Accepted paper:

Coming back home. Ivorian hometown associations and the organisation of wakes in Paris.


Dainelli Maria Elisa

Paper short abstract:

My intervention will focus on Ivorian's' hometown associations and the organisation of wakes in banlieue, in Paris, in preparation for a "return at home", in Ivory Coast. These rituals are the example of a diasporic device which creates a new experience of citizenship.

Paper long abstract:

My intervention will focus on the Ivorian diaspora and funeral wakes organised by village associations in banlieue, in Paris. In this last context, in particular, the ritual has an important value: at the same time we have the social elaboration of grief, there's the evaluation of the "return at home" (as the burial in the land of the ancestors), the ideal conclusion for every community member's life. As I've seen, for Ivoirians in Paris, wake's organisation is a moral duty to the dead and to his family; a duty respected by village associations with an economic and material sustain. For whom deceased in Paris or in France, but for whom deceased in Ivory Coast too, associations organise wakes to rise founds for celebrations at home, with a following burial at the village. The ethnography of wakes and their organisation is an important way to see not only desires, imaginations and communitarian narrations which push people to invest time and resources in these practices, but also to see some crucial identity devices, important to experience the immigration in France, with a diasporic configuration. Living in a European city, for Ivorian migrants, is a way to create a bound between an imagined world's centre and their native land. Associations' activities, in this context, are a tool to push villages and cities to development and to modernity, maintaining traditions and communitarian devices.

panel P076
The Role of Networks in Rural-Urban-Transnational Encounters: The Mobility of People, Ideas and Spaces