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Dr. Lucien Vilhalva de Campos

Porträt Lucien Vilhalva de Campos

Digital media for humanitarian activism in times of COVID-19: evaluating the net impact of Sea-Watch’s social campaigns about the migration flows in the Mediterranean Sea

The pandemic caused by COVID-19 posed challenges not only for governments and societies, but also for vulnerable people in contexts of human suffering. The impacts of the pandemic also led European authorities to increase their negligence and mismanagement of policies upon the migration flows in the Mediterranean Sea (MS). This has been causing countless deaths at high sea. Considering this, the research aims to debate the possibilities for digital media to become an agency of public engagement in the protection of vulnerable people in distress at the MS. For this, the research evaluates the net impact of the digital activism efforts taken by the Sea-Watch Organization to call society’s attention to the migration flows in the MS. But before creating a model to assess the Sea-Watch net impact, this research intends to explore the importance of digital activism in questioning the dynamics of the European border architecture.

Main Research Topics

  • The border architecture in the Mediterranean Sea
  • The importance of digital activism for humanitarian purposes
  • The activist role of Sea-Watch and its online critical discourse
  • Data collection for the creation of the model

Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D., International Relations (2021) – School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Lisbon.

M.A., Diplomacy and International Relations (2017) – Lusofona University of Lisbon.

Specialization in Crisis and Humanitarian Action (2016) – University of Lisbon.

B.A., International Relations (2013) – University of Southern Santa Catarina.


Visiting Fellow, Center for Advanced Internet Studies (2022)

Guest doctoral researcher, Media, Politics and Society (2021) – HHU Düsseldorf.

Lectures and Publications
de Campos, L. V. (2021). Beyond the Security Drama: Rethinking Humanitarian Scenes within a More Critical Approach [Doctoral Dissertation, University of Lisbon]. Repositório da Universidade de Lisboa. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.27528.34564

de Campos, L. V. (2021). Assessing spectators‘ humanitarian awareness through visual representations of human suffering: a cross-national experimental research. Universitäts-und Landesbibliothek Düsseldorf. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.25850.62404

de Campos, L. V. (Forthcoming). Towards a critical approach on the visual politics of human suffering: advancing epistemological and methodological premises.

Dr. Lucien Vilhalva de Campos

Fellow am CAIS von Oktober bis März 2022