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Deportation, Expulsions, and Detention: Comparing Compulsory Measures in Canada and Brazil from an Intersectional Perspective

April 19, 2023 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

This workshop offers a comparative discussion of immigration control measures in Brazil and Canada. PhD students Lúcia Sestokas (University of Campinas) and Kate Motluk (Balsillie School of International Affairs) will present on their respective research and the discussion will be facilitated by Natália Corazza (University of Campinas) and Sarah Turnbull (University of Waterloo and Balsillie School of International Affairs).

The workshop is co-hosted by the Migration, Mobilities, and Social Politics research cluster and the Center for Gender Studies (Pagu) as part of Pagu’s 30th anniversary celebrations.

Speaker: Lúcia Sestokas

Title: “Connecting the Guarulhos International Airport and the Federal Court of Guarulhos: Encounters between Criminal and Migratory Policies”

Abstract: This presentation aims to deepen the analysis of the relationships between the Guarulhos International Airport and the Federal Court of Guarulhos in Brazil. It investigates the continuities in the performance of agents and agencies that operate in the airport and in the court. In this way, Lúcia Sestokas intends to understand how criminal and migratory policies are applied to people in situations of international displacement.

Speaker: Kate Motluk

Title: “COVID-19 and Carceral Spaces: Contemporary Colonialism in Canadian Immigration Detention Practices”

Abstract: Immigration detention in Canada underwent several notable changes throughout the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns and other measures taken within immigration holding centres and Canadian prisons led to a troubling erosion of rights for migrant detainees and others held in those same carceral spaces. The threat of COVID-19 was used as a justification for the suspension of certain rights, yet simultaneously, this new threat of COVID-19 led to unprecedented rates of decarceration across immigration detention in the early months of the pandemic. This presentation will consider Canada’s status as a settler state and how contemporary colonial logics impacted migrants in detention throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, Kate Motluk will consider the role of crisis framing by Canada by examining how this framing is activated and deactivated, and what that suggests about whether issues like irregular migration should really be apprehended as a ‘crisis’ at all.

About the speakers:

Kate Motluk is a PhD student at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. Her research is focused on issues of forced migration, with a particular interest in the intersections of migration and criminalization. Kate pursued her MA in Geography at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her thesis, Containment & COVID-19 in the Settler State, examined the responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in carceral spaces across Canada and Australia.

Lúcia Sestokas is a PhD student in the postgraduate program in Social Anthropology at the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP). Her research focuses on criminal and migration policies.

About the facilitators:

Natália Corazza is a permanent researcher at the Center for Gender Studies (Pagu) and Professor of Social Sciences and Social Anthropology Graduate Programs at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP). Her work draws on love and affection through prisons and transnational borders and governmentality. She is the author of the book Sobre Casos e Casamentos: afetos e amores através de penitenciárias femininas em São Paulo e Barcelona [Affairs and Marriages: affection and love through female prisons in São Paulo and Barcelona]. Natália is the chief editor of Cadernos Pagu, an open access feminist publication, and a member of the Migrations and Displacements Committee of the Brazilian Association of Anthropology.

Sarah Turnbull is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Legal Studies at the University of Waterloo and a faculty member at the Balsillie School for International Affairs and co-lead of the Migration, Mobilities, and Social Politics Research Cluster. She researches, teaches, and supervises in the areas of critical border and migration studies and border criminology; criminology and sociolegal studies; punishment, parole, and reentry; postcolonial, antiracist, and feminist thought; and qualitative research methods.

About Pagu:

Drawing of a woman with long black hair inside a circle with the words "Pagu 30 Anos 2023" The Center Pagu was founded in 1993 and has played a significant role in the Brazilian debate on gender, sexuality, and difference. Apart from what is developed by the affiliated researchers, the Center has an academic journal, also since 1993. Cadernos Pagu publishes articles from Brazilian and Latin American researchers and translates pivotal contributions from English to Portuguese to reach a broader audience within our country.


April 19, 2023
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm


Balsillie School of International Affairs, 67 Erb Street West
Waterloo, ON Canada
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