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Mobilizing Malian-Diasporic Identities

How Southern News Websites Facilitate Non-sedentarist Discourses on African Migration

Syntia Hasenöhrl

Whereas identities in postmodern societies are increasingly celebrated as mobile and fluid for agents from the Global North, agents from African societies face sedentarizing discourses. Recent research has shown that digital media play an ambivalent role in this process. This article explores the circulation of migration-related news on a Malian-diasporic online news portal during the month of December 2016. It argues that Southern online news and user interactions with them can mobilize African identity constructions in opposition to sedentarist hegemonic discourses in three ways: (1) the traveling of articles across space reconstructs the complexities of Malian mobilities; (2) user profiling and interactions produce non-sedentarist narratives about mobile Malians; and (3) the circulation of specific expressions and content questions fixed connections of identities and territories.