The physical safety of vulnerable persons in the public sphere has been an enduring concern since the latter’s emergence, and has intensified with the growth of cities. Indeed the moral value of safety has a special relationship to surveillance, having been the primary justification for the expansion of public area video recording, known as CCTV. Yet the ubiquitization of CCTV in cities across Europe has not eradicated hate crimes, nor other forms of targeting of physically vulnerable people. In recent years this has prompted the rise of ‘safety apps’, applications on smartphones which apply their geo-monitoring, messaging, and other functionalities to allow the user to be surveilled in real time by people that they trust. This postdoctoral project takes place in London, with users who consider themselves physically vulnerable such as women, sexual, gender and ethnic minorities.


About the Anthropologist

Dr Matan Shapiro is a Research Associate in the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London.

Matan Shapiro is a Social Anthropologist (2013, UCL). His ethnographic research projects to date mainly focused on Israeli, Brazilian and Norwegian societies. His theoretical interests span across cosmology, religiosity and ritual; play, paradox and alterity; social dynamics; and – finally – risk, broadly defined. He is currently interested in surveillance, morality and the emergent construction of post-political crowds in mega-cities.

Read Matan’s publications on his page here.




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