Some months ago I met Misan in Rome with some Eritrean friends and she introduced herself as an Eritrean refugee like all the others. This morning we were drinking a coffee together and while I was speaking about Shire [an Ethiopian town, in the regional state of Tigray], suddenly she revealed to me she had come from there, that she was not Eritrean but Ethiopian despite having obtained political asylum as an Eritrean. (Fieldnote, 13 May 2012). This excerpt from our fieldnotes leads us into the aim of the article,1 which is to shed light on some mobility strategies put in place by migrants travelling from Tigray (the northern Ethiopian region at the border with Eritrea) to Italy. Analysing their migratory paths, the focus will be on the strategies they employed to overcome the obstacles to mobility and to penetrate the porous wall built all around Europe by handling the intertwining of geopolitical borders and social and institutional boundaries at a local level. The freedom to move and to cross borders is not equally distributed, although the intensity and the speed of contemporary population movements have become a catalyst for rethinking the idea of cultures and nations as discrete spatial units with clear physical delimitations(Appadurai 1996; Malkki 1997). Immobility and borders shape and reinforce new kinds of discrimination and marginality and the multiplication of obstacles to mobility is a major factor in the production of social, economic and political inequalities (Fassin 2011).

“So now I am Eritrean”. Mobilization strategies and multiple sense of belonging between local complexity and global immobility

Costantini O;
2015

Abstract

Some months ago I met Misan in Rome with some Eritrean friends and she introduced herself as an Eritrean refugee like all the others. This morning we were drinking a coffee together and while I was speaking about Shire [an Ethiopian town, in the regional state of Tigray], suddenly she revealed to me she had come from there, that she was not Eritrean but Ethiopian despite having obtained political asylum as an Eritrean. (Fieldnote, 13 May 2012). This excerpt from our fieldnotes leads us into the aim of the article,1 which is to shed light on some mobility strategies put in place by migrants travelling from Tigray (the northern Ethiopian region at the border with Eritrea) to Italy. Analysing their migratory paths, the focus will be on the strategies they employed to overcome the obstacles to mobility and to penetrate the porous wall built all around Europe by handling the intertwining of geopolitical borders and social and institutional boundaries at a local level. The freedom to move and to cross borders is not equally distributed, although the intensity and the speed of contemporary population movements have become a catalyst for rethinking the idea of cultures and nations as discrete spatial units with clear physical delimitations(Appadurai 1996; Malkki 1997). Immobility and borders shape and reinforce new kinds of discrimination and marginality and the multiplication of obstacles to mobility is a major factor in the production of social, economic and political inequalities (Fassin 2011).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11573/1652834
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