GTD Colloquium Joris Schapendonk, on 21 November

Globalization, Transnationalism & Development Colloquium: ‘Finding Ways through Eurospace: West African Movers Re-Viewing Europe from the Inside’

By Joris Schapendonk (Radboud University, Nijmegen)

When: Wednesday 21 November, from 15.30 – 17.00
Where: Spiegelzaal, GG 80-82 (Soiron building)

This presentation is about migrants, but it is not about migration. It discusses transnational movements, asylum, belonging, and borders, but migration is not its primary focus. As I argue, migration and its related ontological foundations of stasis is not the best analytical starting point to understand the lifeworlds of the African ‘movers’ in Europe that are central to this study. Rather than seeing ‘migrancy’ as the primary marker of my informant’s lives, my work aims to understand how flexible mobilities relate to migratory projects, and how identities change along pathway of movements. By following the im/mobility trajectories of individuals coming from the Gambia, Senegal, Cameroon and Nigeria, the empirical findings show how mobility remains central to their being in Europe, despite the existence of harsh mobility regimes that aim to hamper, stop or control their mobilities (Glick-Schiller and Salazar 2013). The findings unpack the ways ‘African movers’ navigate ‘Eurospace’ (Vigh 2009). How they are confronted with borders, but also how they manage to transgress and circumvent them. It will lead to an overall reflection on the role of mobility in migration research.

Joris Schapendonk is Assistant Professor at Radboud University who holds a Phd in Geography. His research focuses mainly on the fragmented journeys of African migrants who are heading for the European Union. It takes into account migrants’ personal aspirations as well as the ways EU’s border politics affect individual journeys. In recent research projects Schapendonk’s work continues to explore the experiences of African migrants within the socio-political space of the EU in the projects “Fortress Europe as a Mobile Space?” and “Helping Hands”.

Upcoming GTD colloquia:

  • Wednesday 5 December: Jean-Michel Lafleur (Université de Liège, CEDEM)
  • Wednesday 9 January 2019: Stefan Ouma, Goethe Universität)
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