The containment chronotrope: The European refugee 'crisis' and shifting sovereignties in sub-Saharan Africa
11 April 2017
As part of the Lunchtime Seminar Series, the African Centre for Migration & Society invites you to a seminar titled The containment chronotrope: The European refugee ‘crisis’ and shifting sovereignties in sub-Saharan Africa presented by Loren Landau (South African Research Chair in Mobility and the Politics of Difference, African Centre for Migration & Society, University of the Witwatersrand). Always uneasy with transformations engendered by human mobility from outside the wealthy (largely Christian) west, Europe’s current moral panic has generated unprecedented levels of interventions within Africa’s ostensibly sovereign territory. This paper considers how Europe’s defensive posturing and extra-territorialisation will reshape its relationship to Africa and Africans’ relations to each other and space. It argues that the billions of Euros dedicated to border control and the prevention of mobility within and out of African countries is generating a ‘containment chronotrope’.
Supported by massive campaigns at counting and categorization and geographic and normative bordering, the efforts pathologise all Africans as potential movers/threats. In reframing the development project as one of movement control, Europe is providing direct military assistance to some of Africa’s most morally questionable strongmen and further naturalising national and sub-national boundaries as economic, political, and social containers. Ultimately the intention is to remove Africans from global time: from opportunities for material and personal mobility that will leave Africans isolated and liminal while reinforcing Europe’s territorial integrity and position in global economic and political hierarchies.
Loren Landau holds an MSc in Development Studies (LSE) and a PhD in Political Science (Berkeley). Widely published in the academic and popular press, he is author of 'The Humanitarian Hangover: Displacement, Aid, and Transformation in Western Tanzania' (Wits Press), co-editor of 'Contemporary Migration to South Africa' (World Bank), and editor of 'Exorcising the Demons Within: Xenophobia, Violence and Statecraft in Contemporary South Africa' (UN University Press). He has served as the chair of the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA), is a member of the South African Immigration Advisory Board and of the editorial boards of International Migration Review, Migration Studies, and the Journal of Refugee Studies.
Date: Tuesday 11 April 2017
Time: 12:30 to 13:30
Venue: ACMS Seminar Room 2163, South East Wing, Second Floor, Senate House, University of the Witwatersrand East Campus