The massive arrival of boat migrants and refugees in Mediterranean countries has given way to hospitality and to growing xenophobia. What are causes and consequences of such increasing xenophobic feelings? And how are grassroots hospitality and the official migration apparatuses locally organised?
Hospitality has often been described as one of the cultural diacritics of the Mediterranean region. Be it or not, the esteem of guests in this area has never meant the absence of feelings of suspicion and the refusal of the stranger. Nowadays, we are witnessing an intensification of this contradiction in Southern European societies and beyond. On one side, the massive arrivals of boat migrants and refugees in Mediterranean countries have given way to formal and informal practices of hospitality organised by governments, local authorities and NGOs. On the other side, we also observe a diffusion and recrudescence of xenophobic feelings and practice often linked to the growth of right-wing movements. The Stranger is ever more a symbol of the many contradictions of our perplexing present.
From an anthropological point of view we ask: Which developments do we observe in this respect in Mediterranean countries and beyond? What are the causes and consequences of the widespread growing xenophobic structure of feelings? What the stranger as menacing Other is a symptom of? And, on the other side, how are grassroots hospitality and the official migration apparatuses locally organised or not organised?
In short: hospitality and xenophobia are at the core of our panel. The convenors invite contributions that investigate, by means of an ethnographic or theoretical lens, the conundrum of hospitality and refusal of the stranger in the wake of mass migration in Southern European countries and beyond. Contributions referring to other than Mediterranean countries are explicitly invited, too.