Postgraduate Paper Prize 2022 Announcement

The Carceral Geography Working Group is happy to announce the winner of the 2022 Postgraduate Paper Prize:

Bronte Alexander: “Intimate Geographies of Precarity; water infrastructure in Brazil’s humanitarian response.”

Bronte’s paper examines how Brazil’s WASH stations sit at the intersection of water infrastructure and military-humanitarian modes of migration management. Through a detailed analysis of the spaces and disciplinary practices of shower facilities for migrants, Bronte traces how the regulation of space and time in the shower block enacts Jasbir Puar’s notion of debility, rather than biopolitics, a governmentality that “will not let die,” rather than “making live.” The review panel was impressed with how the paper brought together critical geographical research on water infrastructure and containment in migration and border regimes. Congratulations, Bronte!


The recent increase in Venezuelan migrants and refugees to Brazil has prompted a military-humanitarian response coordinated by multiple government agencies and (inter)national organisations. This coordination effort sits under the umbrella of the Operation Welcome task force. Situated in the northern state of Roraima, bordering Venezuela, this article explores one particular site of humanitarian care, a set of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities located in the capital city of Boa Vista. I draw attention to the water infrastructure of the site, which is managed by local government and military personnel. This paper investigates the shower block, a space that serves over one thousand Venezuelan refugees and migrants who are living without shelter. Addressing the spatio-temporal features of this site reveals the practices of debilitating mobilities that aim to provide basic needs under the guise of humanitarian care, while simultaneously governing migrant (embodied) mobilities. I argue that the military-humanitarian approach to Venezuelan migration produces intimate geographies of precarity. The (often subtle) violent consequences of providing aid not only impacts migrant mobilities, but also the bodies and lives of those migrants, which reinforces their vulnerabilities and keeps them in a cyclical loop of exclusion.

Undergraduate Dissertation Prize 2022 Announcement

The Carceral Geographies Working Group and Advisory Board are pleased to announce the winner of our 2022 Undergraduate Dissertation Prize:

Flora Farthing, Durham University: “Re-entry as ‘Punishment’s twin’: An exploration of the contemporary post-release carceral environment.”

We wish to congratulate all nominees for producing excellent dissertations under very challenging circumstances. The selection panel was impressed by the depth and care with which these students treated their research, their engagement with carceral geography literatures, and the insights they drew from their rich empirical research. These dissertations presented us with the best of undergraduate research and the decision was a difficult one.

The review panel was especially impressed with Flora’s methodology and, especially, the richly detailed analysis of people’s experiences of re-entry. Combined with her engagement with multiple facets of carceral geographies literature, Flora’s analysis generated original insights about the diffusion of carcerality beyond prisons. The review committee felt that these insights have the potential to contribute to emerging work exploring carcerality beyond detention and show the ability to engage in cutting-edge research. Congratulations, Flora.

Dissertation abstract:

Abstract: Situated within the prevailing environment UK of high rates of incarceration, this dissertation explores the re-entry experiences of former offenders. Highlighting the extent to which the carceral is continuously felt and re-enforced, through various institutional and societal practises and spaces, despite their release from prison. Whilst also illuminating the relationship between the pervasive nature of the carceral within society and the carceral ‘churn’ which is prevalent within the contemporary UK environment; encapsulating the revolving nature of incarceration. This dissertation presents the potential of penal voluntary organisations as a ‘glimmer’ of hope within the bleak re-entry landscape, supporting former offenders and subsequently aiding in their disentanglement from the pervasive carceral webs that emanate from institutional and societal means of control.