Slavery in the City? Travelling hierarchies among West African Migrants in the cities of Paris and Bamako

Working paper de Lotte Pelckmans

"Moving memories of slavery" are those memories of internal African slavery that move with West African migrants to urban areas. Different types of mobility towards and within urban contexts can be considered as non-discursive, embodied forms of 'memory work' of slavery. The focus is on how Fulɓe (and Soninke) migrants in Bamako and Paris 'move with' or 'move back into' slave status on specific moments in space and time. Urbanization is thus not always the process par excellence for (slave) emancipation.

The author

Dr. Lotte Pelckmans studied anthropology at the University of Leiden (The Netherlands) themes such as migration, identities, multiculturalism, social hierarchies and power relations in West Africa. Her thesis describes the relations between mobility and emancipation of the descendants of slaves in Fulani environment in Central Mali. Recruited by the University of Nijmegen (Netherlands) from 2010 to 2011, Lotte Pelckmans lectured on ethnographic methods and the relationship between identity and mobility. After a post-doctoral stay at the CEAF (EHESS - Paris) on anti-slavery movements, in West Africa (Mali, Mauritania, Niger), she is now working on the links between the media social and activism in several countries in Central Africa.

Reference

Lotte Pelckmans. Slavery in the City? Travelling hierarchies among West African Migrants in the cities of Paris and Bamako. FMSH-WP-2013-38. 2013.

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