• Unity projects analysis: the solution file has two projects named “UnityEngine.UI”
    https://hownot2code.com/2021/10/18/unity-projects-analysis-the-solution-file-has-two-projects-named-unitye

    While PVS-Studio analyses a Unity project, one may stumble upon such an error: Error was encountered while trying to open solution file ‘…’: The solution file has two projects named “UnityEngine.UI”. This note discusses the reasons for this error and how to eliminate it. Reasons PVS-Studio uses some third-party libraries, including Roslyn and MSBuild to … Continue reading Unity projects analysis: the solution file has two projects named “UnityEngine.UI”

    #Bugs_in_C#_projects #Tips_and_tricks #bugs #C# #coding #Csharp #development #gamedev #programming #SharpDevelop
    https://1.gravatar.com/avatar/a7fa0bb4ebff5650d2c83cb2596ad2aa?s=96&d=identicon&r=G

  • ÉDITO : Quand la fièvre spéculative s’empare du jeu vidéo… – Le Mag de MO5.COM
    https://mag.mo5.com/a-la-une/208592/edito-quand-la-fievre-speculative-sempare-du-jeu-video

    Ce qui a changé par rapport aux précédents records, c’est que l’agence de notation WataGames lui a décerné un 9.8A++, a priori la note maximale qu’un exemplaire de ce jeu pourrait décrocher, mais cela reste étonnant quand un 9.4A+ faisait presque quarante fois moins en début d’année. Et dans la mesure où Heritage Auctions récupère 20% de la transaction – le jeu a en réalité été adjugé à 1,3 millions – plus 5% de la somme touchée par le vendeur, on peut effectivement se demander s’il n’y a pas anguille sous roche… Car si la maison de vente aux enchères assure faire toutes les vérifications nécessaires, l’acheteur demeure en général anonyme à moins de se manifester publiquement. Les arnaques ne sont hélas pas nouvelles dans le jeu vidéo, avec des faux prototypes et kits de développement par exemple, mais c’est bien sûr à tout autre chose que l’on a affaire ici, bien plus subtile et plus légale en apparence.

    Sur l’étonnante envolée des prix de jeux vidéo anciens, avec une relation consanguine, voire collusion, entre organisateurs des enchères et les évaluateurs des jeux, dont les acheteurs anonymes sont tantôt associés à des fonds d’investissements, tantôt les vendeurs, désireux de faire gonfler artificiellement les prix.

    De manière connexe, on peut s’intéresser à la concentration constatée dans le marché de l’art en général :

    The Art Market is a Scam (And Rich People Run It)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZ3F3zWiEmc

    #jeu_vidéo #jeux_vidéo #art #spéculation #enchères #population #édité #enquête #estimation #wastagames #heritage_auctions #console_nes #console_playstation #jeu_vidéo_super_mario_bros #jeu_vidéo_stadium_events #deniz_khan #jeu_vidéo_the_legend_of_zelda #jeu_vidéo_super_mario_64 #chris_kohler #frank_cifaldi #magazine_superman #comics_superman #karl_jobst #jim_halperin #just_press_play #seth_abramson #otis #mythic_markets #jeu_vidéo_super_mario_bros_3 #dain_anderson #gocollect #sec #nintendoage #gamevaluenow #jeu_vidéo_tomb_raider #console_saturn #kelsey_lewin #video_game_history_foundation #jeu_vidéo_spiderman #console_atari_2600 #seth_abramson #yūji_naka #jeu_vidéo_sonic #mega_drive #goodwill

  • Les métiers du jeu vidéo en 2021 : Level designer
    https://www.afjv.com/news/10698_metiers-jeu-video-2021-level-designer.htm

    Le Level Designer (concepteur de niveau en français) conçoit les différents niveaux qui composeront le jeu vidéo en suivant un cahier des charges établi par le Game Designer (le concepteur du jeu). D’abord sur papier, puis par ordinateur, il détermine l’intensité de la difficulté qui participera grandement au plaisir de jouer et à la structure du jeu. Il imagine la position des objets, des personnages et le séquencement de l’action niveau après niveau.

    #jeu_vidéo #jeux_vidéo #game_designer #métier #découverte #définition #développement_informatique #nicolas_tézé #isart_digital

  • Ces jeux qui sont gratuits ou que vous possédez déjà sans le savoir
    https://www.ouest-france.fr/gaming/ces-jeux-qui-sont-gratuits-ou-que-vous-possedez-deja-sans-le-savoir-187
    https://media.ouest-france.fr/v1/pictures/MjAyMTA4YTQxMjZiODY4MTYzMzNkNzE2YWQ5ZWI0OWQ4ZTg0NTU?width=1260&he

    Les jeux vidéo représentent un budget qui peut exploser rapidement. Avec des titres à 70 € au moment de leur sortie, des microtransactions en tout genre et des abonnements pour le jeu en ligne, la note mensuelle peut très vite se révéler salée. Cependant, il existe de nombreux moyens de s’essayer à de bonnes expériences sans dépenser soi-même de l’argent.

    #jeu_vidéo #jeux_vidéo #business #bonnes_affaires #gratuit #payant #astuces #epic_store #steam #gog #humble_bundle #playstation_plus #games_with_gold #prime_gaming #microsoft #sony #amazon #nintendo

  • Joel Burgess sur Twitter :

    Among Skyrim players, you’ll occasionally see this tip: if you see a wild fox, follow it and you’ll be led to treasure.

    Sometime shortly after shipping, we saw this going around online, and an informal investigation started. Who made foxes do this?!

    https://twitter.com/JoelBurgess/status/1428008043556622336

    Des joueurs ont découvert que suivre les renards dans le jeu vidéo Skyrim permettait de découvrir des trésors. Or, personne au sein de l’équipe de développement n’avouait avoir codé un tel comportement. Un fil Twitter sur le gameplay émergeant spontanément des règles du jeu édictées pour d’autres raisons.

    #jeux_vidéo #jeu_vidéo #jeu_vidéo_skyrim #jeu_vidéo_pnj_renard #jeu_vidéo_npc #jeu_vidéo_développement #jeu_vidéo_gameplay #jeu_vidéo_jouabilité #gameplay #jouabilité #gameplay_émergeant #jeu_vidéo_gameplay_émergeant #ai #ia #intelligence_artificielle

  • La peinture, entre décor et élément-clé d’un jeu vidéo | CNC
    https://www.cnc.fr/jeu-video/actualites/la-peinture-entre-decor-et-elementcle-dun-jeu-video_1131909

    Il n’est pas rare de voir apparaître des tableaux dans des jeux vidéo, qu’il s’agisse de vraies œuvres historiques ou de créations imaginées par les graphistes. Mais quel est l’intérêt de ces références picturales dans une œuvre vidéoludique ? Eléments de réponse avec Jean Jouberton, qui a exploré ce sujet dans une vidéo publiée sur sa chaîne YouTube Homo Ludens.

    Entrevue sur la place des tableaux intégrés aux décors de jeux vidéo.

    #jeu_vidéo #jeux_vidéo #art #peinture #décors #tableaux #interview #entrevue #analyse #humo_ludens #jouabilité #gameplay #décors #jeu_vidéo_mirror’s_edge #jeu_vidéo_the_witcher #jeu_vidéo_psychonauts #jeu_vidéo_the_walking_dead #jeu_vidéo_amnesia_the_dark_descent #jeu_vidéo_dishonored #jeu_vidéo_prey #jeu_vidéo_11-11_memories_retold #jeu_vidéo_child_of_light #jeu_vidéo_tomb_raider_l’ange_des_ténèbres #jeu_vidéo_versailles_1685_complot_à_la_cour_du_roi_soleil #jeu_vidéo_assassin’s_creed #pédagogie

  • Robinhood Promises Free Trades. Did Alex Kearns Pay With His Life? – Mother Jones
    https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2021/04/robinhood-gamestop-free-trades-alex-kearns

    aiju Bhatt and Vlad Tenev came up with the idea for Robinhood in 2012, after witnessing Occupy Wall Street. The protests, they’ve said, represented a boiling over of grievances among their generation, directed at the big banks that set off the 2008 financial crisis. Tenev and Bhatt, then in their mid-20s, friends going back to meeting as physics majors at Stanford, wanted to build something that might give their fellow millennials access to the wealth-growing power of the market. At the time brokerages charged $7 to $10 per trade. The idea for a $0 fee trading app, named after a wealth-redistributing outlaw, was born.

    While the app was in development, Robinhood built up its antiestablishment identity and courted millennials with teaser videos that razzed traders on the stock exchange floor, and with a lineup of celebrity investors—eventually growing to just about everyone from Ashton Kutcher to Jay-Z—who’d all come of age in the same Y2K moment as their target audience. Online, they created a minimalist launch page where interested people could drop their email address for access to beta versions of the app—and gamified it by allowing people to move up the line by referring friends.

    “The fact that we’re a brokerage leads people to think that a service like Robinhood should exist to make money,” Tenev said at the conference. “But that’s really not the case. The purpose of Robinhood is to make buying and selling stocks as frictionless as possible. If we make money as a side effect of that, that’s great.”

    But Robinhood’s profitability wasn’t a side effect of being frictionless. It was very much the point. From founding, its business model was dependent on customers trading frequently, allowing the company the chance to earn a different kind of commission—known as PFOF, or “payment for order flow”—from every transaction. The payments are essentially a finder’s fee given to Robinhood by so-called market makers, the Wall Street firms who make money executing individual investors’ trades. Since launch, Robinhood has enthusiastically embraced PFOF, arranging favorable rates that eclipsed other brokerages’, making it the company’s single largest source of revenue. The money flows evoke a key lesson of the digital age: If something is free, then you’re not the customer—you’re the product being sold.

    “Robinhood and the high frequency trading firms have the same incentives, which is to cause there to be as much trading as humanly possible, to create as much flow as humanly possible, which maximizes profits for the executing dealers and Robinhood,” says Dennis Kelleher, the president of Better Markets, a Wall Street reform nonprofit.

    As Sen. Elizabeth Warren pointed out in a February letter to Citadel’s CEO, the practice means the “more shares they see, the more bread crumbs they take.” It can also encourage brokers to seek market makers that will give them the best PFOF, rather than the best prices for their customers—despite an Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) mandate known as the “best execution” rule that requires brokers to always seek the best deal for customers

    From its founding days, the app’s interface was overseen by Bhatt, who pushed an inviting feel in contrast to the intimidating or alienating vibe of other brokerages’ interfaces, full of analyst ratings and finance-speak. “We make use of simple colors to remove as much information as possible,” a company designer told a trade publication.

    “Baiju is someone who really cares about minimalism and clean design,” an early Robinhood design staffer told me. “It was important to him to build a trading platform in the most minimal way possible.”

    Robinhood also pioneered the selling of fractional shares, which Natasha Dow Schüll, an anthropology professor at NYU who wrote a book about addictive gambling design, compares to penny slots—small stakes bets that make users feel less risk and thus invite them to trade more. The app’s default settings flood users with emoji-laden push notifications that can coax customer trades. For new joiners, the notices direct them to lists of the app’s most popular stocks, or of “Daily Movers”: the 20 stocks with the biggest daily percent change in price—regardless of if the price went up or down. As Vicki Bogan, a professor and behavioral finance expert at Cornell’s business school, told a recent congressional hearing, such “cues, pushes, and rewards” work to “exploit natural human tendencies for achievement and competition…to motivate individuals to make more trades.”

    Parts of the app remind Schüll of Las Vegas casinos, where carpet is installed so it never presents a right angle, a stopping point that forces walkers to make a decision. “The last thing you want to do when you’re engaging a gambler—or in this case, a trader—is to put them in a position of a rational decision maker,” she says. “You want to have the carpet smoothly and seamlessly turn into the gaming area, so that the easiest thing for the person to do is to continue moving forward. You see that absolutely in the design of this app. It’s about instantaneity, immediacy, ease of access—you just kind of flow right into it.” This March, the House Financial Services Committee echoed concerns that platforms like Robinhood “encourage behavior similar to a gambling addiction.”

    #Robinhood #Gamestop #Marchés_financiers #Manipulation_mentale #Addiction #Jeu #Finance #Fintech

  • Gamasutra - Superhot VR devs remove self-harm elements from the game : ’You deserve better’
    https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/385771/Superhot_VR_devs_remove_selfharm_elements_from_the_game_You_deserve_bette

    The Superhot Team has made the decision to remove scenes relating to self-harm from its 2017 release Superhot VR, noting in a recent game update on Steam that they “regret it took us so long” to make the change.

    #jeu_vidéo #jeux_vidéo #jeu_vidéo_superhot_vr #jeu_vidéo_réalité_virtuelle #vr #réalité_virtuelle #game_design #sécurité #retrait #choix #prise_de_position #parti_pris #correctif #suicide #automutilation #frustration #mécontentement

  • Impossible Steam Achievement Has A Great Story
    https://kotaku.com/impossible-steam-achievement-has-a-great-story-1847363203

    Where the Water Tastes Like Wine (which will hereafter be referred to as WtWTLW because...no) is part visual novel, part puzzle game. You play a vagabond criss-crossing America collecting stories, which you then share with other travellers in hopes of eventually reaching a legendary, nirvana-like place...where the water tastes like wine. (Full disclosure: Former Kotaku staffer Gita Jackson contributed writing to the game.)

    On Steam, the game has 38 achievements. Only 37 are attainable. The last achievement, “Where the Water Tastes Like Wine,” cannot be earned, and it’s causing Steam players a great deal of heartache.

    #jeu_vidéo #jeux_vidéo #game_design #succès #insatisfaction #frustration #politique #message_politique #jeu_vidéo_where_the_water_tastes_like_wine #johnnemann_nordhagen #jeu_vidéo_pc #pc #steam #prise_de_décision #choix #parti_pris

  • Activision Blizzard’s Games Culture Crisis Runs Deep - Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2021-07-23/activision-blizzard-s-games-culture-crisis-runs-deep

    Welcome to Game On. I’m your host, Jason Schreier, Bloomberg Technology’s gaming reporter. With assists from my colleague Olga Kharif, I’ll be bringing you news and analysis about the biggest entertainment industry on the planet. We’ll tell you what the game companies are doing, why they’re doing it and what it all means. Plus: a new video game recommendation every Friday!

    This week, we have news from EA’s big summer conference, and I’ll tell you all about the game you should play this weekend (about a crow that reaps the souls of the dead)… But first, a follow-up on my inside look at what went wrong behind the scenes of Blizzard’s disastrous Warcraft III: Reforged rollout. And the dark side of Blizzard’s culture.

    #jeu_vidéo #jeux_vidéo #actualité #business #activision_blizzard #blizzard_entertainment #harcèlement #sexisme #bro_culture #boy's_club #licenciements #france_versailles #fermeture #justice #procès #mike_morhaime #j._allen_brack #bobby_kotick #jeu_vidéo_death’s_door #devolver_digital #ea #electronic_arts #jeu_vidéo_skull_&_bones #ubisoft #jeu_vidéo_final_fantasy_xiv #netflix #gaas #games_as_a_service

  • Gamasutra - The Microsoft Game Development Kit is now available for free on GitHub
    https://gamasutra.com/view/news/385556/The_Microsoft_Game_Development_Kit_is_now_available_for_free_on_GitHub.ph

    Microsoft has released its Microsoft Game Development Kit (GDK) onto GitHub for free. 

    […]

    Microsoft noted that access to publish on the Xbox ecosystem will remain private, and that anybody looking to launch a game on Xbox or Windows PC will still need to apply and qualify for the Xbox Developer Program.

    #jeu_vidéo #jeux_vidéo #développement_informatique #programmation_informatique #framework #sdk #software_development_kit #gdk #game_development_kit #moteur_de_jeu_vidéo #microsoft #xbox #microsoft_xbox #pc #ordinateur_pc #gratuit #xbox_developer_program

  • Gamasutra - Ubisoft CEO says Steam Deck support depends on sales, lauds Netflix’s game ambitions
    https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/385453/Ubisoft_CEO_says_Steam_Deck_support_depends_on_sales_lauds_Netflixs_game_

    Ubisoft will support Valve’s new Steam Deck console if it becomes big enough. That’s according to company founder and CEO Yves Guillemot, who asked for his opinion on the new device during an investor call.

    […]

    Guillemot was also specifically asked to weigh in on Netflix’s video game machinations, and indicated the streaming giant is well positioned for success — and might even help propel the wider industry forward.

    #jeu_vidéo #jeux_vidéo #culture #business #valve_steam_deck #console #netflix #gaas #game_as_a_service #streaming #yves_guillemot

  • Ubisoft’s Assassins Creed Expansion Spends 8 Years In Dev Hell
    https://kotaku.com/first-it-was-an-assassins-creed-expansion-now-its-ubis-1847326742

    Nearly eight years after it was first conceived, Skull & Bones has blown through its initial budgets. According to three sources, the project has already cost Ubisoft more than $120 million, with that number continuing to balloon as hundreds of developers from other Ubisoft studios continue pitching in to try and ship the game without any more delays.

    Ubisoft developers receive project-based bonuses based on how well their games do. Those attached to big, nearly annual franchises like Assassin’s Creed are often assured healthy payouts. But Skull & Bones was so in the hole, sources told Kotaku, that the project had to undergo a financial write-off internally for its developers to still have a shot at any sort of payout.

    “No one wants to admit they fucked up,” said one developer. “It’s too big to fail, just like the banks in the U.S.”

    “If Skull & Bones were at a competitor it would have been killed 10 times already,” said one former developer.

    #jeu_vidéo #jeux_vidéo #business #développement_informatique #assassin's_creed #jeu_vidéo_assassin's_creed #échec #aléas #gaas #game_as_a_service

  • Netflix (NFLX) To Offer Video Games on Its Streaming Platform - Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-07-14/netflix-plans-to-offer-video-games-in-expansion-beyond-films-tv

    The idea is to offer video games on Netflix’s streaming platform within the next year, according to a person familiar with the situation. The games will appear alongside current fare as a new programming genre — similar to what Netflix did with documentaries or stand-up specials. The company doesn’t currently plan to charge extra for the content, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private.

    #gaas #jeu_vidéo #jeux_vidéo #streaming #netflix #business #game_as_a_service

  • Gamasutra - Stadia to give devs a cut of Stadia Pro revenue (based on how often their game is played)
    https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/385036/Stadia_to_give_devs_a_cut_of_Stadia_Pro_revenue_based_on_how_often_their_

    Starting this month, Google has pledged 70 percent of Stadia Pro’s revenue to game developers that offer their games up as freebies on Stadia Pro. Specifically, pay is “based upon engagement for active claimable Stadia Pro titles” and will only apply to games new to the service. Engagement, in this case, is measured in session days, so developers will seemingly get a larger part of that 70 percent share depending on how many days individual Stadia Pro players log into their games.

    #jeu_vidéo #jeux_vidéo #gaas #game_as_a_service #service #streaming #google_stadia_pro #rémunération #business

  • Storm Engine
    https://hownot2code.com/2021/07/01/storm-engine

    new[] – delete Error PVS-Studio warns: V611 The memory was allocated using ‘new T[]’ operator but was released using the ‘delete’ operator. Consider inspecting this code. It’s probably better to use ‘delete [] pVSea;’. Check lines: 169, 191. SEA.cpp 169 However, if the error does not show up at runtime – it does not mean there isn’t … Continue reading Storm Engine

    #C/C++_bugs_of_the_month #bugs #C++ #C++bugs #cpp #cppbugs #gamedev #opensource #programming #static_code_analysis
    https://1.gravatar.com/avatar/a7fa0bb4ebff5650d2c83cb2596ad2aa?s=96&d=identicon&r=G

  • Torture, Covid-19 and border pushbacks: Stories of migration to Europe at the time of Covid-19

    The lived experience of people navigating the EU external border during the Covid-19 pandemic has brought into sharper focus the way border violence has become embedded within the landscape of migration. Here BVMN are sharing a feature article and comic strip from artistic journalist collective Brush&Bow which relays the human stories behind pushbacks, and the protracted violence which has come to characterise journeys along the Balkan Route. The researchers and artists spent time with transit communities along the Western Balkan Route, as well as speaking to network members Centre for Peace Studies, No Name Kitchen & Info Kolpa about their work. Combined with the indepth article (linked below) the comic strip brings to life much of the oral testimonies collected in the BVMN shared database, visualising movement and aspiration – as well as the counterforce of border violence.

    Authors: Roshan De Stone and David Leone Suber
    Illustrations and multimedia: Hannah Kirmes Daly
    (Brush&Bow C.I.C)
    Funded by: The Journalism Fund

    https://www.borderviolence.eu/torture-covid-19-and-border-pushbacks

    #push-back #refoulements_en_chaîne #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #Croatie #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #dessin #BD #bande_dessinée #Slovénie #Italie #frontière_sud-alpine #Bosnie #Trieste #migrerrance #Trieste #violence

    • #Torture and pushbacks: Stories of migration to Europe during Covid-19

      Violent and often sadistic pushbacks from Italy, Slovenia and Croatia are a damning indictment of Europe’s broken migrant policy.

      Anatomy of a pushback: from Italy to Bosnia

      Trieste, Zagreb – On April 13 last year, Italy’s Coronavirus death-toll surpassed 20,000, making headlines worldwide. In the afternoon on that same day, Saeed carefully packed a bag. In it, a phone, three power banks, cigarettes, a sleeping bag and a photograph of his two children back in Pakistan.

      During the March lockdown, Saeed was forcibly held in Lipa camp for migrants and asylum seekers, in the Bosnian canton of Una Sana, right next to the Croatian border. Having travelled this far, he was ready for the final leg of his journey to Europe.

      That night, Saeed left the camp. On the way to the Croatian border, he was joined by nine other men.
      People on the move use GPS tracking systems to cross land borders far away from main roads and inhabited locations. (Hannah Kirmes Daly, Brush&Bow C.I.C)

      For 21 days, the group walked through the forests and mountains in Croatia, Slovenia and into Italy, avoiding roads and towns, always careful not to be seen. Never taking their shoes off, not even to sleep, ready to run at a moment’s notice if the police spotted them.

      When Covid-19’s first wave was at its peak in the spring of 2020, EU member states increased border security by sending the army to patrol borders and suspended freedom of movement as a measure to prevent the spread of the virus.

      This greatly affected migration, giving migrants and asylum seekers yet another reason to go into hiding. Saeed and his companions knew this well. But as they finally crossed the final border into Italy, they assumed the worst was over.

      Winding their way down the mountains, the group stopped at the border town of Bagnoli to order a dark, sweet, coffee - a small reward. Across the street, a woman looked out of her window and reached for the phone. Minutes later, police were on the scene.

      As the police later confirmed, it is thanks to calls from local inhabitants living in border areas that most migrants are intercepted by authorities.

      Bundled into an Italian police van, Saeed and his acquaintances were handed over to Slovenian officials, and driven back to the Croatia-Bosnia border in less than 24 hours. No anti-Covid precautions were taken, and requests for asylum were ignored.

      When the van finally stopped, they were released into an open field by a river bank. Plain-clothes officers speaking Croatian ordered them to undress.

      Blisters ripped open as Saeed’s skin tore off as he pried off his shoes. Two of the men were beaten with telescopic batons. Another was whipped with a piece of rope tied to a branch. “Go back to Bosnia” was the last thing they heard the Croatian officers shout as they climbed back up the Bosnian bank of the river.

      On the morning of May 7, Saeed walked barefoot to the same Bosnian camp he had left three weeks before. This was his first ’pushback’.

      #The_Game'
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnU-xWNfG8M&feature=emb_logo

      Trieste’s Piazza Liberta, in front of the main train station, above, is the final destination for many people on the move arriving from Bosnia.

      Since the start of the pandemic, the EU border agency Frontex reported a decrease in the overall number of irregular border crossings into Europe. This has been the case on all main routes to Europe aside from one: the Balkan route, a route migrants and asylum seekers take by foot to cross from Turkey into central Europe.

      On July 10, two months after that first pushback from Italy, Saeed sits in Piazza Liberta, the main square in front of Trieste’s train station.

      Young men from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Eritrea, Iraq and Syria sit with him on the square’s benches, forming small groups in the setting sun. For nearly two years now, this square has been the meeting point for ’people on the move’ – migrants and asylum seekers escaping war, famine and poverty in their countries, arriving by foot from Turkey and through the Balkans.

      They sit in Piazza Liberta waiting for the arrival of a group of volunteers, who hand out food, medication and attend to the blisters and welts many have on their feet as a result from the long weeks of restless walking.

      Saeed is in his thirties, clean shaven and sporting ’distressed’ jeans with impeccably white trainers. He would look like any other tourist if it wasn’t for the scars across his arms.

      “There are two borders that are particularly difficult to cross to reach Europe,” he explains.

      The first is at the Evros river, separating Greece and Turkey. This is the only alternative to anyone who wants to avoid the risk of crossing by boat to the Greek islands, where recent reports of pushbacks by the Greek police back to Turkey are rife.

      “The second border is the one between Bosnia and Croatia,” he pauses. “The road between these two borders and all the way to Italy or Austria is what we call ’The Game’.” "It is by doing The Game that I got these," he says pointing to his scars.

      The Game is one of the only alternatives to reach Europe without having to cross the Mediterranean Sea. But crossing the Balkans is a similarly dangerous journey, like a ’game’, played against the police forces of the countries on the route, so as to not get caught and arrested.

      With the outbreak of the pandemic, The Game has become more difficult and dangerous. Many have reported cases of sexual and violent abuse from the police.

      In Croatia, police officers forced people to lie on top of one another naked as they were beaten and crosses were spray-painted on their heads. To add insult to injury, all their possessions were stolen, and their phones would be smashed or thrown in the water by authorities.

      The last of thirteen siblings, Saeed wants to reach a cousin in Marseille; an opportunity to escape unemployment and the grinding poverty of his life back in Pakistan.

      From the outskirts of Karachi, Saeed lived with his two children, wife and seven relatives in two rooms. “I would go out every morning looking for work, but there is nothing. My daughter is sick. I left because I wanted to be able to provide for my family.”

      Despite his desire to end up in France, Saeed was forced to apply for asylum in Italy to buy himself time and avoid being arrested and sent back to Bosnia.

      Under current regulations governing refugee law, Saeed’s asylum application in Italy is unlikely to be accepted. Poverty and a dream for a better future are not recognised as valid reasons to be granted status in Europe. Instead, in order to keep those like Saeed out, in 2018, the European Commission proposed to almost triple funding for border enforcement between 2021 and 2027, for an overall investment of $38.4 billion.

      Despite being a skilled electrician looking for work, Saeed’s asylum application makes it impossible for him to legally work in Italy. To survive, he started working as a guide for other migrants, a low-level smuggler making the most of what he learned during The Game.

      He pulls a second phone out of his pocket and takes a call. “There are 70 men crossing the mountains from Slovenia who will be here by 4 am tomorrow,” he says. The large group will be split into smaller groups once they arrive at the Italian border, Saeed explains, so as to not be too noticeable.

      The mountain paths around Trieste are full of signs of life; sleeping bags, shoes and clothes scattered where groups decided to stop and camp the night before doing the final stretch to Trieste’s train station.

      “When they arrive, I’ll be their point of contact. I’ll show them where to access aid, how to get an Italian sim card and give them money that their families have sent to me via Western Union.” He pauses, “I know some of them because we were in the same camps in Bosnia. I try to help them as I know what it is like, and in return they pay me a small fee.” The amount he receives varies between 5 and 20 euro ($5.8 - $23.55) per person.

      All along the route there are those like Saeed, who manage to make a small living from the irregular migration route. However, it isn’t easy to recognise a smuggler’s good intentions, and not every smuggler is like Saeed. “There are also smugglers who make a big business by stealing money or taking advantage of less experienced people,” he says.

      Pointing to two young Afghan boys, Saeed shrugs, “They asked me where they could go to prostitute themselves to pay for the next part of the journey. There are many people ready to make money out of our misery.”

      Border violence and the fear of contagion

      Since the start of pandemic, The Game has become even more high stakes. For migrants and asylum seekers on the Balkan route, it has meant adding the risk of infection to a long list of potential perils.

      “If the police are looking for you, it’s hard to worry about getting sick with the virus. The most important thing is not to get arrested and sent back,” said Saeed.

      Covid-19 rules on migration have had the effect of further marginalising migrants and asylum seekers, excluding them from free testing facilities, their right to healthcare largely suspended and ignored by national Covid-19 prevention measures.

      This is confirmed by Lorenzo Tamaro, representative of Trieste’s Autonomous Police Syndicate (SAP). Standing under one of Trieste’s sweeping arches he begins, “The pandemic has made it more dangerous for them [migrants and asylum seekers], as it is for us [the police]."

      For all of 2020, Italian police have had to deal with the difficult task of stopping irregular entries while also performing extraordinary duties during two months of a strictly enforced lockdown.

      “The pandemic has revealed a systemic crisis in policing immigration in Europe, one we have been denouncing for years,” Tamaro says. He refers to how Italian police are both under-staffed and under-resourced when facing irregular migration, more so during lockdowns.

      Broad shouldered, his voice carries the confidence of someone who is no stranger to interviews. “Foreigners entering our territory with no authorisation are in breach of the law, even more so under national lockdown. It’s not us [the police] who make the law, but it is our job to make sure it is respected.”

      Born in Trieste himself, Tamaro and his colleagues have been dealing with immigration from the Balkans for years. The emergency brought on by increased arrivals during Italy’s tight lockdown period pushed the Ministry of Interior to request the deployment of a 100-strong Italian army contingent to the border with Slovenia, to assist in the detection and arrest of people on the move and their transfer to quarantine camps on the outskirts of the city.

      “We have been left to deal with both an immigration and public health emergency without any real support,” Tamaro says. “The army is of help in stopping irregular migrants, but it’s then us [the police] who have to carry out medical screenings without proper protective equipment. This is something the Ministry should have specialised doctors and medics do, not the police.”

      To deal with the increase in arrivals from the Balkan route, Italy revived a 1996 bilateral agreement with Slovenia, which dictates that any undocumented person found within 10 kilometres of the Slovenian border within the first 24 hours of arrival, can be informally readmitted to Slovenia.

      “In my opinion readmissions work,” Tamaro says. “Smugglers have started taking migrants to Udine and Gorizia, which are outside of the 10 km zone of informal readmissions, because they know that if stopped in Trieste, they risk being taken back to Slovenia.”

      On September 6, the Italian Interior Minister herself acknowledged 3,059 people have been returned to Slovenia from Trieste in 2020 alone, 1,000 more than the same period in 2019.

      Human rights observers have criticised this agreement for actively denying people on the move to request asylum and thus going against European law. “We know Italy is sending people back to Slovenia saying they can apply for asylum there. But the pushback does not end there,” says Miha, a member of the Slovenian solidarity initiative Info Kolpa.

      From his airy apartment overlooking Ljubljana, Miha explains how Slovenia resurfaced a readmission agreement with Croatia in June 2018 that has allowed an increase in pushbacks from Slovenia to Croatia.

      “Italy sends people to Slovenia and Slovenia to Croatia,” Miha says, “and from Croatia, they get pushed back further to Bosnia.”

      “What Europe is ignoring is that this is a system of coordinated chain-pushbacks, designed to send people back from Europe to Bosnia, a non-European Union country. And adding to the breach of human rights, no one is worrying about the high risk of contagion,” Miha concludes.

      Torture at Europe’s doorstep

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t36isJ1QHA4&feature=emb_logo

      A section of the border between Croatia and Slovenia runs along the Kulpa river, as shown in the video above. People on the move try to cross this river in places where there is no fence, and some drowned trying to cross it in 2018 and 2019.

      As pushbacks become more normalised, so has the violence used to implement them. Because the Croatian-Bosnian border is an external EU-border, Croatia and Bosnia do not have readmission agreements similar to those between Italy and Slovenia.

      As such, pushbacks cannot simply happen through police cooperation — they happen informally — and it is here that the greatest violence takes place.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8T9AFOJT2A&feature=emb_logo

      People on the move have been posting evidence of the violence they are subjected to across the Balkan route. The video above was posted on TikTok in the summer of 2020, showing the beatings suffered by many of those who try and cross from Bosnia to Croatia and are pushed back by Croatian police.

      Despite the Bosnian-Croatian border running for more than 900 km, most of the border crossing happens in a specific location, in the Una Sana canton, the top eastern tip of Bosnia.

      The border here is a far cry from the tall barbed wire fences one might expect. The scenery cuts across a beautiful landscape of forestry and mountain streams, with winding countryside roads gently curving around family-run farms and small towns.

      “I’ve seen it all,” Stepjan says, looking out from his small whitewashed home, perched less than 100 meters from the actual Bosnian-Croatian border. A 45-year old man born and raised in this town, he adds, “People have been using this route for years to try and cross into Europe. Sometimes I give them [people on the move] water or food when they pass.”

      Many of the locals living on either side of the border speak German. They themselves have been migrants to Germany in the 90s, when this used to be a war zone. Asked about the allegations of physical abuse inflicted upon migrants, Stepjan shrugged, replying, “It’s not for me to tell the police how to do their job.”

      “By law, once a person arrives on Croatian territory they have the right to seek asylum,” says Nikol, a Croatian activist working with the organisation No Name Kitchen on this stretch of the border. “But this right is denied by Croatian police who force people to return to Bosnia.”

      Sitting in a smoky cafe in Zagreb, Nikol (a psuedonym) says she wishes to remain anonymous due to intimidation received at the hands of Croatian and Bosnian authorities punishing people providing aid to people on the move. She is planning her return to Bihac as soon as Covid regulations will allow her to move. Bihac is the key town of the Una Sana canton, the hotspot where most of the people on the move are waiting to cross into Croatia.

      She knows all about the violence perpetrated here against migrants and asylum seekers trying to enter Europe. “The Croatian police hands people over to men in plain uniform and balaclavas, who torture migrants before forcing them to walk back across the border to Bosnia.”

      Many migrants and asylum seekers that have managed to cross Croatia have reported stories of men dressed in black uniforms and wearing balaclavas, some sort of special unit with a mandate to beat and torture migrants before sending them back to Bosnia.

      Nikol has a gallery of pictures depicting the aftermath of the violence. “There is so much evidence of torture in Croatia that I am surprised there are still journalists looking to verify it,” she says as she flicks through pictures of beatings on her phone.

      Scrolling through, she brings up picture after picture of open wounds and arms, backs and bodies marked with signs of repeated beatings, burns and cuts.

      She goes through a series of pictures of young men with swollen bloody faces, and explains: “These men were made to lie on the ground facing down, and then stamped on their heads to break their noses one after the other.”
      Activists and volunteers receive pictures from people on the move about the beatings and torture endured while undergoing pushbacks. (Hannah Kirmes Daly, Brush&Bow C.I.C)

      “These are the same techniques that the Croatian police used to terrorise Serbian minorities in Croatia after the war,” she adds.

      Finding Croats like Nikol willing to help people on the move is not easy. Stepjan says he is not amongst those who call the police when he sees people attempting to cross, but a policeman from the border police station in Cabar openly disclosed that “it is thanks to the tip offs we get from local citizens that we know how and when to intervene and arrest migrants.”

      As confirmed by Nikol, the level of public anger and fear against people on the move has grown during the pandemic, fueled by anti-immigrant rhetoric linked with fake and unverified news accusing foreigners of bringing Covid-19 with them.

      Much of this discourse takes place on social media. Far-right hate groups have been praising violence against migrants and asylum seekers through posts like the ones reported below, which despite being signalled for their violent content, have not yet been removed by Facebook.
      Hate speech and violent threats against people on the move and organisations supporting them are posted on Facebook and other social media on a daily basis. Despite being reported, most of them are not taken down. (Hannah Kirmes Daly, Brush&Bow C.I.C)

      Nikol’s accounts are corroborated by Antonia, a caseworker at the Center for Peace Studies in Zagreb, who is working closely on legal challenges made against Croatian police.

      “We continue to receive testimonies of people being tied to trees, terrorised by the shooting of weapons close to their faces, having stinging liquids rubbed into open wounds, being spray-painted upon, sexually abused and beaten with bats and rubber tubes on the head, arms and legs.”

      In July this summer, an anonymous complaint by a group of Croatian police officers was made public by the Croatian ombudswoman. In the letter, officers denounced some of their superiors of being violent toward people on the move, suggesting that such violence is systematic.

      This was also the opinion of doctors in Trieste, volunteering to treat people’s wounds once they arrive in Italy after having crossed Croatia and Slovenia. Their accounts confirm that the violence they often see marked on bodies is not just the consequence of police deterrence, but is aimed at causing long-term injuries that might make a further journey impossible.

      Neither the Croatian nor the Slovenian national police have responded to these allegations through their press offices. The EU Home Affairs spokesperson office instead did reply, reporting that “Croatian authorities have committed to investigate reports of mistreatment at their external borders, monitor this situation closely and keep the Commission informed on progress made.”

      And while the EU has sent a monitoring team to meet the Croatian Interior Minister, it nevertheless continues to add to Croatia’s internal security fund, sending over €100 million ($120 million) since 2015 to manage migration through visa systems, policing and border security.

      Back to square one…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc0Um3gEbzE&feature=emb_logo

      Pushbacks from Italy, Slovenia and Croatia all the way back to Bosnia end with people on the move returning to overcrowded reception facilities, unsanitary camps, squats or tents, in inhumane conditions, often without running water or electricity. People in the video above were queuing at a food distribution site outside one of the IOM camps on the Bosnian-Croatian border in winter 2020.

      “These people have travelled thousands of kilometres, for months, and are now at the door of the European Union. They don’t want to return home,” Slobodan Ujic, Director of Bosnia’s Service for Foreigners’ Affairs, admitted in an interview to Balkan Insight earlier this year.

      “We are not inhumane, but we now have 30,000, 40,000 or 50,000 unemployed, while keeping 10,000 illegal migrants in full force…we have become a parking lot for migrants for Europe,” Ujic added.

      Public opinion in Bosnia reflects Ujic’s words. With a third of Bosnians unemployed and many youth leaving to Europe in search of better opportunities, there is a rising frustration from Bosnian authorities accusing the EU of having left the country to deal with the migration crisis alone.

      During the summer of 2020, tensions flared between Bosnian residents and arriving migrants to the point where buses were being stopped by locals to check if migrants were travelling on them.

      Today, thousands of people in Bosnia are currently facing a harsh snowy winter with no suitable facilities for refuge. Since the start of January the bad weather means increased rains and snowfall, making living in tents and abandoned buildings with no heating a new cause for humanitarian concern.

      In Bosnia around 7,500 people on the move are registered in eight camps run by the UNHCR and International Organization for Migration (IOM). The estimated number of migrants and asylum seekers in the country however, tops 30,000. The EU recently sent €3.5 million ($4.1 million) to manage the humanitarian crisis, adding to the over €40 million ($47 million) donated to Bosnia since 2015 to build and manage temporary camps.

      With the start of the pandemic, these reception centres became more like outdoor detention centres as Bosnian authorities forcefully transferred and confined people on the move to these facilities despite overcrowding and inhumane conditions.

      “I was taken from the squat I was in by Bosnian police and confined in a camp of Lipa, a few kilometers south of Bihac, for over a month,” Saeed says. “We had one toilet between 10 of us, no electricity and only one meal a day.”

      On December 23, 2020, Lipa camp, home to 1,300 people, was shut down as NGOs refused to run the camp due to the inhumane conditions and lack of running water and electricity. This came at a time where the closure of the camp had also been advocated by Bosnian local authorities of the Una Sana canton, pressured in local elections to close the facility.

      As people evacuated however, four residents, allegedly frustrated with the fact that they were being evicted with nowhere to go, set the camp on fire.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK6mqaheA3c&feature=emb_logo

      The trauma of living through forced lockdown in those conditions will have a lasting effect on those who have lived it. “I still have nightmares about that place and the journey,” Saeed says, avoiding eye contact.

      “Most nights I hear the sound of dogs barking and I remember the running. But in my dreams, I am paralysed to the ground and I cannot move.”

      When Saeed managed to escape Lipa camp in June 2020, it took him three weeks to walk back to Trieste. “Now I spend my days here,” he gestures across, pointing his open palms at Piazza Liberta.

      As he speaks, Saeed is joined by two friends. A long scar twists a line of shiny nobbled skin across the scalp of one of them: a souvenir from the baton of a Croatian police officer. The other has burnt the tips of his fingers to avoid being fingerprinted and sent back to Greece.

      The absurdity of Europe’s migration policy is marked on their bodies. The trauma imprinted in their minds.

      “I dream of being able to drive a car to France, like any normal person, on a road with only green traffic lights ahead, no barriers to stop me.”

      https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/torture-and-pushbacks-stories-of-migration-to-europe-during-covid-19-45421
      #game #Katinovac

  • Réfugiés : contourner la #Croatie par le « #triangle » #Serbie - #Roumanie - #Hongrie

    Une nouvelle route migratoire s’est ouverte dans les Balkans : en Serbie, de plus en plus d’exilés tentent de contourner les barbelés barrant la #Hongrie en faisant un crochet par la Roumanie, avant d’espérer rejoindre les pays riches de l’Union européenne. Un chemin plus long et pas moins risqué, conséquence des politiques sécuritaires imposées par les 27.

    Il est 18h30, le jour commence à baisser sur la plaine de #Voïvodine. Un groupe d’une cinquantaine de jeunes hommes, sacs sur le dos et duvets en bandoulière, marche d’un pas décidé le long de la petite route de campagne qui relie les villages serbes de #Majdan et de #Rabe. Deux frontières de l’Union européenne (UE) se trouvent à quelques kilomètres de là : celle de la Hongrie, barrée depuis la fin 2015 d’une immense clôture barbelée, et celle de la Roumanie, moins surveillée pour le moment.

    Tous s’apprêtent à tenter le « #game », ce « jeu » qui consiste à échapper à la police et à pénétrer dans l’UE, en passant par « le triangle ». Le triangle, c’est cette nouvelle route migratoire à trois côtés qui permet de rejoindre la Hongrie, l’entrée de l’espace Schengen, depuis la Serbie, en faisant un crochet par la Roumanie. « Nous avons été contraints de prendre de nouvelles dispositions devant les signes clairs de l’augmentation du nombre de personnes traversant illégalement depuis la Serbie », explique #Frontex, l’Agence européenne de protection des frontières. Aujourd’hui, 87 de ses fonctionnaires patrouillent au côté de la police roumaine.

    Depuis l’automne 2020, le nombre de passages par cet itinéraire, plus long, est en effet en forte hausse. Les #statistiques des passages illégaux étant impossibles à tenir, l’indicateur le plus parlant reste l’analyse des demandes d’asiles, qui ont explosé en Roumanie l’année dernière, passant de 2626 à 6156, soit une hausse de 137%, avec un pic brutal à partir du mois d’octobre. Selon les chiffres de l’Inspectoratul General pentru Imigrări, les services d’immigrations roumains, 92% de ces demandeurs d’asile étaient entrés depuis la Serbie.

    “La Roumanie et la Hongrie, c’est mieux que la Croatie.”

    Beaucoup de ceux qui espèrent passer par le « triangle » ont d’abord tenté leur chance via la Bosnie-Herzégovine et la Croatie avant de rebrousser chemin. « C’est difficile là-bas », raconte Ahmed, un Algérien d’une trentaine d’années, qui squatte une maison abandonnée de Majdan avec cinq de ses compatriotes. « Il y a des policiers qui patrouillent cagoulés. Ils te frappent et te prennent tout : ton argent, ton téléphone et tes vêtements. Je connais des gens qui ont dû être emmenés à l’hôpital. » Pour lui, pas de doutes, « la Roumanie et la Hongrie, c’est mieux ».

    La route du « triangle » a commencé à devenir plus fréquentée dès la fin de l’été 2020, au moment où la situation virait au chaos dans le canton bosnien d’#Una_Sana et que les violences de la police croate s’exacerbaient encore un peu plus. Quelques semaines plus tard, les multiples alertes des organisations humanitaires ont fini par faire réagir la Commission européenne. Ylva Johansson, la Commissaire suédoise en charge des affaires intérieures a même dénoncé des « traitements inhumains et dégradants » commis contre les exilés à la frontière croato-bosnienne, promettant une « discussion approfondie » avec les autorités de Zagreb. De son côté, le Conseil de l’Europe appelait les autorités croates à mettre fin aux actes de tortures contre les migrants et à punir les policiers responsables. Depuis, sur le terrain, rien n’a changé.

    Pire, l’incendie du camp de #Lipa, près de #Bihać, fin décembre, a encore aggravé la crise. Pendant que les autorités bosniennes se renvoyaient la balle et que des centaines de personnes grelottaient sans toit sous la neige, les arrivées se sont multipliées dans le Nord de la Serbie. « Rien que dans les villages de Majdan et Rabe, il y avait en permanence plus de 300 personnes cet hiver », estime Jeremy Ristord, le coordinateur de Médecins sans frontières (MSF) en Serbie. La plupart squattent les nombreuses maisons abandonnées. Dans cette zone frontalière, beaucoup d’habitants appartiennent aux minorités hongroise et roumaine, et Budapest comme Bucarest leur ont généreusement délivré des passeports après leur intégration dans l’UE. Munis de ces précieux sésames européens, les plus jeunes sont massivement partis chercher fortune ailleurs dès la fin des années 2000.

    Siri, un Palestinien dont la famille était réfugiée dans un camp de Syrie depuis les années 1960, squatte une masure défoncée à l’entrée de Rabe. En tout, ils sont neuf, dont trois filles. Cela fait de longs mois que le jeune homme de 27 ans est coincé en Serbie. Keffieh sur la tête, il tente de garder le sourire en racontant son interminable odyssée entamée voilà bientôt dix ans. Dès les premiers combats en 2011, il a fui avec sa famille vers la Jordanie, puis le Liban avant de se retrouver en Turquie. Finalement, il a pris la route des Balkans l’an dernier, avec l’espoir de rejoindre une partie des siens, installés en Allemagne, près de Stuttgart.

    “La police m’a arrêté, tabassé et on m’a renvoyé ici. Sans rien.”

    Il y a quelques jours, Siri à réussi à arriver jusqu’à #Szeged, dans le sud de la Hongrie, via la Roumanie. « La #police m’a arrêté, tabassé et on m’a renvoyé ici. Sans rien », souffle-t-il. À côté de lui, un téléphone crachote la mélodie de Get up, Stand up, l’hymne reggae de Bob Marley appelant les opprimés à se battre pour leurs droits. « On a de quoi s’acheter un peu de vivres et des cigarettes. On remplit des bidons d’eau pour nous laver dans ce qui reste de la salle de bains », raconte une des filles, assise sur un des matelas qui recouvrent le sol de la seule petite pièce habitable, chauffée par un poêle à bois décati.

    De rares organisations humanitaires viennent en aide à ces exilés massés aux portes de l’Union européennes. Basé à Belgrade, le petit collectif #Klikaktiv y passe chaque semaine, pour de l’assistance juridique et du soutien psychosocial. « Ils préfèrent être ici, tout près de la #frontière, plutôt que de rester dans les camps officiels du gouvernement serbe », explique Milica Švabić, la juriste de l’organisation. Malgré la précarité et l’#hostilité grandissante des populations locales. « Le discours a changé ces dernières années en Serbie. On ne parle plus de ’réfugiés’, mais de ’migrants’ venus islamiser la Serbie et l’Europe », regrette son collègue Vuk Vučković. Des #milices d’extrême-droite patrouillent même depuis un an pour « nettoyer » le pays de ces « détritus ».

    « La centaine d’habitants qui restent dans les villages de Rabe et de Majdan sont méfiants et plutôt rudes avec les réfugiés », confirme Abraham Rudolf. Ce sexagénaire à la retraite habite une modeste bâtisse à l’entrée de Majdan, adossée à une ruine squattée par des candidats à l’exil. « C’est vrai qu’ils ont fait beaucoup de #dégâts et qu’il n’y a personne pour dédommager. Ils brûlent les charpentes des toits pour se chauffer. Leurs conditions d’hygiène sont terribles. » Tant pis si de temps en temps, ils lui volent quelques légumes dans son potager. « Je me mets à leur place, il fait froid et ils ont faim. Au vrai, ils ne font de mal à personne et ils font même vivre l’épicerie du village. »

    Si le « triangle » reste a priori moins dangereux que l’itinéraire via la Croatie, les #violences_policières contre les sans papiers y sont pourtant monnaie courante. « Plus de 13 000 témoignages de #refoulements irréguliers depuis la Roumanie ont été recueillis durant l’année 2020 », avance l’ONG Save the Children.

    “C’est dur, mais on n’a pas le choix. Mon mari a déserté l’armée de Bachar. S’il rentre, il sera condamné à mort.”

    Ces violences répétées ont d’ailleurs conduit MSF à réévaluer sa mission en Serbie et à la concentrer sur une assistance à ces victimes. « Plus de 30% de nos consultations concernent des #traumatismes physiques », précise Jérémy Ristor. « Une moitié sont liés à des violences intentionnelles, dont l’immense majorité sont perpétrées lors des #push-backs. L’autre moitié sont liés à des #accidents : fractures, entorses ou plaies ouvertes. Ce sont les conséquences directes de la sécurisation des frontières de l’UE. »

    Hanan est tombée sur le dos en sautant de la clôture hongroise et n’a jamais été soignée. Depuis, cette Syrienne de 33 ans souffre dès qu’elle marche. Mais pas question pour elle de renoncer à son objectif : gagner l’Allemagne, avec son mari et leur neveu, dont les parents ont été tués dans les combats à Alep. « On a essayé toutes les routes », raconte l’ancienne étudiante en littérature anglaise, dans un français impeccable. « On a traversé deux fois le Danube vers la Roumanie. Ici, par le triangle, on a tenté douze fois et par les frontières de la Croatie et de la Hongrie, sept fois. » Cette fois encore, la police roumaine les a expulsés vers le poste-frontière de Rabe, officiellement fermé à cause du coronavirus. « C’est dur, mais on n’a pas le choix. Mon mari a déserté l’armée de Bachar avec son arme. S’il rentre, il sera condamné à mort. »

    Qu’importe la hauteur des murs placés sur leur route et la terrible #répression_policière, les exilés du nord de la Serbie finiront tôt ou tard par passer. Comme le déplore les humanitaires, la politique ultra-sécuritaire de l’UE ne fait qu’exacerber leur #vulnérabilité face aux trafiquants et leur précarité, tant pécuniaire que sanitaire. La seule question est celle du prix qu’ils auront à paieront pour réussir le « game ». Ces derniers mois, les prix se sont remis à flamber : entrer dans l’Union européenne via la Serbie se monnaierait jusqu’à 2000 euros.

    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Refugies-contourner-la-Croatie-par-le-triangle-Serbie-Roumanie-Ho
    #routes_migratoires #migrations #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #asile #migrations #réfugiés #contournement #Bihac #frontières #the_game

    ping @isskein @karine4

  • ‘They can see us in the dark’: migrants grapple with hi-tech fortress EU

    A powerful battery of drones, thermal cameras and heartbeat detectors are being deployed to exclude asylum seekers

    Khaled has been playing “the game” for a year now. A former law student, he left Afghanistan in 2018, driven by precarious economic circumstances and fear for his security, as the Taliban were increasingly targeting Kabul.

    But when he reached Europe, he realised the chances at winning the game were stacked against him. Getting to Europe’s borders was easy compared with actually crossing into the EU, he says, and there were more than physical obstacles preventing him from getting to Germany, where his uncle and girlfriend live.

    On a cold December evening in the Serbian village of Horgoš, near the Hungarian border, where he had spent a month squatting in an abandoned farm building, he and six other Afghan asylum seekers were having dinner together – a raw onion and a loaf of bread they passed around – their faces lit up by the glow of a fire.

    The previous night, they had all had another go at “the game” – the name migrants give to crossing attempts. But almost immediately the Hungarian border police stopped them and pushed them back into Serbia. They believe the speed of the response can be explained by the use of thermal cameras and surveillance drones, which they had seen during previous attempts to cross.

    “They can see us in the dark – you just walk, and they find you,” said Khaled, adding that drones had been seen flying over their squat. “Sometimes they send them in this area to watch who is here.”

    Drones, thermal-vision cameras and devices that can detect a heartbeat are among the new technological tools being increasingly used by European police to stop migrants from crossing borders, or to push them back when they do.

    The often violent removal of migrants without giving them the opportunity to apply for asylum is illegal under EU law, which obliges authorities to process asylum requests whether or not migrants possess identification documents or entered the country legally.

    “Routes are getting harder and harder to navigate. Corridors [in the Balkans are] really intensively surveyed by these technologies,” says Simon Campbell, field coordinator for the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN), a migrant rights group in the region.

    The militarisation of Europe’s borders has been increasing steadily since 2015, when the influx of migrants reached its peak. A populist turn in politics and fear whipped up around the issue have fuelled the use of new technologies. The EU has invested in fortifying borders, earmarking €34.9bn (£30bn) in funding for border and migration management for the 2021-27 budget, while sidelining the creation of safe passages and fair asylum processes.

    Osman, a Syrian refugee now living in Serbia, crossed several borders in the southern Balkans in 2014. “At the time, I didn’t see any type of technology,” he says, “but now there’s drones, thermal cameras and all sorts of other stuff.”

    When the Hungarian police caught him trying to cross the Serbian border before the pandemic hit last year, they boasted about the equipment they used – including what Osman recalls as “a huge drone with a big camera”. He says they told him: “We are watching you everywhere.”

    Upgrading of surveillance technology, as witnessed by Khaled and Osman, has coincided with increased funding for Frontex – the EU’s Border and Coast Guard Agency. Between 2005 and 2016, Frontex’s budget grew from €6.3m to €238.7m, and it now stands at €420.6m. Technology at the EU’s Balkan borders have been largely funded with EU money, with Frontex providing operational support.

    Between 2014 and 2017, with EU funding, Croatia bought 13 thermal-imaging devices for €117,338 that can detect people more than a mile away and vehicles from two miles away.

    In 2019, the Croatian interior ministry acquired four eRIS-III long-range drones for €2.3m. They identify people up to six miles away in daylight and just under two miles in darkness, they fly at 80mph and climb to an altitude of 3,500 metres (11,400ft), while transmitting real-time data. Croatia has infrared cameras that can detect people at up to six miles away and equipment that picks upheartbeats.

    Romania now has heartbeat detection devices, alongside 117 thermo-vision cameras. Last spring, it added 24 vehicles with thermo-vision capabilities to its border security force at a cost of more than €13m.

    Hungary’s investment in migration-management technology is shielded from public scrutiny by a 2017 legal amendment but its lack of transparency and practice of pushing migrants back have been criticised by other EU nations and the European court of justice, leading to Frontex suspending operations in Hungary in January.

    It means migrants can no longer use the cover of darkness for their crossing attempts. Around the fire in Horgoš, Khaled and his fellow asylum-seekers decide to try crossing instead in the early morning, when they believe thermal cameras are less effective.

    A 2021 report by BVMN claims that enhanced border control technologies have led to increased violence as police in the Balkans weaponise new equipment against people on the move. Technology used in pushing back migrants has “contributed to the ease with which racist and repressive procedures are carried out”, the report says.

    BVMN highlighted the 2019 case of an 18-year-old Algerian who reported being beaten and strangled with his own shirt by police while attempting a night crossing from Bosnia to Croatia. “You cannot cross the border during the night because when the police catch you in the night, they beat you a lot. They break you,” says the teenager, who reported seeing surveillance drones.

    Ali, 19, an Iranian asylum-seeker who lives in a migrant camp in Belgrade, says that the Croatian and Romanian police have been violent and ignored his appeals for asylum during his crossing attempts. “When they catch us, they don’t respect us, they insult us, they beat us,” says Ali. “We said ‘we want asylum’, but they weren’t listening.”

    BVMN’s website archives hundreds of reports of violence. In February last year, eight Romanian border officers beat two Iraqi families with batons, administering electric shocks to two men, one of whom was holding his 11-month-old child. They stole their money and destroyed their phones, before taking them back to Serbia, blasting ice-cold air in the police van until they reached their destination.

    “There’s been some very, very severe beatings lately,” says Campbell. “Since the spring of 2018, there has been excessive use of firearms, beatings with batons, Tasers and knives.”

    Responding to questions via email, Frontex denies any link between its increased funding of new technologies and the violent pushbacks in the Balkans. It attributes the rise in reports to other factors, such as increased illegal migration and the proliferation of mobile phones making it easier to record incidents.

    Petra Molnar, associate director of Refugee Law Lab, believes the over-emphasis on technologies can alienate and dehumanise migrants.

    “There’s this alluring solution to really complex problems,” she says. “It’s a lot easier to sell a bunch of drones or a lot of automated technology, instead of dealing with the drivers that force people to migrate … or making the process more humane.”

    Despite the increasingly sophisticated technologies that have been preventing them from crossing Europe’s borders, Khaled and his friends from the squat managed to cross into Hungary in late December. He is living in a camp in Germany and has begun the process of applying for asylum.

    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/mar/26/eu-borders-migrants-hitech-surveillance-asylum-seekers

    #Balkans #complexe_militaro-industriel #route_des_Balkans #technologie #asile #migrations #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #caméras_thermiques #militarisation_des_frontières #drones #détecteurs_de_battements_de_coeur #Horgos #Horgoš #Serbie #the_game #game #surveillance_frontalière #Hongrie #Frontex #Croatie #Roumanie #nuit #violence #refoulements #push-backs #déshumanisation

    ping @isskein @karine4

  • Retour sur le succès de Game of Thrones et sur son invisibilisation des classes populaires au profit des luttes entre puissants :

    « Comment se fait-il que cette série qui ait captivé l’attention de millions d’êtres, au point que, chaque semaine, la diffusion d’un épisode devenait un rituel collectif, où l’on s’installait confortablement avec sa famille ou ses amis devant un ordi, une télé, dehors, dedans, a la maison, au boulot, dans un pub, pour visionner ce que les scénaristes avaient concocté, soit désormais complètement passée de mode ? Nous nous attèlerons donc à chroniquer un effondrement très discret, à rebours du rythme à tambour battant imposé par les showrunners. En bons suzerains, ils avaient réussi à capter l’attention d’un public inféodé, en le faisant naviguer entre un état d’anxiété addictif et le confort de l’itération »

    https://lespetitssoirs.fr/2020/12/16/game-of-thrones-une-saga-qui-fait-ployer-le-genou

    #gameofthrones #hbo #classespopulaires #série

    • Le monde rêvé des Hobbits
      https://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/2020/06/PIEILLER/61885

      Du catholicisme à William Morris, les influences de J. R. R. Tolkien

      Vendue à 150 millions d’exemplaires, « Le Seigneur des anneaux » est une œuvre qui, au fil des décennies, loin de se démoder, a été saluée de plus en plus largement. Elle semble avoir rencontré, voire nourri, un imaginaire collectif toujours plus partagé. Or le système de valeurs et la conception de la société de la Comté déploient une morale politique dont le charme archaïque n’est pas sans ambiguïté...

      Mais, avec une puissance inventive, joueuse, qui permet d’éviter toute allégorie directe, Tolkien déploie en même temps ce qui peut apparaître comme son monde raisonnablement idéal, celui du peuple du meneur de la quête, les Hobbits — les « petites gens » ou semi-hommes —, une variété humaine modeste, joyeuse, qui n’a pour ainsi dire aucun gouvernement, respecte spontanément les règles anciennes, inchangées, se passe pour l’essentiel de forces de l’ordre, sinon aux frontières. Des personnages qui seront plus ou moins copiés ensuite par la fantasy. Ce monde-là, très « médiévalisant », accepte la magie, mais ignore l’idée même de progrès, de technologie, de sens de l’histoire. Au plus loin des « sombres forges » qui caractérisent l’empire du Mal, artisans et paysans vivent heureux, doués pour les bons repas et les beaux récits, rejetant « ceusses » qui sont « toujours à compter, à mesurer ». D’ailleurs, le héros véritable du récit est un jardinier…

      Ce modèle de société, autoprotégée, mesurée, enracinée dans sa mémoire et dans sa Terre mère, féodale mais sans féaux, soucieuse uniquement des menus plaisirs de la vie, mais attentive à tout ce qui verdit et porte fruit, a été salué par les contestataires des années 1960, et à l’opposé par le Mouvement social italien (MSI) néofasciste, qui organisait entre 1977 et 1981 des « camps hobbits ». La trilogie est aujourd’hui chérie de nombreux lecteurs de sensibilité écologiste. Cette aspiration à un univers rétro-rural autarcique, méfiant à l’encontre de la technique, de la perte de contact avec les vérités de la nature, n’est probablement pas près de s’éteindre, à la suite de la crise sanitaire actuelle. Il serait bon de se rappeler alors que la Fraternité de l’Anneau, toute à son combat contre les puissances de mort, a rétabli un roi.

    • Oui, j’ai lu cet article, il est super. Je l’ai même cité à la fin du mien. Beaucoup à dire sur ce genre qui est tourné vers le passé, dans un geste éminemment conservateur. Mais Tolkien a le mérite de poser son regard sur les petites gens, les artisans et les paysans, contrairement à Martin, qui a réussi l’exploit dans ses romans sur un moyen âge dit réaliste de ne pas avoir un seul personnage principal issu des classes laborieuses. Il y a de la common decency chez les Hobbits de Tolkien avec toutes les problématiques que ça peut soulever !

  • The GameStop Mess Shows That the Internet Is Rigged Too - The Atlantic
    https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2021/02/gamestop-mess-shows-internet-rigged-too/618040

    par Zeynep Tufekci

    As of January 10, nine brokerages had set the one-year target stock price for GameStop at about $10.

    But that’s not where it would stay—at least for a while. It climbed in price because a subreddit, r/WallStreetBets, engineered a short squeeze.

    That kicked off a wild ride, revealing many things not just about how digital technologies are transforming our world, but also about how they are not. It was yet another stark demonstration that technology is not simply a tool—neutral on all possible outcomes, good or bad—but something more dynamic, messy and complicated. It’s a complex system where the workings of both the technology and our society, and crucially, how they interact with each other matter greatly.

    This is how the squeeze worked: A few large hedge funds had “shorted” GameStop. That means that they had borrowed the stock, with the intention of returning it when the share price moved lower, as they expected it would, leaving them with a profit. Obviously, this works only if the future price of the stock is indeed lower. If the share price rises, the hedge funds would have to buy the stock at the new, higher price, leading to losses. Investors on r/WallStreetBets had noticed that this particular short position was especially vulnerable because a large portion of its existing shares was tied up in the short betting. They explained to others in the forum that if the price went up and up, the hedge funds would eventually be forced to cover those short positions by purchasing the stock back at a much higher price—from them.

    They started buying. The stock started rising.

    The attempted squeeze and the ensuing rise in GameStop’s stock price was a media sensation.

    Self-organized groups have been using the web to act on the physical world for a while. The tech companies that enable this behavior are themselves old. Facebook turned 17 on February 4. Google is already 22, Reddit is 15, and Apple’s iPhone—which ushered in the era of smartphones—is 13. We’ve had many years to think smarter about what digital connectivity means. And yet, we still face this idea that the internet is a game, that the virtual world is something distinct from the real one. This condescension is even embedded in the phrase IRL—“in real life,” meaning not online.

    But the internet isn’t a game. It’s real. And it’s not just a neutral mirror that passively reflects society. One hears that notion from tech elites who’d like to deflect blame from their own creations, which have both empowered and enriched them. “It’s just a tool,” they say. This same mentality is what made Mark Zuckerberg say that it was a “pretty crazy idea” that Facebook had anything to do with Donald Trump’s election—a statement he had to walk back, in part, because it contradicted everything that Facebook usually claims: that its software matters; that it influences people; that it changes, rather than merely reflects, the world.

    Robinhood is particularly important to this saga because it was the platform of choice for r/WallStreetBets. It drove the retail (meaning small investors rather than big institutions) trade boom because individuals could buy and sell as much as they wanted without a fee. But as with social media, Robinhood’s users were about to find out that the intermediary platform’s business model mattered greatly.

    Unlike traditional brokerages, which charge a fee for buying and selling, Robinhood offers these seemingly free trades because it makes its money in large part by selling the trades to big buyers, many of them other hedge funds. It’s those players that will make the real money—and in turn pay Robinhood for the privilege.

    The restrictions came because, under its business model, Robinhood could not put up the kind of capital required for all of these trades in the clearinghouses where they are eventually settled, the company wrote in a blog post. So it wasn’t that Robinhood had an interest in kneecapping the short squeeze. Rather, it was never a suitable platform for engineering a squeeze of this scale—based on “free” trades by retail investors precisely because those investors were never its true customers.

    These dynamics play out across many digital platforms. Similar to how Robinhood makes money not from individual traders, who are its users, but from its hedge-fund customers, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, and the rest make money by selling our attention to advertisers or anyone looking to influence people. This business model also fuels surveillance because paid influence operations work better if they have more data to improve their targeting; data allow them to better find ways to “engage” us. And if there is one thing we know about a social species like humans, it is that in-group versus out-group dynamics (us versus them) are very engaging. Similarly, novelty and misinformation are often attractive, and the truth boring and unengaging. Thus, even though the engineers at these companies don’t set out to amplify tribalism and polarization, the algorithms they let loose on us inevitably do, as a corollary of their optimization target.

    On February 2, GameStop closed at $90, less than 20 percent of its all-time high, which it had reached just a few days earlier. Like many internet stories, the narrative may start with the “little guy” winning—David against Goliath—but they rarely end that way. The little guy loses, not because he is irrational and too emotional, but because of his relative power in society.

    Similarly, Facebook was first celebrated for empowering dissidents during the Arab Spring, but just a few years later it was a key tool in helping Donald Trump win the presidency—and then, later, in clipping his wings, when it joined with other major social-media companies to deplatform him following the insurrection at the Capitol. The reality is that Facebook and Twitter and YouTube are not for or against the little guy: They make money with a business model that requires optimizing for engagement through surveillance. That explains a lot more than the “for or against” narrative. As historian Melvin Kranzberg’s famous aphorism goes: “Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral.”

    The pattern is persistent, and it’s not even concealed. The higher echelons of the corporate world play together with the government and Wall Street to enrich themselves. For example, major US airlines have spent nearly all its extra cash on stock buybacks for the past decade, thereby inflating its stock price—and thus executive pay, which is often tied to stock price—and the stock market. And when the tough times came with the pandemic? The industry got a $25 billion bailout from the government, as one does. Boeing, too, spent most of its cash on stock buybacks, and its CEO was fired with a $62 million exit package not long after the Boeing 737 Max crisis—which resulted in two crashes and 346 dead. A 2013 report found that the average “golden parachute” for the top-paid CEO who was fired was $47.7 million. On it goes.

    The social contract is broken, and that’s why the game feels rigged. Right now, especially in countries like the United States, many of the largest, most profitable companies play the legal-tax-evasion game to the point that they are sitting on hundreds of billions of dollars in cash. (Apple alone has cash reserves that hover around $200 billion. Similarly, both Microsoft and Alphabet/Google have more than $100 billion in their cash pile.) These stockpiles are humongous and the companies are not productively investing them—by building something, or by paying people—so the money all goes back into the stock market. When there is such concentrated wealth, many assets—from stocks to Picasso paintings—appreciate. Such disproportionate investment in speculative or nonproductive assets, coupled with the lack of investment in things that make society work better for more people, like education and health care, further break the social contract.

    On February 7, during the Super Bowl, Reddit used the r/WallStreetBets incident for a feel-good ad. “Powerful things happen when people rally around something they really care about. And there’s a place for that. It’s called Reddit,” the ad flashed. It went on to celebrate the underdog: “One thing we learned from our communities last week is that underdogs can accomplish just about anything when we come together around a common idea.” It was all warm and fuzzy.

    La vidéo publicitaire de reddit est à :
    https://twitter.com/reddit/status/1358572629729320960

    #Zeynep_Tufekci #Reddit #Gamestop #Finance #Modèle_économique

  • Quand les critiques du marché financier deviennent des spéculateurs. Fonds spéculatifs, GameStop et les petits investisseurs du Reddit : Une belle aubaine pour Blackrock, par Tomasz Konicz
    http://www.palim-psao.fr/2021/02/fonds-speculatifs-gamestop-et-les-petits-investisseurs-du-reddit-la-grand

    Retour sur la misère de la critique tronquée du capitalisme à travers l’exemple de la spéculation récente en essaim sur les actions de Gamestop.

    #Tomasz_Konicz #Gamestop #spéculation #Wall_Street #Blackrock #finance #capitalisme #critique_de_la_valeur