Periodic Reporting for period 1 - HARBOR (HARBOR. Humanitarianism and Refugees at the Border: A Transnational Feminist Analysis of Nonprofit Organizations) Reporting period: 2020-01-15 to 2022-01-14 Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project HARBOR—Humanitarianism and Refugees at the Border—is a feminist project that departs from the idea that humanitarianism is a neutral and timeless ideology and instead, turns a critical eye towards this sector. Meanwhile, neoliberalism is not merely a political and economic system that claims that the market should be freed of the government’s control (Harvey 2005) but also an ideology that reinforces certain traits in the subject and that has permeated all social spheres (Duggan 2003). Given that humanitarian players have become such relevant actors in refugee management, academics have argued that the study of the intersection of border control and assistance to border-crossers needs further research (Bosworth et al., 2018; Gerard and Webber 2019, 267). Within this scenario, HARBOR’s aim is to explore the importance of these organisations within the broader migration regime. HARBOR also engages in the exploration of how non-profit organisations influence the decision of those who cross borders (migrants, asylum-seekers and/or refugees) and how these organisations influence the construction of border-crossers’ subjectivities. In addition, HARBOR provides an analysis of the ways in which solidarians (humanitarian workers, NGO workers, and/or volunteers) engage with their work in two ways: how they deal with the contradictions of their work (including ways to exercise resistance); and the potential for (radical) change these organisations hold. One of the objectives of the project that runs through my work is to visibilise women in general, and their work in the humanitarian setting—closely related to the care sector—in particular. This is done by bringing feminism to the forefront in every debate that deals with social justice. Finally, paramount to the project and connected to neoliberalism and humanitarianism at the border, HARBOR focuses on developing theory and practices that move towards the goal of border abolition. This project is an important contribution to the literature on critical humanitarian studies, critical migration studies, critical border studies and its intersection with neoliberal ideology and feminism. Disclosing the ways in which humanitarianism is entangled with border control and bringing this into the open offers the possibility to redress how aid is framed. Understanding the strategies solidarians use to navigate their contradictions reflects the way the humanitarian system and the state work. The struggle against today’s border regimes is constantly refracted through a reformist-humanitarian response that is in conversation with detention to constrain mobilities. Analysing the way in which humanitarianism co-opts and depoliticises activist demands—such as border abolition—can shed light in the ways in which struggles for freedom get embedded in reformist responses. Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far I have worked on the objective of exploring the importance of humanitarian organisations within the broader migration regime. A result of this exploration is the article Dr Hoffstaedter and I published that deals with the importance of humanitarian organisations in border areas, and how they have become key actors for refugees to access their rights (Riva and Hoffstaedter 2021). In regard to HARBOR’s engagement in the analysis of how non-profit organisations influence the decision of those who cross borders and how these organisations influence the construction of border-crossers’ subjectivities, I have published a blog post with my colleague Dr Paynter. Additionally, Dr Routon and I, published an article that deals with the ways in which solidarians working with people who seek asylum reinforce and contest neoliberal regimes (Riva and Routon 2020). I try to engage as much as possible in the feminist praxis of collaborative work—in these cases publishing with colleagues. To emphasise the effects that neoliberalism and borders have on women, I published a peer-reviewed article and a blog post (Riva 2021). One of HARBOR’s objectives (probably the most important one) that runs through my work is to find ways to engage audiences in feminism. In that vein, I have given several talks at different venues—including schools—and written two dissemination pieces that deal with feminism and the importance of including and visibilising women and their work. In these talks, I try to bring an understanding to wider audiences of what feminism is and its importance. Feminism is a topic that still requires recognition efforts everywhere, but especially in countries in the South of Europe, and places where far-right populism is gaining ground. Additionally, I have participated in five conferences, six workshops, and three researchers’ weeks that deal with my work.Due to the pandemic, HARBOR’s focus shifted slightly. I could not travel to Australia, and thus I focused on work I could execute. I conducted 20 in-depth interviews with solidarians who work in Spain, and 10 in-depth interviews with border-crossers in Spain and Australia. Even though my geographical mobility was limited, during the pandemic I found other ways to extend my research. I was granted ethics approval from my host institution (CSIC) to expand my project to humanitarian organisations in camps. In this way, I reinforce the part of the project that deals with understanding humanitarian workers’ motivations and dilemmas and their potential for resistance.Similarly, I strengthened the part of the project that deals with border abolition. In this vein, I engaged in different activities and events: I recorded a podcast on border abolition; gave a talk in the house of culture in Girona (Spain); participated on a cultural activity that dealt with the understanding of border violence at the CSIC library; and wrote a blog post on borders and social justice. Furthermore, as another example of feminist collaborative work, through the European Association of Social Anthropologists I connected with a like-minded group of people to collectively organise the Border Abolition Conference 2021 https://www.borderabolition2021.com/who-is-involved. We brought together people struggling against the border in all its forms, from immigration detention, prison and militarised border sites to the solidarity practices that resist expanding systems of everyday bordering. Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far) My plan for this year is to continue to research the areas I am already working on that deal with the exploration of humanitarian organisations and their articulation with neoliberalism within the migration apparatus: how these organisations influence the construction of border-crossers’ subjectivities; an analysis of the ways in which solidarians engage with their work; the visibilisation of women in the humanitarian setting; and engaging in developing theory and practices that move towards the goal of border abolition. In regard to the other parts of the project, Dr Hoffstaedter and I have organised a writing retreat on Critical Humanitarianisms that deals directly with the topic of my research. Meanwhile, I am presenting at different venues—the European Association of Anthropologists (EASA) in July, at IMISCOE in June—and have been accepted to a workshop at the Institute for Critical Social Inquiry at The New School for Social Research with (among others) Saskia Sassen in June.