Repoliticizing international migration narratives? Critical Reflections on the Global Forum on Migration and Development

As part of the Lunchtime Seminar Series, the African Centre for Migration & Society invites you to a seminar titled Repoliticizing international migration narratives? Critical reflections on the Global Forum on Migration and Development by Kudakwashe P Vanyoro (African Centre for Migration & Society, University of the Witwatersrand).

In this presentation, Kuda draws on Pécoud’s international migration narratives (IMN) as an analytical framework to examine the Global Forum on Migration and Development’s Civil Society Days (GFMD-CSD). He analyses the narratives both produced and challenged at the GFMD-CSD, suggesting that while the GFMD-CSD poses a gentle challenge to existing IMN, it falls short of meaningfully (re)politicizing predominant migration paradigms. This is partly due to how the forum is a fraught space that reflects and reproduces uneven power dynamics between the Global North and South, concealing and nullifying contestations of power. Nonetheless, the GFMD-CSD, as a hybridized, experimental and fluidly defined discourse-led ‘global’ space, still functions as an important arena through which challenges to depoliticized state-led rhetoric might slowly trickle. Therefore, Kuda concludes, a closer interpretation of self-reflexive GFMD-CSD civil society strategies might challenge Pécoud’s conceptualization of what constitutes a ‘depoliticized’ approach to migration.


Kuda is a Research Communications Officer and Doctoral Researcher at the African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS), University of the Witwatersrand.  In 2013, Kuda was awarded an International Human Rights Exchange Programme special scholarship from Bard College and the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. There he acquired distinguished multidisciplinary human rights education and certification. During the course of the programme, he served as a Communications and Advocacy Intern at the Albert Street School for Refugees in Johannesburg where he became exposed as well as interested in migration and poverty issues due to his daily interaction with Zimbabwean refugees. Kuda joined ACMS in February 2014 where he was appointed Research, Communications and Outreach Intern. ACMS nominated him for the Migrating out of Poverty Research Internship Scheme from April to July 2014. His internship involved supporting all ACMS communications work, preparing and packaging policy briefs, research data capturing, undertaking desktop research and blogging on contemporary issues related to migration and poverty in Southern Africa.  Kuda has participated and presented at various international conferences and three years iteration of the Global Forum on Migration and Development. He holds an MA in Migration & Displacement (Cum laude) from Wits University. His Doctoral thesis will explore how cross-border migrants experience quotidian waiting events at the border and what various banal modalities of waiting say about belonging, subjectification, and governmentality.

Date: Tuesday 19 June 2018

Time: 12.30 -13.30

Venue: ACMS Seminar Room 2163, South East Wing, Second Floor, Solomon Mahlangu House, University of the Witwatersrand East Campus