Auch heuer lädt das Department für Migration und Globalisierung wieder zu einem monatlichen, virtuellen Austausch über aktuelle Forschungsarbeiten im Bereich der Migrationsforschung ein. Beim nächsten Termin am 14.12. wird die Doktorandin Ahlam Chemlali untersuchen, wie die Externalisierung der europäischen Grenzkontrollen nach Nordafrika die alltägliche Gewalt in der Grenzregion hervorbringt und wie diese lokale, geschlechtsspezifische Erfahrungen prägt. 

Donnerstag, 14. Dezember 2023, 14:00-15:30 Uhr | online (Anmeldung)

Ahlam Chemlali (PhD Candidate, Danish Institute for International Studies)

"European border externalisation in North Africa: Exploring the gendered and local effects"

Ripple effects of European border externalisation have transformed everyday life in the Tunisian coastal town of Zarzis. Building on in-depth ethnographic fieldwork among artisanal fishermen, and actors involved in two migrant cemeteries in Zarzis, the talk provides an understanding of entangled processes and of how violence and death co-exist in the externalised borderlands of the EU. These rippling effects impact not only people (fishermen) but also the environment (marine life) and space (migrant cemeteries).

The talk develops and proposes the concept of ‘felt externalisation’. ‘Felt externalisation’ is when policies become intimate, and beyond the physical, become lived and experienced on a granular level. It transcends the physical and visible and inhabits the mind and emotional life of its objects. The fishermen’s experiences of trauma, fear and anxiousness are a felt externalisation. While studies on externalisation usually study the policies and processes – macrostructures from above, the concept ‘felt externalisation’ is an attempt to turn it around and instead study it from below, the microlevel encounters and experiences.

The research paper further reveals how Tunisian fishermen at sea are attacked, kidnapped, extorted and killed by the Libyan coast guard. Furthermore, the Tunisian fishermen are de facto cut off from their productive fishing zones. Chemlali concludes by showing how all these forces have come together and transformed this small fishing community in the southern sphere of the Mediterranean Sea into a ‘death-world’.

Bio: Ahlam Chemlali is a PhD Candidate at the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS). Her research examines the politics and practices of border violence in contemporary European migration politics. Chemlali explores how the externalization of European border control into North Africa produces the everyday violence of the border and how this shapes gendered experiences. Her research project offers a unique ethnographic perspective on how West African migrant women stuck in transit navigate and negotiate the violent terrains that characterize the North African borderlands, with special attention to Tunisia and Libya. Ahlam is also part of the project ‘Women on the Move’ which is concerned with the gendered aspects of irregular migration to Europe. Specifically, the attention is on migrant women in transit, and waiting in transit camps, along the African-European migration route, in Nigeria, Niger, Libya, Tunisia and Italy.

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