Edgelands Maps at the CFP SHR in Geneva‍

Edgelands mapping workshops are a methodology of the Edgelands Institute that seeks answers concerning people's understanding of concepts such as surveillance, security, coexistence and general social contracts. We also analyze spaces that are considered safe or dangerous, both in physical and digital experiences.

Photo: Sophie Zermatten

Last week, we held another edition of this workshop in Geneva, in a class at the Centre de Formation Professionnelle Services et Hôtellerie / Restauration (CFPSHR). Twelve students aged between 16 and 37 took part, and the discussions were very interesting, both for us and for the participants.

Photo: Sophie Zermatten

The main conclusions that emerged from our conversations were as follows:

  • The perception of safety depends, in addition to place and time, on multiple characteristics of the interviewee: gender, age, life course and even "character" or the mood of the day play very important roles.

  • Despite what we've been able to observe so far in Geneva, these participants, particularly the younger ones, felt for the most part much more insecure in physical spaces than in digital ones.

  • In general, they perceive that the more surveillance there is, the more security there is. In their case, they associated the notion of surveillance more with supervision by physical people (adults, social workers, police) than with the presence of technologies such as security cameras.

Photo: Sophie Zermatten
  • We noticed that their perception of security in Geneva was different from the responses collected in other projects. In general, these young people feel more insecure than other segments of the population surveyed. We believe this is certainly due to the neighborhoods in which they live, as well as to the news they are exposed to in the media (for example, a few days ago, an 18-year-old died as a result of stabbings in Thonex).

  • Several of these young people also added that they had perceived an increase in crime in recent years.

Photo: Sophie Zermatten

  • As far as physical spaces were concerned, they had little preoccupation about problems of insecurity, and generally felt that responsibility for this (which they associated mainly with notions of harassment) lay with the users. The notion of "respect" came up frequently

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