Autumn event LMRN seminar November 22nd 2018, 3-5pm Baines Wing 2.15

At our Autumn event, we have a programme of three papers on borders, families, care, feminism and decoloniality. Come and join the discussion with old and new members of the Leeds Migration Research Network. Details of the event and the presentation are below:

Leeds Migration Research Network seminar

November 22nd 2018, 3-5pm

Baines Wing 2.15


1.    Governing migration through smugglers: the criminalization of rescue, solidarity, and activism 

Glenda Garelli, Lecturer, Geography

This talks engages recent transformations in the European border regime taking anti-smuggling politics as an analytical focus. Focusing on state actions against NGOs, fishermen, and individual citizens assisting refugees in transit when their lives are at risk, I study the statecraft of civil society into a smuggling organization. Smuggling networks have been extensively explored as the object of economic, sociological, and security studies concerns. Bringing a critical geography approach to the study of migration crises, I contend that the government of migration increasingly works through the figure of the smuggler to achieve migration containment goals. A governmental tool to stem migration flows, the smuggler-ization of civil society is also one of the many European crises migrants have to face as they seek refuge in Europe.

Discussant: Kheira Arrouche, PGR SSP


2.    Families and carers: Italian families’ experiences of the transition to the ‘migrant-in-the-family’ model of elderly care


Alessandro Modanesi, PGR SSP

The talk examines the care experiences of Italian families with dependent elderly relatives during the transition to the migrant-in-the-family model, a model of care which entails the employment of live-in migrant eldercare assistants. Research on this topic has demonstrated that Italian families start providing care with the ‘traditional’ family based model, according to which care is provided at home by a member of the family (usually a woman) and only when the caring potential of this model has exhausted they opt for the migrant-in-the-family model. This presentation illustrates three processes that occur during this transition. The process through which the house of elderly people is constructed as the proper space to care, a space that needs to be separated from the spaces where the family should live its life as normal as possible. The author of the research defines this separation a separation between ‘space of care’ and ‘space of home’. The process through which family members ‘insert’ live-in eldercare assistants in the ‘space of care’ passing on them the responsibility of ‘not abandoning’, that is to say the responsibility of being constantly present in the house of their elderly relatives. Finally, the process through which family members become employers. In the presentation it will be argued that the migrant-in-the-family model not only reproduces the same gender inequalities of the ‘traditional’ family based model but it leads also to a greater marginalization of elderly people and their carers.

Discussant : Dr Gabriella Alberti, Associate Professor LUBS


3.    Fighting back coloniality. Resistance struggles from the cross-road of gender, race and class for Colombian and Brazilian migrant women in Spain and Portugal

Andrea Souto, PGR Universide da Coruña

In Portugal and Spain, the social position that Brazilian and Colombian migrant women occupy is directly linked to how their identities are constructed in the collective imaginary of the local population.  Adopting a decolonial and feminist theoretical perspective, this project explores how the colonial relationship that Brazil and Portugal on the one hand and Colombia and Spain on the other, organizes the intersectionality of gender, race and class categories that constrains the everyday life experiences of Brazilian and Colombian women.  This study addresses the multiple strategies these Southern migrant women settled in the global North develop to cope with abuse and exploitation in migratory contexts. In doing so, I seek to understand how subversive subjectivities are born and under which conditions is resistance performed. Examining the ways in which Brazilian and Colombians women theorise power and display contesting practices of diverse nature is important because it opens a possibility for emancipation not only for them but also for all the people trapped in sexist-racist-classist power structure of Westernized societies.

Discussant: Dr. Rosa Mas Giralt, LLC