Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives Presents:



Thursday, 23 September 2021 from 4:30-5:30pm


To register for this free public online event: https://uvic.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcvcO-vqjwvHtO3LnFPinJudl5UUyduVsaW 


The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a global surge of new surveillance practices by the governments and tech industry, such as the GPS tracking and contact tracing apps, and has pushed Asia to a place called ‘world’s surveillance hotspot’. In fact, the invention of identification (ID) technologies is historically connected with colonial governance in Asia and Africa, especially in case of biometrics. Fingerprinting, the forerunner of biometrics, was created by the British police in colonial India and tested also in South Africa. In Northeast Asia, Japan issued fingerprinted ID cards to identify the Chinese population when occupying the region in the 1920s–1945. The fingerprinted ID cards were adopted for dual purposes:  preempting potential rebellion by the Chinese while using them as cheap labour power. Examining the narratives and artifacts from her field research in China, UVic Sociology professor Dr. Midori Ogasawara will discuss how the colonial surveillance systems classified the Chinese bodies as risks, but profitable resources for the colonizers.


Midori Ogasawara

Midori Ogasawara

Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Victoria



Sujin Lee

Sujin Lee

Assistant Professor of Pacific and Asian Studies, University of Victoria

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