Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Berlin Institute for Empirical Integration and Migration Research (BIM)

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | BIM | Archive | Archive Projects | Projects 2022 | Night Spaces: Migration, Culture and Integration in Europe (NITE)

Night Spaces: Migration, Culture and Integration in Europe (NITE)

Duration: 04/2019 - 04/2022; Department: Integration, Social Networks and Cultural Lifestyless


How are night spaces imagined, produced, experienced and narrated by migrant communities in Europe? Using the example of migrantised platform work, the sub-project in Berlin explores this question and examines how the Berlin night is transformed by platform work and which new social figures and work cultures it produces.


The research project entitled Night Spaces: migration, culture and integration in Europe (NITE) is based in eight European cities, Aarhus, Amsterdam, Berlin, Cork, Galway, Lisbon, London and Rotterdam, and looks at how migrant communities in Europe experience the night from different perspectives.

The Berlin sub-project under the direction of Professor Manuela Bojadzijev and with the cooperation of Laura-Solmaz Litschel, who is doing a PhD on the topic, is using the example of migrantised platform work and its night-time work culture to investigate how the Berlin night is being transformed by platform-driven digitalisation.

Berlin is rapidly becoming a so-called "smart city". As in many other urban centres across Europe, this transition has dramatic implications for the convergence of digital infrastructures with physical space. Understanding 'digital transformation' is therefore fundamental when considering the blurring of day and night in relation to work culture research. In new forms of algorithmically organised labour, we observe the emergence of new social figures: the platform worker who races through the smart city at a rapid pace, digitally mobilised for use in the so-called "last mile" of parcel and delivery services, but also active in the maintenance of the smart city (such as escooter rechargers, so-called juicers). These platform workers, regulated and controlled by various digital platforms that aim to serve our changing consumption habits, aptly called the "convenience economy", are the focus of the research. While workers make the magic of "delivery in 10 minutes" come true, they remain largely invisible in the narratives of the "smart city". Using the example of digitally-organised platform work, the Berlin sub-project investigates how the city night is transformed by the shift to the smart city and to what extent this "digitised night" promotes new practices of mobility. It wants to tell the story of the smart city from a different perspective: Using the example of digitally-organised, often migrant platform workers, who are particularly affected by how the Berlin night is being transformed by digitalisation.


Funded by the Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) programme and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.International Team Members: Dr. Sara Brandellero (Leiden University), Prof. Ben Campkin (University College London), Dr. Derek Pardue (Aarhus University) und Dr. Ailbhe Kenny (University of Limerick). Further Teammembers: Serger Kersbergen, Alessio Koliulis,  Katherine Young, Kamila Krakowska, Lo Marshall, Jola Zych, Jordan Rowe.


Project Members at Institute for Migration Studies: Manuela Bojadzijev and Laura-Solmaz Litschel supported by student assistant Jola Zych. 


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