Visiting fellow Olga Usachova

From November 2019 to January 2020 the Digital Media Lab will host the visiting fellow Olga Usachova from the University of Padua. Welcome!

Olga Usachova is a Ph.D Student in “Social Sciences, Interactions, Communication and Cultural Constructions” at the Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Education and Applied Psychology (FISPPA), University of Padua, under the supervision of Prof. Federico Neresini. She holds a Master degree in Law from Donetsk National University, Ukraine and Master in International Cooperation and Development Studies from School of Advanced Studies – IUSS, Pavia, Italy. In her Master’ thesis, “Integration practices of Syrian refugees in host communities: the case study of Lebanon”, she focused on the social and political aspects of the integration practices of Syrian refugees and Lebanese community response.

Her current research is about the role of digital technology in forced migrant’s inclusion and integration process. Drawing on actor-network theory and by focussing particularly on the entanglements between digital technologies, governments, migrants and host communities she critically engages with concepts of ‘borders’, ‘digital space’ or ‘identity’. Throughout her research she is interested in spaces of digital-material autonomy and asks how digital technologies affect the agency of forcedly displaced people who have to deal with all kind of inconveniences and repressions by state policies and agencies. Olga follows an integrated “socio-technical” approach that examines both the design and shaping of a digital technology and their interaction and usage in migrants and host communities.

During her research stay at the Digital Media Lab she will be conducting empirical fieldwork in Bavaria by getting in touch with various associations for refugees, political actors responsible for integration policy, as well as developers of the specific software and applications for the support of refugees.

Her academic interests are: MCTS, Migration Studies, Refugees Studies, Human-technology interaction


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