Project by
Ramón Córdova González
Master Track
Heidi Sohn, Bas Gremmen, Mike Emmerik

Ecology of Migration

Mexico is a country with a very relevant migration tradition, in part due to its geographical situation, but also to other historic, economic, cultural and politic conditions. Whereas in the past this migration phenomena was mainly about Mexicans moving inside the country or towards the north, in recent years different kinds of migration have become increasingly relevant and nevertheless, they remain under the shadow of generalization, which is nothing more than a reduction of their actual complexity, making hard to understand that instead of talking about migration, it would be more accurate to talk about migration flows.

Since all migration flows are categorized as only one form of social phenomena, which also is considered an abnormality, it is not surprising to find that all the measures and plans developed by both, governments and civil organizations are generic and do not seem to have a lasting effect; while one focuses only in devising new schemes to control migrants from above, through institutions and the figure of the state, the other victimizes and appears almost exclusively concerned with human rights. Of course, it is undeniable that the current conditions of migration demand attention to the individuals that conform it (including their rights) because after all they are the ones who confront all kind of difficult situations, however, in order to approach the problem in a productive way, it is fundamental to shift from the exclusive understanding of migration as a set of individuals in a pilgrimage for better life conditions, to one that look at it as forces with properties and capacities of their own that cannot be reduced to the individuals that conform them.

This implies that before acting it is crucial to understand how these different flows interact and create new systems within the markers present in the territory, because only by analyzing these processes it is possible, on the one hand, to understand how the specific subjects that interact in it are formed, name them migrants, traffickers, smugglers, etc., and on the other hand, to identify the potential moments to disrupt into the system in order to provoke the rearrangement of its elements and with it potentially improve its conditions.

Research questions

  • Which are the relevant relations within the given system that shape the migration flows in the Soconusco region in Mexico?
  • How can a spatial intervention(s) be inserted in the system, in order to potentially provoke a qualitative improvement in its conditions?
  • How can this intervention(s) be designed, in order to embrace the potential contingencies virtually present in the system.

Goal of your project
The goal of the project is to capture, contain, direct and organize the migration flows, teasing out its capacities to mutate, bifurcate, and change, in order to disrupt the existing system, and with it potentially improve the conditions of the migration process, while remaining flexible enough to embrace the potential contingencies virtually present in the territory.

Design Description
The design proposal should be understood as a set of spatial interventions that even when they vary in type, location, size and goal, they work together. They are related to each other and with the existing system, and precisely because of that they should not be analyzed separately. Each of them is located in a strategic point of the region that was defined not only by its explicit relevance in relation to the migrant flows, but also by its potential impact, even if it is in an indirect or implicit way.

It is an approach that works with the existing relations in an ethical way, understanding that each particularity of the system holds more potential to affect the migrant flows than any idealist preconceived solution. Moreover, working with the system in this way allows the possibility to embrace contingency instead of fighting it, becoming an intervention that works transversally across different levels and of which time is an essential component.