Accepted Paper:

Borderline youth: Independent young Zimbabwean migrants in the South African border area  

Author:

Noa Levy (Ben Gurion University of the Negev)

Paper short abstract:

This presentation will explore the lives of independent migrant children and youth from Zimbabwe in both border towns, Beitbridge and Musina, and the spaces between them.

Paper long abstract:

The Zimbabwean - South African border facilitates a fruitful ground for illegal transfer and mobility of goods and persons. Towns on both sides of the border - Beitbridge and Musina, have been attracting unaccompanied Zimbabwean children and teenagers in their search for sustainable lives, as poverty and unemployment continue to spread in their country. With no formal jobs, this underdeveloped border area can hardly be viewed as a center of attraction for young people, yet while many of them leave this area in the search of greener pastures, others find rare opportunities and advantages in the life this space provides.

This presentation will explore the lives of independent migrant children and youth from Zimbabwe through spatial lenses, or rather explore the two border towns and the spaces between them through the ways they accommodate Zimbabwean children and youth. It will provide a view on independent children and youth and the spaces in which they live in, in relations to former experiences of child and youth mobility. It will shed light on the ways young people view their spaces, and the ways this current setting continues, reshapes, reaffirms and at times contradicts, former conceptualization of Zimbabwean youth's mobility.

Panel P009
Border towns in Africa: Between division and integration (CRG ABORNE approved panel)