Edgelands Maps at Frontera Morada in Cúcuta

With some young people from Bitácora Ciudadana de Frontera Morada programme in the city of Cúcuta, we held the first workshop in the Colombian border city. The young Colombians and Venezuelans who participated in the workshop led us to investigate the implicit and explicit agreements of the city, among locals and immigrants and those governing the formal and informal authority at the border.



  • Complement youth perspectives with existing theory to reach a common understanding of what we mean by (1) Urban spaces, (2)The Internet/digital spaces, (3)Social networks, (4)Security, (5)Surveillance, and (6)Coexistence.
  • Identify the agreements (explicit and implicit) that exist in certain urban and digital spaces around security, and its elements.
  • Identify urban and digital places where young people feel safe and unsafe, and the factors for that feeling.



  • Identify what is the purpose and usefulness of surveillance and security,
  • Explore what is the relationship between surveillance and security?
  • Discuss the differences and similarities that exist when surveillance is done by the state, informal actors, and citizens.
  • Discuss the differences and similarities that exist when we talk about security in urban and digital spaces.
  • Propose how to transform an unsafe place into a place of coexistence involving the community.

This is how young people defined the cross-cutting concepts discussed during workshops


Digital space map. Photo by Andres Boada

Physical territory map. Photo by Andres Boada

Profile of actors identified by participants:


What we learned

  • Surveillance can be provided by everyday actors in the lives of young people, such as teachers, care-givers, the people who live in Casa Morada (community leaders) and neighbours in the neighbourhood.
  • There are technologies that help us feel safe, such as sharing our location with people we know.
  • The apps that young people use are not always safe, because there are people like hackers who can access our personal information.
  • Most of the border trails (for illegal crossing) are controlled by illegal actors who control the passage of goods and people.
  • Technology can be used to guard our personal information or to mishandle information.
  • There are not safe zones everywhere; there are many dark zones nearby.
  • Technology is insecure.
  • We must deconstruct our spaces in order to understand them.
  • Coexistence is the constant analysis of the contexts and actors of spaces in order to understand their foundations.
  • Surveillance is both a mechanism for control a one of care.
  • Implicit and explicit agreements help us point at markers of what makes the social contract.
  • Technology can be fun and entertaining but not safe.
  • We need to inhabit our physical and digital spaces safely.
  • Technologies, the night and the border trails are not safe.

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