Accepted Paper:

Creating immigrant spaces: Cape Verdeans spatial navigation in Luxembourg  


Bernardino Tavares (University of Fribourg)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores how “spaces as practiced place” (de Certeau 1984) are created by and for Cape Verdeans in Luxembourg. It examines the role that spaces play in Cape Verdean immigrant experience and their articulation with discourses of multilingualism and employability.

Paper long abstract:

This paper explores how Cape Verdeans create spaces, how spaces are created for them in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and considers how the idea of 'space as practiced place' (de Certeau 1984) plays a central role in their immigrant experience. Cape Verdeans are considered to be the first African immigrants in Luxembourg (Kollwelter 2007). Finding spaces in migration contexts demands a lot of migrant's efforts and this is becoming even more complex with the tightening of migration rules in the global North in this paradoxical era of growing mobile inequalities (Duchêne et al. 2013). In his analysis on societies and systems on the move, John Urry (2007: 185) stresses that 'the notion of space makes significant differences to understanding economic, political and cultural processes that produce and reinforce social inequalities.' This paper shows how Cape Verdeans invest in and experience physical, social, communicative and imagined spaces to make sense of their migrant lives. As part of a bigger project on language and migration (STAR project), interviews and broader ethnographic data were collected in and around an ethnic grocery store (Epicerie Créole in Bonnevoie). In this paper I ask how Cape Verdeans intersect with other immigrant spaces and groups (notably Portuguese and Bissau-Guinean) whose linguistic and cultural repertoires partly overlap with Cape Verdeans for historical reasons. In conclusion, the paper investigates how those places and spaces are shaped by wider discourses of multilingualism and their articulation with employability in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Panel RM-LL06
Speakers on the move: displacement, surveillance and engagement [IUAES Commission of Linguistic Anthropology]