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Governing Morality: Sexuality, Gender and Migration

Afternoon seminar on Wednesday 25 May

The African Centre for Migration & Society will hold an afternoon seminar entitled 'Governing Morality: Sexuality, Gender and Migration', which will present new in-depth research from South Africa and Europe on the multiple intersections of sexuality and gender within different forms of migration.

While migration studies have devoted much attention to the economic causes of migration, gender and especially sexuality have frequently been overlooked.

The seminar will address the following issues: the role of gender and sexuality in the decision to migrate; the ways in which gender and sexuality structure processes of migration; the transformations of migrants’ sexual and gender subjectivities throughout migration; and the contrastive representations of migrants’ sexuality in the countries of arrival.

Date: Wednesday 25 May 2016

Time: 1:00 to 4.30 pm

Venue: ACMS Seminar Room, Room 2163, South East Wing, Second Floor, Senate House, East Campus, Wits University

RSVP by 23 May: lenore.longwe@wits.ac.za

Download the programme

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Translocality: (im)Mobility in transnational and urban contexts

Workshop on 1 and 2 June 2016

The African Centre for Migration & Society invites post graduate students in the social sciences to a two-day workshop entitled 'Translocality: im(Mobility) in transnational and urban contexts' which will be presented by Prof Loren Landau, Dr Lothar Smith and Dr Zaheera Jinnah. 

The full abstract of the workshop and bios of the presenters are below.

The workshop will seek to unpack the concept of translocality by looking at the phenomenon as it recurs in transnational and urban contexts, and how it thereby produces and reproduces other social, economic and cultural spaces that may redefine relations between existing places and lead to new spaces.

Days: Wednesday 1 June and Thursday 2 June 2016

Starting time each day: 9:00 am

Venue: ACMS Seminar Room, Room 2163, South East Wing, Second Floor, Senate House, East Campus, Wits University

RSVP by 30 May to lenore.longwe@wits.ac.za

Download the programme here

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Queering (In)formal economies:

Latinx Immigrant Vendors’ Spatial Entanglements and Productive Agency

Lunchtime seminar Tues 7 June 2016 12.45 - 13.45 ACMS Seminar Room

The African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS) will present a lunchtime seminar by Dr Lorena Munoz entitled 'Queering (In)formal economies: Latinx Immigrant Vendors’ Spatial Entanglements and Productive Agency'.

The biography of the presenter is below.

This seminar will focus on how economic practices rendered as informal dialectically shape the material and embodied spaces of everyday life of Latinx immigrants/migrants across the Americas.

In order to theoretically understand how these spaces and places are produced, the presenter will examine what she calls Queering (in)formal economies, that is rethinking the (in)formal economy by understanding heterogeneous economic processes as queer, entangled and relational. By using the concept queering economies, we move away from the idea that people make rational choices based on purely economic well-being, towards understanding how economic choices are also emotionally entangled with collisions and wounds of multiple social worlds. Thus, we can analyse further the consequences these entanglements have, over the life course of immigrants/migrants in relation to state processes at multiple scales.

This presentation will draw from various oral histories on Latinx street vendor immigrants in the United States collected over a period of 10 years in Los Angeles, Cancun and Bogota. 

ACMS Seminar Room, via Room 2191, SE Wing, Second Floor, Senate House, Braamfontein East Campus, Wits University

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"The glue that binds": instrumental and contingent solidarity in the (re)construction of migrant communities in Johannesburg

Lunchtime seminar Tues 10 May 2016 12.45 - 13.35 ACMS Seminar Room

The African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS) will present a lunchtime seminar by Dr Pragna Rugunanan entitled '"The glue that binds": instrumental and contingent solidarity in the (re)construction of migrant communities in Johannesburg'.

The biography of the presenter is below.

This seminar will reflect four years of ethnographic fieldwork researching how new migrant communities (re)construct space and place in the suburb of Fordsburg, Johannesburg. Post democracy, South Africa has been host to a large influx of migrants from Africa and South Asia. Established as a white immigrant community in 1888, Fordsburg has undergone several iterations of community. Since 1994 a diverse range of ethnic groups from Somalia, Ethiopia, Egypt, Morocco, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and Malaysia have claimed a place of belonging in the suburb.

Considering how communities are forged through education, religion, conflict, co-operation, reciprocity and solidarity, the seminar will examine how people cope in the face of adversity and how communities are forged and contested within a tangled web of power relations and rank ordering of migrant groups. Community denotes a space or ‘place’ where we root ourselves, where we belong and it is this attachment to place that shapes our own personal identity in community. Rugunanan will address the question that if solidarity is the glue that binds migrant communities, then to what extent does this hold true for diverse migrant communities in an enclosed space.

ACMS Seminar Room, via Room 2191, SE Wing, Second Floor, Senate House, Braamfontein East Campus, Wits University

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Lawless regulation

Government and civil society attempts at regulating Somali informal trade

An ACMS Report by Vanya Gastrow (with Roni Amit)

Read the report here.

This is the third and final in a series of reports examining the situation of Somali traders in the Western Cape.

It investigates state and civil society efforts to regulate Somali shops through formal and informal mechanisms and the implications of these efforts.

The practices described in the report highlight the discriminatory, anti-competitive, and in some cases illegal nature of these efforts.

It includes recommendations for more effective, fair, and lawful regulation of the informal sector.

The report sets outs and evaluates both informal agreements restricting Somali trade and more formal efforts to regulate Somali businesses.

These efforts carry repercussions for foreign traders, for local communities, and for social cohesion. For foreign traders, informal regulation increases uncertainty and threatens long-term viability.

For consumers, price fixing and limits on shop numbers limit consumer choice. Informal governing arrangements also encourage self-help and generate conflict among stakeholders, including Somali and South African shopkeepers, residents and landlords.

New formal laws and policies also tend to overlook the conditions of foreign traders in the city and the effect of these policies on their livelihoods.

Read the previous reports on the situation of Somali traders in the Western Cape:

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Expelled from the earth: victims and survivors of violence in Mexico

Lunchtime seminar Friday 6 May 2016 12.30 - 13.30 ACMS Seminar Room

The African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS) will present a lunchtime seminar by Dr. Margarita del C. Zárate Vidal entitled 'Expelled from the earth: victims and survivors of violence in Mexico'.

The biography of the presenter is below.

This seminar will consider the ways in which drug trafficking and government policies of securitisation have led to an increasing wave of violence and the loss of many young lives in Mexico. It will also explore categories such as survivors and victims, which are used both by the members of organisations challenging different forms of violence and widely within the social sciences. In doing so it will examine the meaning of appealing to emotions (especially anger), suffering, the call for visibility for victims of violence, and the demand for “dignified justice”.

ACMS Seminar Room, via Room 2191, SE Wing, Second Floor, Senate House, Braamfontein East Campus, Wits University.


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Unlocking the closet: coming out narratives of gay, lesbian and bisexual Muslims in Belgium

ACMS Lunchtime Seminar: Tues 12 April at 12.30 pm

ACMS invites you to a seminar on coming out narratives of gay, lesbian and bisexual Muslims in Belgium. 

It will be presented by Dr Wim Peumans, a post doctoral fellow at ACMS.

In this seminar, based on ethnographic research on transnational migration, same-sex sexualities, and religion in Belgium, the presenter will look at multiple and ambivalent ways in which lesbian, gay and bisexual men and women with a Muslim background navigate silence and disclosure in the negotiation and performance of sexuality in everyday life, specifically within kin relations. 

Date: Tuesday 12 April 2016

Time: 12.30 to 2.00 p.m.

Venue: ACMS Seminar Room, via Room 2191, South East Wing, Second Floor, Senate House, Braamfontein East Campus, Wits University.

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Call for applications: field researchers for 'Social Cohesion Community Profile' project

Closing date for applications: Sunday 20 March 2016

ACMS is seeking to immediately hire ten experienced full-time researchers to explore social cohesion in various communities in the provinces of Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, North West and Limpopo. The duration of the positions will be between one and two months, in the period 1 April to 31 May 2016.

All the information about the call for applications is in a downloadable PDF.

For further information, please contact Jean Pierre Misago by emailing jean.misago@wits.ac.za

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[Watch] Unravelling the Mediterranean migration 'crisis': reflections from the field

ACMS Lunchtime Seminar: Tues 8 Mar 2016 at 12.30 pm

ACMS hosted its first lunchtime seminar of 2016 which was on the current migration ‘crisis’ in the Mediterranean. It was presented on Tuesday 8 March 2016 by Prof. Heaven Crawley and Dr. Katharine Jones, from the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, at the University of Coventry.

The presentation drew on the preliminary findings of an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded research project which explores the experiences of migrants crossing the Mediterranean which was conducted through interviews with 500 migrants and refugees in Italy, Greece, Malta and Turkey.

It considered some of the reasons why so many people have embarked upon the dangerous journey to Europe, what happened to them on the way and their hopes for the future. It also reflected on the reasons why the European policy response has led to a humanitarian and political crisis which threatens not only the lives of refugees and migrants but also the future of the European Union itself.

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MoVE exhibition and publication launch

plus Visual Methods Symposium

Please join us on Wednesday 9 March at 6pm at the South African Workers Museum in Newtown in Johannesburg, for an exhibition and publication launch showcasing new work from our MoVE (Method.Visual.Explore) project. 

You are also invited to our two-day Symposium: visual methods in action: research, advocacy and activism on Thursday 10 and Friday 11 March will will also be hosted by the Workers' Museum in Newtown. Download the programme here.

More info:

The project will launch an exhibition and publication that showcases visual and narrative research conducted in 2014 and 2015. Come and learn more about Method. Visual.Explore (MoVE) and experience the exciting work that has been produced by LGBTIQ migrants and asylum seekers in Johannesburg, and migrant men, women and transgender persons who sell sex in South Africa.

Follow MoVE on Facebook.

More info: methodsvisualexplore@gmail.com


Symposium: visual methods in action: research, advocacy and activism

As part of a British Academy Newton Mobility Grant, ACMS - in partnership with our associate researcher EJ Milne of the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at the University of Coventry - will host a two-day symposium entitled visual methods in action: research, advocacy and activism. 

Speakers include photographers, project participants, academics and civil society actors who have developed and used visual and arts-based methods in research, advocacy and activism. 

Space is limited, please RSVP jovearey@gmail.com

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