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Doing bizness

Migrant smuggling and everyday life in the Maghreb

Line Richter

, establishing professional networks that transcend borders and regions. ( UNODC 2019 ) Popular and political narratives have long maintained that illegal border crossings are planned and carried out by unscrupulous criminals taking advantage of innocent

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Reflecting on the mobile academic

Auto-ethnographic writing in the knowledge economy

Brigitte Bönisch-Brednich

This article examines what it means to be an academic in the knowledge economy, using auto-ethnographic writing or storytelling as its starting point. Although academic mobility has been researched for about a decade, deep listening and deep reading in the context of ethnography have not been utilised in analysing what it means to move in this global space. To conduct this exercise, fellows from the European Union-funded Universities in the Knowledge Economy project who were all mobile academics, were invited to participate in ethnographic writing workshops and explore the personal, subjective elements of narrating their experiences of being mobile and being migrants. I aim to not only present the narratives of colleagues who populate the global knowledge economy but also analyse them and ask if certain ideal forms of narrative habitus support academic mobility.

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Afterword

The Elsewhere beyond Religious Concerns

Annalisa Butticci and Amira Mittermaier

of Europe's so-called migrant crisis and border-crossing pandemic viruses, a moral and racist panic feeds off the supposed collapse of those ‘other places’ into ‘our society’. But other places can also be sites of fascination and longing. Think of the

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Evolutionary Thermodynamics and Theory of Social Quality as Links between Physics, Biology, and the Human Sciences

Jaap Westbroek, Harry Nijhuis, and Laurent van der Maesen

” direction. Conclusion: Two Catalysts for Border-Crossing Dialogues In this argument, some far-reaching theoretical assumptions have been made concerning some obstacles that obstruct a thorough, coherent comprehension of nature. These assumptions

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Border/land Sustainability

Communities at the External Border of the European Union

Karri Kiiskinen

This article contrasts the Finnish-Russian and Polish-Ukrainian borderlands situated at the external border of the EU. Based on multi-sited fieldwork, it observes how such EU level development concepts as sustainability and multiculturalism address cultural sharing as well as engage communities. Here everyday border crossings are limited, but the policies and practices of cross-border co-operation seek to produce sustainable border crossings in terms of projects and networking. The negotiations of the EU border by local Polish and Finnish actors reflect co-existing and alternative imaginations of borderland heritage. These heritages seem to suggest the 'right' ways not only for border crossings, but also for addressing the continuity and experience of cultural diversity. It is argued that recollections of borderland materiality in these ceded lands become a means for negotiating cultural borders, and verify the difference between European borderlands and borders.

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The Gendered Necropolitics of Migration Control in a French Postcolonial Periphery

Nina Sahraoui

This article examines the postcolonial politics of migration control in Mayotte, an overseas French department, and argues that these bear necropolitical consequences. It sheds light on the gendered dimension of this necropolitical power by focusing on the life and border-crossing experiences of undocumented Comorian women. Entrenched barriers to the regularization of their administrative status endanger their access to healthcare and degrade the conditions for life long-term. The constant risk of arrest and massive forced removals furthermore engender dangerous border crossings, each instance exposing the passengers to the risk of death. The article also foregrounds that these necropolitics are exacerbated as a result of the postcolonial conundrum in which Mahoran elites find themselves, with the increasing support of Black and Muslim elites for the French far-right political party.

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Telmah Thel

The Hustle-Bustle of a Hindi Romeo and Juliet

Jonathan Gil Harris

This article builds on Terence Hawkes' 'jazz' reading of Hamlet to suggest ways in which music can shed light on radical aspects of Shakespeare's theatrical and linguistic craft. Turning specifically to Hindi cinema and the convention of the 'item number', the article considers the latter's translingualism and how it can help us understand the relations between Shakespeare's own polyglot language and the border-crossing nature of desire in Romeo and Juliet.

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Why take such a risk? Beyond profit

Motivations of border‐crossing facilitators between France and Italy

Cecilia Vergnano

As a response to the reintroduction of border controls at the French/Italian border, which aim to push back undesired migrants, increasing border‐crossing facilitation practices are being carried out by different categories of social actors, including local residents and migrants themselves. In a context of increasing criminalisation of border‐crossing facilitation practices, racialised, non‐white facilitators are usually stigmatised as smugglers acting exclusively in return for payment, while local residents moved by humanitarian concerns are increasingly represented as privileged do‐gooders. This article moves toward a deconstruction of both categories by investigating the discursive motivations of different border‐crossing facilitators and taking into account the unequal structure of opportunities characterising their practices. Through ethnographic accounts and interviews in different localities at the French/Italian border, the article sheds light on the complex coexistence of different interests moving a wide range of actors. The empirical analysis reveals that mere market logics do not reflect the complexity of the figure of the professional facilitator; nor are humanitarian, ethical and political motivations exclusive to white, European citizens providing free help to migrants in distress.

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Balancing the Here and There

Transnational Mobilities of Moroccan Middle-class Professionals in Istanbul

Christian Ritter

This article explores the ways Moroccan middle-class professionals residing in Istanbul have forged transnational connections since the 2006 free trade agreement between Turkey and Morocco. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, the article finds that research participants embrace three interdependent mobilities – imaginative, corporeal and virtual. First, Moroccan television viewers imaginatively internalise images of Turkish society through Turkish programmes broadcast in Morocco. Then, Moroccan nationals engage in physical travel to Turkey, initially as tourists, but later also as job seekers. Finally, Moroccan residents of Istanbul travel virtually to keep in touch with friends and family through media such as online platforms and instant messaging applications. In this article I argue that users of virtual environments have developed into new transnational brokers, facilitating the spatial extension of border-crossing networks.

Open access

The “Transnational Business of Death” Among Somali Migrants in the Streets of Athens

Anja Simonsen

Abstract

Migrants risk their lives when venturing out on hazardous journeys to escape unbearable situations in their countries of origin. Some, unfortunately, lose their lives en route. When such tragedies happen, a border-crossing social network of brokers, fellow travelers, family members, and friends of the deceased engage in a “transnational business of death” involving exchanges of money, things, information, and rumors. Based on ethnographic fieldwork among Somali women and men from 2013 to 2016, this article explores how the death of one Somali woman was dealt with on a particular street in Athens, Greece. The article argues that an informal economy arises as a reaction to the lack of legal, formal support from the Greek nation-state when it comes to dealing with the deaths of loved ones among undocumented migrants.