For centuries the people of Africa have been on the move, seeking new opportunities, fleeing from dangers, or tragically uprooted through human greed and cruelty. In the twenty-first century, with over 40 million people migrating from and within Africa each year, it is clear that migration still has a significant impact on every aspect of African life. For this reason, Sarali Gintsburg and Ruth Breeze in their new book, African Migrations: Traversing Hybrid Landscapes, explore the hybrid landscapes of African migration and provide new insights into the complexity of migratory movements and migrant experiences associated with the African continent. Taking the view that the only ecologically valid way to understand migration is by looking at it through the eyes of the migrants themselves, the authors draw on a wide spectrum of first-hand evidence from a multitude of sources, including testimonies, media artefacts, workplace experiences, interviews, and ethnographic observations. The contributors reflect on a wide array of themes linked to the African context, such as diasporic mapping of landscapes, hybridity, heterotopia, métissage, cultural mixing, and complementation. This book presents the African continent not only in its cultural diversity but also to cover the complex and wide trajectories of migrations to, from and within Africa.
Sarali Gintsburg is a researcher at the Institute for Culture and Society at the University of Navarra.
Ruth Breeze is professor of English at the University of Navarra.
Introduction: Mapping the Landscapes of Migration by Ruth Breeze and Sarali Gintsburg
Chapter One: From Angola to Portugal: Narrating Migration, Memory, and Identity in Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida’s Works by Jessica Falconi
Chapter Two: Gluing Together the Fragmented Identities of Zanzibar Arabs: A Heterotopian-Utopian Approach by Sarali Gintsburg
Chapter Three: Clashing Ideological Frameworks in a Belgian Job Interview with a Sierra Leonean Candidate by Dorien Van De Mieroop and Melina De Dijn
Chapter Four: Along the Paths of Resistance: The History of a Moroccan Family in Catalonia through their Multiple Voices by Marta Amorós Torró
Chapter Five: Finding the Voice: Positioning in African Diaspora Media by Ruth Breeze
Chapter Six: “From Okacha to Molenbeek”: Moroccan muḏakkirāt in L7a9d’s Digital Storytelling by Rosa Pennisi
Chapter Seven: Caribbean Canadian Writers of African Descent: The Legacy of ‘the Door’ by Judit Nagy
Chapter Eight: Moroccan Women in Rural Spain: Intimate Heterotopias by Sarali Gintsburg and Ruth Breeze
Chapter Nine: Mwinda, ‘Light of the World’: Healing Among Congolese Diasporas in Massachusetts by Carolina Nvé Díaz San Francisco
About the Contributors
This volume offers rich and intriguing engagement with one of the defining themes of our time: mobility and displacement, drawing on literary and sociolinguistic analyses. Its focus on these themes in, around, and from Africa, and the novel theoretical perspectives are a welcome addition to the existing literature.
This book provides a fascinating combination of methodological approaches to migrant spaces and positions centralized on Foucault’s heterotopia/utopia concepts. The book brings us from the micro-storia of a family of Moroccan descent in Catalonia, to healing practices in an African diaspora church in Massachusetts, from interviews with 42 women in rural Spain to an activist rapper in Molenbeek. This is a genuinely instructive work on how to do research on the practices and everyday lives of migrants.