of raising public alarm, also in order to pressurise (state) rescue services to act. Based on my own engagement in the project, I portray an activist network that acted on the desire to intervene more directly in a deadly space that is often considered a ‘maritime void’ or as ‘reserved’ for state and EU (border) authorities. I argue that the Alarm Phone’s transformative political potentiality arises precisely from its capacity to connect its constitutive engagement in (under the surface) mobile commons that facilitate ‘unauthorised’ human movement with public campaigns that call for and (thereby) perform international citizenship. […]

Download as pdf