interconnection of mobility, immobility, aspiration, and desperation can also lead to new theoretical windows on transnational migration and deepen our understanding of migration as a continuous process in which mobility and immobility, and aspiration and
Aspiration and Desperation Traps in Trajectories of Physical and Social Mobility-Immobility
Young Female Migrants in the City
Ellen Bal, Hosna J. Shewly, and Runa Laila
Micro-Mobilities in Lockdown
opening words, I would suggest that if we are serious about trying to understand the significance of mobility and movement in people's everyday lives, if we want to problematize the mobility/immobility binary, and if we want to understand the related role
uses the interrelation between aspiration and desperation as a powerful analytical framework to interrogate the relationships between mobility, immobility, migration, and sedentarization. By confronting these term-pairs, they also seek to deconstruct
Multilocality and the Politics of Space in Protracted Exile
The Case of a Palestinian Refugee Camp in the West Bank
This article employs the concept of multilocality to analyze the politics of space under the condition of protracted encampment. Rather than adopting a common synchronic approach to how refugees relate to space, the theoretical lens of multilocality grasps the diachronic dimension of protracted camps understood as places that encompass multiple attachments across time and space: the remembered and imagined places of origin, sites of residence in exile, and future geographies of hope or anticipation. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in al-Am'ari, a Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank, I analyze multilocality as a political practice whereby local residents and organizations nurture the refugee identity of their communities, resist the permanence of protracted exile, and manifest the necessity for political change.
Mobilities Meet Reproductive Vibes . . .
Sue Frohlick, Kristin Lozanski, Amy Speier, and Mimi Sheller
What mobilizes people to take up reproductive options, directions, and trajectories in ways that generate the possibilities and practices of mobilities? People's desires for procreation or to resolve fertility challenges or partake in sperm donation, egg freezing, or surrogacy; the need for abortion services; and forced evacuation for childbirth care all involve movement. Reproductive aspirations, norms, and regulations move people's bodies, as well as related technologies and bioproducts. At the same time, these corporeal, material, in/tangible mobilities of bodies, things, and ideas are also generative of reproductive imaginaries and practices. Reproduction is mobile and movement affects reproduction. Building from an interdisciplinary workshop on reproductive mobilities in Kelowna, Canada, this article aims to push the mobilities framework toward the edges of feminist, affect, queer, decolonizing, materialist, and nonrepresentational theories in thinking through both reproduction and movement.
“Containers, Carriers, Vehicles”
Three Views of Mobility from Africa
Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga, Jeroen Cuvelier, and Katrien Pype
This introduction launches the new portfolio of articles on African mobilities and situates the three articles of this special section within the portfolio’s approach. This could be summarized in three key objectives. First, it seeks to highlight the inadequacy of enthusing in Africa simply as a venue where the itineraries of things and people from outside take place. Second, African mobilities is a way to signal the mobilities of Africans and things “African” in the world. Third, African mobilities is a theoretical standpoint. It serves as a critique of Western notions of mobility that have been universalized, built on nostalgia about what one, following Western ethnocentric assumptions, readily concludes are the technological and scientific wonders.
Desperate Aspirations among Paraguayan Youths
The Renegotiation of Migration and Rural Futures
This article explores how young Paraguayan migrants, returnees, and not-yet-migrants negotiate contradicting aspirations and desperations that they attach to urban and rural spaces in the present and future. While a protracted crisis of small-scale agriculture in Paraguay increases pressure to migrate, the economic crisis in Argentina challenges the established migration trajectories between rural Paraguay and Buenos Aires. The article shows how young adults continuously weigh up current living conditions and future prospects both “here” and “there” and are torn between leaving, staying, or returning. Based on multi-sited ethnographic field research, it reconstructs the ways in which they navigate between four ambiguous aspirations: security, advancement, belonging, and attachment. Whereas rural out-migration of young people is often interpreted as a yearning for modern city life, the analysis reveals that both rural and urban areas are linked with aspirations as well as desperations.
Transfers at a Crossroads
An Anthropological Perspective
Noel B. Salazar
In this short article, I offer a personal reflection on my own mobilities and how these influenced my academic interest in human movement and brought me in contact with mobility studies and Transfers. On the special occasion of the journal's tenth anniversary, I look back at how the journal has fared. I remind readers of the initial plans and expectations that were expressed by the founding editors, with a focus on issues that are important from an anthropological point of view. I complement this critical and constructive analysis with a brief look into the future. In which direction should Transfers ideally be moving? What are the implications of societal developments such as the ones surrounding the coronavirus pandemic for the journal and its thematic focus?
Gatherings of Mobility and Immobility
Itinerant “Criminal Tribes” and Their Containment by the Salvation Army in Colonial South India
In retelling the history of “criminal tribe” settlements managed by the Salvation Army in Madras Presidency (colonial India) from 1911, I argue that neither the mobility–immobility relationship nor the compositional heterogeneity of (im)mobility practices can be adequately captured by relational dialecticism espoused by leading mobilities scholars. Rather than emerging as an opposition through dialectics, the relationship between (relative) mobility and containment may be characterized by overlapping hybridity and difference. This differential hybridity becomes apparent in two ways if mobility and containment are viewed as immanent gatherings of humans and nonhumans. First, the same entities may participate in gatherings of mobility and of containment, while producing different effects in each gathering. Here, nonhumans enter a gathering, and constitute (im)mobility practices, as actors that make history irreducibly differently from other actors that they may be entangled with. Second, modern technologies and amodern “institutions” may be indiscriminately drawn together in all gatherings.
Georgine Clarsen and Gijs Mom
Case of the Baka of Southeast Cameroon—A Variation on the Habitual Mobility–Immobility Nexus”; and Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga, “Organic Vehicles and Passengers: The Tsetse Fly as Transient Analytical Workspace,” as exemplary papers that will