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(Im)mobility and Mediterranean migrations: journeys ‘between the pleasures of wealth and the desires of the poor'

Palladino

(Im)mobility and Mediterranean migrations: journeys ‘between the pleasures of wealth and the desires of the poor' Thumbnail


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Abstract

Foregrounding (im)mobility to engage with experiences of human displacement, this study seeks to disrupt and set a change of emphasis in current debates about migration in literary and cultural studies. It engages with Laila Lalami’s Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits [2005. Tangier: Altopress, Moroccan Cultural Institute] to explore the novel’s representation of Morocco-Europe migration, the journeys between what Badiou aptly defines as ‘the pleasures of wealth and the desires of the poor’ [2008. “The Communist Hypothesis.” New Left Review 49: 29–42]. Through reading the stories of Murad and Halima – the two characters in the novel who fail to make it into Europe – this paper draws on anthropological studies of contemporary migration and examines the ways in which failure and (im)mobility stimulate fruitful transformations. It explores the complexities at the heart of migratory projects and the role that both mobility and immobility play in shaping the characters’ lives, and thereby problematises understandings of migration which privilege mobility and border-crossing. A focus on immobility reveals cultural and social processes which would otherwise remain obscured by an increased focus on narratives of mobility; through an insight into experiences of displacement beyond mere movement, this paper identifies acts of resistance, empowerment and agency activated by what Carling calls forced, ‘involuntary immobility’ [2002. “Migration Control and Migration Fatalities at the Spanish-African Borders.” International Migration Review 41 (2): 316–343].

Citation

Palladino. (2017). (Im)mobility and Mediterranean migrations: journeys ‘between the pleasures of wealth and the desires of the poor'. The Journal of North African Studies, 23(1-2), 71-89. https://doi.org/10.1080/13629387.2018.1400241

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 7, 2017
Publication Date Nov 7, 2017
Journal The Journal of North African Studies
Print ISSN 1362-9387
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Issue 1-2
Pages 71-89
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/13629387.2018.1400241
Keywords postcolonial literature, migration, Mediterranean, Morocco, mobility, immobility
Publisher URL http://doi.org/10.1080/13629387.2018.1400241

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