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ACMS at SASA Congress 2015

Three of our postgraduate students will be presenting at SASA next week

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ACMS graduate students, Janet Munakamwe, Dostin Lakika and Thea de Gruchy, will be attending the South African Sociological Association’s annual congress next week, 28 June to 1 July, which is themed ‘Contours of Violence: Manifestations, Interventions and Social Justice’. The conference will take place at the University of Johannesburg.

Both Dostin Lakika and Janet Munakamwe will be presenting research undertaken as part of their current PhD research; ‘“Refugees in South Africa would have gone crazy, what keeps them going is their faith”: Exploring the impact of religious beliefs in the healing process of Congolese refugees in South Africa’ and ‘Zamazama livelihood strategies and resistance to police brutality in the West Rand area, Johannesburg’, respectively;  while Thea de Gruchy will be presenting ‘A precarious migrant class in South Africa: State agenda or accident?’ drawing on research done as part of her MA at ACMS.

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ACMS will be participating in the Gendered Dimensions of Migration Conference

30 June - 2 July 2015 Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore

ACMS researchers and communications staff will be participating in the Migrating out of Poverty Research Policy Consortium's  Gendered Dimensions of Migration conference taking place later this month at the Asia Research Institute in Singapore.

The times of ignoring women and girls’ encounter with migration as migrants in their own right and as active members of communities engaged in migratory livelihood practices have gone. In both policy and research circles changes in migration flows have generated profound attention to gendered and generational patterns of migration and to changes in these patterns. Empirical research has since helped enrich the ways in which gendered dimensions of migration are conceptualised and how this may impact policy. Important insights hail from research documenting gender differences in the ability to migrate, the feminisation of certain types of migration, and linkages between labour and mobility regimes impacting migrants and their home communities in complex and often gendered ways.

This conference brings together scholars and policy-makers focusing on the material and social linkages between gender and labour migration in the global South. Twenty carefully chosen research-based contributions will explore how notions of gender and age appropriate activities and comportment shape migratory projects and their outcomes, and how migration affects relationships between women and men and between parents and their sons and daughters. Two policy roundtables aim to facilitate dialogue between researchers and policy advisers by linking the latest research findings to current interventions and the lessons learned in organisations working with migrants.

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'Queer Crossings' will be travelling to the International Visual Sociological Association 2015 Annual Conference

WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET: Old and New Ways of Seeing Society

25th to 27th June 2015 in Tinos Island, Greece

The International Visual Sociology Association 2015 Annual Conference will take place June 25-27, 2015 at the Cultural Foundation of Tinos, located in the city of Chora of Tinos island, Greece. The Conference will be hosted by the Department of Communication, Media and Culture – Panteion University. 


Theme: What You See Is What You Get: Old and New Ways of Seeing Society

The theme “What You See Is What You Get: Old and New Ways of Seeing Society”  stands for the idea of innovation gone obsolete: the computer interface is not just a new way of seeing, but also a signifier of the visual turn at large. The much-advertised feature of visually compelling software is now a commonplace feature gone unnoticed – unseen.

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MoVE will be exhibited at the "Gendered Dimensions of Migration: Material and social outcomes of South-South migration" Conference

30 June - 2 July 2015 Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore

The times of ignoring women and girls’ encounter with migration as migrants in their own right and as active members of communities engaged in migratory livelihood practices have gone. In both policy and research circles changes in migration flows have generated profound attention to gendered and generational patterns of migration and to changes in these patterns. Empirical research has since helped enrich the ways in which gendered dimensions of migration are conceptualised and how this may impact policy. Important insights hail from research documenting gender differences in the ability to migrate, the feminisation of certain types of migration, and linkages between labour and mobility regimes impacting migrants and their home communities in complex and often gendered ways.

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Fully funded PhD position - 'Sex on the move: mobile and migrant clients of sex workers in South Africa'

Joint PhD between ACMS and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

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Contents of the research project 
South Africa is associated with historical and contemporary population movements and a high prevalence of communicable diseases – including HIV. Whilst sex work provides an important livelihood activity for some, all aspects of sex work are criminalised in South Africa, presenting multiple vulnerabilities to adults who consent to the sale of sex. This includes multiple forms of structural violence – such as barriers to healthcare, stigma, exclusion from protective policies - and direct violence from the police and clients. In the case of non-national sex workers – who may have an irregular documentation status - this also involves fear of immigration officials and potential deportation. Recent research indicates that sex work and migration trajectories are strongly interlinked, and that the majority of sex workers are working outside of their province or country of birth. However, little is known about the movements, motivations and practices of migrant and mobile clients. Whilst the body of research on sex work in South Africa is increasing, it has – to date - focussed on the experiences of sex workers in urban contexts; very little is known or understood about the ongoing migratory trajectories of sex workers and their clients. As a result the migratory trajectories, mobilities and behaviours of these clients – such as truck drivers, seasonal farm workers, miners, taxi drivers – remain unknown. Current responses to sex work in South Africa fail to engage with migration and mobility of both sex workers and clients. This means that programmes are oriented to relatively sedentary populations and population movement is excluded from ongoing policy discussions and the regulation of sex work. This not only has public health implications but wider impacts in relation to the protection and rights of mobile and migrant sex workers. Thus, focussing this research on mobile clients will on the one hand provide needed empirical data and on the other hand make this population more visible. This will ultimately contribute to developing ways to make clients more aware and responsible in their encounters with sex workers. The proposed topic provides an opportunity for a doctoral student to develop an innovative research project exploring the migrant and mobile clients of sex workers. Building on previous work that has engaged with involved methodologies and partnership with a sex worker-led movement, the doctoral student will be encouraged to think creatively about ways to engage with mobile and migrant clients of sex workers.
 
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Migration, urbanisation and health in southern Africa: interdisciplinary conversations

27th - 29th July, University of the Witwatersrand: Johannesburg

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) region is associated with high level of historical and contemporary population movements, a high prevalence of communicable – and increasingly non-communicable – diseases, and rapid urban growth. Associated with a growing population of the urban poor – many of whom are recent migrants to the city, as well as increasing inequality, southern African cities and towns urgently need to address these interlinked development challenges. This requires a new discussion: improving research and policy responses to ensure healthy urban migration in a context of inequality and inequity requires interdisciplinary conversations and multi-level action at regional, national and local levels. 

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ACMS releases a new issue brief

'Understanding Immigration Detention and Deportation in South Africa: A Summary of Law, Practice and Human Rights Violations at the Lindela Detention Centre'

ACMS has published an issue brief on the status of human rights protections and violations at the Lindela Detention Centre near Johannesburg and the legal framework for detention and deportation of migrants in South Africa. Findings of systematic abuse and exploitation are particularly salient given heightening detentions and deportations due to ‘Operation Fiela.’

Click here to read the issue brief.

Photo acknowledgement: Anthony Kaminjuirin/IRIN

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'Queer Crossings' will be travelling to the International Association for the Study of Sexuality, Culture and Society

“Literacies and Sexualities in Cultural, Fictional, Real, and Virtual Worlds: Past, Present, Future Perfect?”

17th to 20th June 2015 in Dublin, Ireland

The X IASSCS Conference proposes to investigate the politics, nature, roles and effects of sexual (and gender) literacy in the cultural, fictional, real and virtual worlds. If literacy is the ability to read, write and make some sense of life and existence, sexual literacy is the ability to make some sense of the symbol systems relevant to the understanding and use of the concepts of sexuality, and of its inextricable intertwining with gender and all other oppressed and excluded identities. Through history, this sense-making is perpetually contingent, context-dependent, politically charged, highly contested and played out on national and international stages through policy and protest.

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Why not? What policy reversals reveal about diaspora voting

Lunchtime seminar Tuesday 9 June, 12:30 - 13:30, Graduate Seminar Room, South West Engineering

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Beth Wellman, a PhD candidate in political science at Yale and visiting researcher at ACMS, will be 'Why not? What policy reversals reveal about diaspora voting.'

Diaspora voting is primarily seen as a way for states to strengthen ties to citizens abroad. However, this account fails to recognize the numerous states that continue to exclude emigrants from voting despite political debates and pressure from citizens living within and outside the country. In order to develop a more complete theory of diaspora voting we need to include cases of expatriate exclusion within our comparative analysis. How do political parties and state agencies engage with the diaspora constituency under conditions of both formal inclusion and exclusion? By tracing the turbulent history of diaspora voting in South Africa, Wellman reveals an intensely partisan and emotional debate over the inclusion of South Africans abroad.  Changing perceptions of the diaspora influenced the debates over the policy and its implementation, as well as subsequent mobilization by political parties. The South African case suggests insights that may be key toward understanding the ongoing debates over diaspora voting in a number of African countries.

Bio

Elizabeth Iams Wellman is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at Yale University.  Her research focuses on how migration and citizenship policies interact with electoral politics, with a regional focus on sub-Saharan Africa. Since January 2015 she has been a visiting researcher at ACMS while conducting fieldwork for her dissertation “Symbolic Inclusion: the Politics of Diaspora Voting.” She holds an MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago and a BA in Public Policy from Duke University. Prior to her graduate work, she was an Emmy-nominated producer on numerous social issue documentary films and advocacy campaigns.

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Izwi Lethu: Our Voice Newsletter - May edition

A collaboration between Sisonke and ACMS's MoVE project

Sisonke Sex Workers' Movement Gauteng, in conjunction with the African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS) is proud to render a first of its kind newsletter, Izwi Lethu: Our Voice, by sex workers! The inspiration behind this newsletter is the fact that sex work is criminalized in South Africa, therefore, sex workers are marginalized people who in most cases have their human rights violated, face alarming volumes of violence, stigma, and discrimination, and above all sex workers are often misrepresented or inadequately have platforms to air their sentiments.

The title Izwi Lethu: Our Voice was unanimously agreed on by sex workers who were in attendance at a sex workers' Creative Space Workshop in February 2015. It is through this publication that sex workers will be able to share their experiences, communicate the challenges they face in their day-­to-day lives, and send their plights to policy makers or people who are influential in policy making and the general population at large. For if we come together and sing with one voice, our song will be heard!!!

Click here to read the May edition.

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