Temporalities of migration, mobility and displacement

Fiorenza Picozza (King's College)
Stefano Portelli (University of Leicester)
Calman - Rosemary Cramp
Start time:
5 July, 2016 at 9:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

The panel addresses the temporal dimension of mobility and displacement, interrogating different variations of speed as both results of power relations and of strategies deployed by those displaced, specifically exploring the ethnographic limits and demands of capturing the dimension of temporality.

Long abstract:

Studies of migration, mobility and displacement often lack focus on the link between the management of space and the management of time (Griffiths et al. 2013). Beyond spatiality, power is exercised as a temporal force on mobile/displaced bodies, most notably in the experience of waiting (Khosravi 2014). Regimes of asylum, detention and deportation act on migrant bodies as temporal power, decelerating circulation and disassociating the body from its productivity (Papadopoulos et al. 2008). Migrants and refugees spend months, years, sometimes entire lives, in secluded or marginal spaces, liminal to the economic and political order. However, transnational migration is not the sole context in which the relationship between power, the state and the production of temporalities can be analysed; forced expulsions from urban environments, such as those produced by gentrification and urban renewal, also posit questions regarding the exclusion from space and the perceived "normal" flow of time (Kern 2015). Yet, the very spaces of spatial exclusion, such as camps or the new "planned" neighbourhoods can harbour new practices that challenge and subvert both the space and time of seclusion they aimed to enforce. With the aim of bringing time "back in" in the anthropology of spatial practices, this panel explores the temporalities of mobility and displacement, also focusing on the challenges of capturing temporality within ethnographic description. We particularly welcome papers that ethnographically enquire into how power channels, disrupt, decelerate or speed up circulation; but also into the strategies through which the displaced produce contesting temporalities.