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Accepted Paper:

Back to the future: mobility, migration and freedom in future-making processes among young Senegalese.  

Authors:

Guido Nicolas Zingari (University of Turin)
Dramane Cissokho (Université Cheikh Anta Diop)

Paper short abstract:

Many Senegalese young people never represent their trajectories in terms of breaking rules or laws. They think and craft their future as an effort that is already beyond the rules, the models and obstacles inherited from elders, policies and previous generations.

Paper long abstract:

Migration in Africa are often interpreted through the lens of “cultures of migration” or restrictions related to mobility regimes. The first perspective focuses on local mobility patterns and the social transformations they generate. The second, on the other hand, focuses on the obstacles, dangers and forms of immobility caused by migration policies. Based on an ethnographic research conducted in five emigration contexts in Senegal, as part of the MIG-CHOICE project (under Outcome Four of SSSII program for the IOM and FCDO), this paper wants to restart from the point of view of the younger generations on their lived (im)mobility. In recent years, numerous development interventions supported both by international organizations and local authorities have contributed to producing a dichotomous representation of Senegalese youth as inactive subjects or potential/aspiring “irregular” migrants. But if observed closely, many young people, even when they produce aspirations to migrate at any cost, never represent their trajectories in terms of breaking rules or laws. They express projects of mobility and social affirmation by oscillating between daily navigation, ways out of uncertainty and forms of social belonging. They think and craft their future as an effort that is already beyond the rules, the models and obstacles inherited from elders, policies and previous generations. In doing so, they already seem immersed in a future that returns to everyday life to make sense of the choices to stay or leave. A future that their fathers, the rules and legal systems seem to nothing but chase.

Panel Mob02a
Making mobility rules. [SIEF Working Group on Migration and Mobility]