Queer Crossings will be travelling to the University of Sussex

An art exhibition hosted by the Migrating out of Poverty Research Programme Consortium international partners visiting from the University of Witwatersrand, the African Centre for Migration & Society, Prof Jo Vearey and PhD candidate Ms Elsa Oliveira.

Wednesday 9 September
17:00 until 19:00
The HELM Cafe, Brighthelm Community Centre, North Road, Brighton Town Centre
Speakers: Jo Vearey and Elsa Oliveira
Part of the series: MoVE method:visual:explore project

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Invitation to the opening of an exhibition Metropolitan Nomads: Journeys Through Joburg's Little Mogadishu

Thursday 3 September - Anthropology Museum, Wits - 5.30 pm for 6.00 pm

Using portraits, photographs and narratives, Metropolitan Nomads examines the lives and perspectives of Somali migrants in Little Mogadishu in Mayfair, Johannesburg, a place where the lives of hundreds of Somalis intersect.

Mayfair is a space of opportunity for some, a refuge for refugees and a home away from home for all of them. It is a multi-layered site where Somali migrants, as urban refugees, renegotiate their cultural practices in a metropolitan and foreign context; where spaces and customs that were left behind are recreated in the everyday life of the neighbourhood.
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Refugee housing, without exception

Lunchtime seminar Tuesday 25 August 12:30 - 13:30, East Campus, Wits University

Please note that the venue for the seminar has been confirmed as  the ACMS CLASSROOM in the basement below the ACMS Offices (Room 5), North west corner of building, South West Engineering Building, Braamfontein East Campus, Wits University. Redirecting signage will be available from the lobby of the South West Engineering Building. Light refreshments will be served.

The African Centre for Migration & Society will host a seminar presented by Kai Mah PhD OAQ (Laurentian University, Canada) and Patrick Rivers (School of Art, Institute of Chicago).Their presentation is titled ‘Refugee housing, without exception’.

Date: 25 August 2015

Time: 12:30 – 13:30

Venue: See above.

South Africa experienced its most recent wave of xenophobic violence in April 2015.  Between the previous wave of highly publicised attacks in 2008 and the 2015 attacks, South Africa’s government secretly drew up plans to construct “model” camps that would be used to house migrants with refugee status and those seeking refugee status.  The paper is used to understand the space of exception created by the government’s indelicate proposal especially considering South Africa’s colonial and apartheid past.  Beyond this, the paper is deployed to present a conceptual camp design as counterproposal that highlights design’s power to negate the spatial exception frequently associated with the camp.

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Dangerous spaces: The structural context of violence against foreign nationals in South Africa

Lunchtime seminar Tuesday 18 August 12:30 - 13:30, Graduate Seminar Room, South West Engineering

The African Centre for Migration & Society will host a seminar presented by Alexandra Hiropoulos, a post-doctoral fellow at ACMS. Her presentation is titled ‘Dangerous spaces: The structural context of violence against foreign nationals in South Africa’.

Date: 18 August 2015

Time: 12:30 – 13:30

Venue: Graduate Seminar Room, South West Engineering Building, East Campus

This dissertation study examines the spatial nature of violent incidents against foreign nationals in South Africa and the effect of structural conditions on the occurrence of anti-foreigner violence. Since nationwide riots which targeted foreign nationals in townships in 2008, there has been increased awareness of anti-foreigner violence but limited empirical academic research on its causes. This study takes advantage of improving access to crime data and examines incidents of anti-foreigner violence occurring between 1994 and 2012 with spatial/geographic information on locations and surrounding structural characteristics.

The study uses geographic information systems to establish the spatial distribution of violent anti-foreigner incidents across South Africa, demonstrating that most anti-foreigner incidents occurred within Gauteng and the Western Cape, where they also significantly clustered in and around urban areas, informal settlements and townships.

This research utilizes the social ecological framework to examine the spatial nature of anti-foreigner violence and interpret the influence of structural factors on its occurrence. Focusing on contextual effects, the study examines whether social structural conditions indicating economic deprivation and social marginalization in areas have a direct impact on the occurrence of violence against foreign nationals. For this purpose, the study estimated a multilevel, multivariate model in which the rate of violence was predicted by several structural variables believed to be linked to anti-foreigner violence. Findings highlight the influence of population size, racial heterogeneity, unemployment, education levels and access to basic services on the occurrence of anti-foreigner violence. Furthermore, this study calls attention to the relevance of spatial context in attempting to understand this phenomenon.

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2nd SAYAS Symposium on Science and Society in Africa

Fact, Fiction and Media: Re-imagining science engagement and its impact

Cape Town 28-29 Sept 2015 

There is a need for broader societal engagement with important research findings and developments across scientific disciplines: natural, social and medical sciences, arts and humanities. Channels for converting patentable knowledge into profitable products are the focus of considerable investment, as are ways for translating beneficial knowledge into public initiatives or policies. For example, the significance of the discovery of a prehistoric fish, or the implications of the findings of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) observatory in the South Africa’s Karoo region, are often unknown to the public despite, scientific projects of this kind being substantially supported by public funds. 

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MA in Migration and Displacement

Applications are now invited


The African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS) at the University of the Witwatersrand is looking for graduate students who might be interested in undertaking an MA or PhD in Migration and Displacement in 2016.

The ACMS is an interdisciplinary, internationally engaged and intellectually independent Africa-based Centre that shapes global discourse on human mobility and social transformation. The MA programme is designed to give studnets the conceptual tools for understanding and analysing a wide range of topics in the field of migration. Our lecturers are widely published and have an impressive track record of innovative partnerships.

Based in the School of Social Sciences, migration and displacement is an interdisciplinary field encompassing a wide range of disciplines including economics, public health, political science, sociology, urban planning, and development studies. With migration being such an important and hotly-debated topic, its study has a wide-ranging academic and practical scope.

Through this programme graduate students are equipped with a comprehensive conceptual framework and the practical skills necessary to understand, analyse and advise on the drivers, impacts and management of migration within academia, government and the NGO world. Our alumni have succeeded in the public and private sectors, as well as local and international civil society and the academy.

ACMS enrolls a maximum of 25 MA students each year from various academic backgrounds and countries. As part of the programme, students learn how to critically engage with the complex issues surrounding migration and displacement. Students are strongly encouraged to partake in the Centre’s research activities, and are frequently invited to publish and present on their work done as part of this programme.

The MA (coursework and research) programme can either be undertaken full time for a year or part time over two years and consists of three courses and a research report. Compulsory courses include an Introduction to Migration & Displacement and the Logics and Methods of Migration Research.  A third elective can be chosen from the School; electives run by the Centre include The psychosocial & health consequences of migration & displacement (SOSS 7027), Labour migration in a global & regional context (SOSS 7062), and Migration and human rights (SOSS 7077).

PhD applications are considered on a rolling basis throughout the year.

Although the Centre cannot promise funding for all students, there are several scholarship and assistantship opportunities every year that students are encouraged to apply for.  In addition, the University runs a Postgraduate Merit Award system that will provide funding to cover fees to successful applicants.

A compilation of bursaries for Wits students can be found here.

Additional information about for applicants can be found here

The deadline for MA applications for 2016 is 31 August 2015. The deadline for Postgraduate Merit Award applications is the 31st October -

More information can be found at and questions should be directed to

*Photo taken by Jo Vearey

**Please feel free to download and distribute our posters acms-teaching-posters-2.jpg

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Public lecture by UN Special Rapporteur Mutuma Ruteree

Hosted by the South African Research Chair in Mobility and the Politics of Difference

The South African Research Chair in Mobility and the Politics of Difference in collaboration with the African Centre for Migration & Society invites you to a public lecture by Mutuma Ruteree, UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. His lecture is titled 'Challenging xenophobia: Global perspectives on countering exclusion.'

Date: Thursday 23 July 2015

Time: 12:30 to 13:30

Venue: Humanities Graduate Seminar Room, Wits

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Migration, urbanisation and health in southern Africa: Interdisciplinary conversations

ACMS, UCT and Penn State invite you to three public lectures, 27 - 29 July

ACMS, in partnership with Penn State and UCT, are hosting a workshop titled Migration, Urbanisation and Health in Southern Africa: Interdisciplinary conversations, 27 – 29 July.

As part of this workshop, three public lectures will be held which we invite the broader Johannesburg community to attend. Please note that the venues have changed since these seminars were first publicised. 

On Monday 27 July, 9:30 – 11, CB248, Graduate Seminar Room, South West Engineering, East Campus, Dr Sarah Charlton (CUBES, Wits) will be presenting ‘The ‘lived experience’ of low income housing: navigating housing dreams and real life in Johannesburg’.

On Tuesday, 28 July, 9 – 10:30, CB248, Graduate Seminar Room, South West Engineering, East Campus, Warren Smit (African Centre for Cities) will be presenting ‘Understanding health in urban environments in African cities: The case of Khayelitsha, Cape Town’. 

And on Wednesday, 29 July, 9 – 10:30, Graduate Seminar Room, South West Engineering, East Campus, Dr Lorena Nunez (Sociology, Wits) will be presenting ‘Mobility, healing and the city: Urban and sacred experiences in post-apartheid South Africa’.

More information about these lectures and the workshop in general can be found at .

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ACMS and Lawyers for Human Rights launch report revealing rampant corruption within South Africa’s asylum system

The report contains key research findings on corruption with particular reference to the Department of Home Affairs' five refugee reception offices

The report, which was released today, found that there were significant levels of corruption at various stages of the asylum process. In particular, the experiences of asylum seekers and refugees indicate corruption is a very real problem at the refugee reception offices. Access, documentation, status, and renewals are all linked to payment, as are many other services tied to the asylum process. Moreover, as inefficiencies in the system increase, both the opportunities for and the need to acquiesce to corruption increase. In many cases, individuals are left with the choice of paying or remaining undocumented.

Read the report here: Queue Here for Corruption - Measuring Irregularities in South Africa's Asylum System

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Unease evoked by different immigrant groups: How self-monitoring reduces cultural and economic threat

Lunchtime seminar Tuesday 21 July 12:30 - 13:30 Graduate Seminar Room, South West Engineering


The African Centre for Migration & Society invites you to a seminar presented by Dr Didier Ruedin (ACMS, Wits and University of Neuchatel, Switzerland) titled Unease evoked by different migrant groups: How self-monitoring reduces cultural and economic threat.

Date:    Tuesday 21 July 2015

Time:    12:30 to 13:30

Venue: Humanities Graduate Seminar Room, South West Engineering Building, East Campus, Wits University

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