Accepted Paper:

Trajectories of re-emplacement and re-possession among displaced people in São Paulo, Brazil  

Author:

Heike Drotbohm (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz)

Paper short abstract:

This paper traces the positions and perspectives of displaced people who recently arrived in the Brazilian city of São Paulo and who have to make sense of the requirements and eligibility categories of institutions that provide, at least temporarily, access to housing and support.

Paper long abstract:

This paper traces the positions and perspectives of internal migrants, foreigners, refugees and homeless people who recently arrived in the Brazilian city of São Paulo and who have to make sense of the requirements and eligibility categories of institutions that provide, at least temporarily, access to housing, labour, contact with other institutions and financial support. The presentation will rely on anthropological fieldwork carried out in different institutional settings which targetted different types of persons in need. In daily routine, displaced and dispossessed people mix and interact and reflect on differences and commonalities regarding their biographical trajectories. The question how legally powerful categories are interpreted and enacted, but also contested and subverted, stands at the centre of my research. Especially during the initial transit phase after arrival, when the subject's belonging is questioned in radical ways, migrants compete with other local vulnerable groups, such as the homeless or the urban poor and their interaction with humanitarian bureaucracies shapes an understanding of their particular rights. At the same time, these social spaces also allow for the production of communalities, socialities and solidarities that transcend and question these categorical differences.

Panel P101
Political subjectivities in the face of displacement: claiming rights, belonging, and social citizenship [ANTHROMOB]