Accepted Paper:

Double presence or double exclusion? Ethnographic notes on migration and structural violence  


Carlo Capello (University of Torino)

Paper short abstract:

The paper is an ethnographic description of the effects of the structural violence on the lives of prospective and actual migrants in Morocco and in Italy, focusing on some experiences of suffering and loss

Paper long abstract:

In describing the transnational dimensions of contemporary migrations, it is usual to talk of the "double presence" of migrants, thereby stressing their social involvement both in the host and in the home country. Notwithstanding its usefulness, this image entails the risk of underestimating what we might term the double exclusion of migrants: the exclusion due to the lack of opportunities that often sustains the decision to leave; the exclusion suffered by many of them in the host society.

In my paper I will focus on some of the consequences of this double exclusion, with reference to my multi-sited research in Morocco and in Italy, through a series of ethnographic scenes and social dramas. The first part of the paper will be devoted to a description of some of the traits of the "culture of migration" that characterises the suburbs of Casablanca and the dramatic effects of the difficulties prospective migrants meet in putting in practice their migratory projects, with a focus on irregular migration and its "suicidal dimension". In the second part I will describe some personal stories of immigrants in Turin, which demonstrate the risks they run of losing themselves along the migratory path. Throughout the paper I will rely on these personal narratives to reflect on the link that unites the migratory experience with structural violence, which manifests itself in the walls of Fortress Europe as well as in the disciplinary migration policies enacted by Italian governments.

Panel W069
Uncertainty and disquiet in the Mediterranean region