This volume examines the relationship between hope, mobility, and immobility in African migration. Through case studies set within and beyond the continent, it demonstrates that hope offers a unique prism for analyzing the social imaginaries and aspirations which underpin migration in situations of uncertainty, deepening inequality, and delimited access to global circuits of legal mobility.
The volume takes departure in a mobility paradox that characterizes contemporary migration. Whereas people all over the world are exposed to widening sets of meaning of the good life elsewhere, an increasing number of people in the Global South have little or no access to authorized modes of international migration. This book examines how African migrants respond to this situation. Focusing on hope, it explores migrants’ temporal and spatial horizons of expectation and possibility and how these horizons link to mobility practices. Such analysis is pertinent as precarious life conditions and increasingly restrictive regimes of mobility characterize the lives of many Africans, while migration continues to constitute important livelihood strategies and to be seen as pathways of improvement. Whereas involuntary immobility is one consequence, another is the emergence and consolidation of new destinations emerging in the Global South. The volume examines this development through empirically grounded and theoretically rich case studies in migrants’ countries of origin, zones of transit, and in new and established destinations in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Latin America and China. It thereby offers an original perspective on linkages between migration, hope, and immobility, ranging from migration aspirations to return.
1 Introduction: Studying Hope and Uncertainty in African Migration Nauja Kleist
2 How to Extract Hope from Papers? Classificatory Performances and Social Networking in Cape Verdean Visa Applications Heike Drotbohm
3 Sticking to God: Brokers of Hope in Senegalese Migration to Argentina Ida Marie Vammen
4 Zouglou Music and Youth in Urban Burkina Faso: Displacement and the Social Performance of Hope Jesper Bjarnesen
5 The Lack of Liberty Drove Us There: Spatialized Instantiations of Hope and Contested Diasporan Identity in the Liberian–American Transnational Field (1810–2010) Stephen C. Lubkemann
6 Prospective Moments, Eternal Salvation: The Production of Hope in Nigerian Pentecostal Churches in China Heidi Østbø Haugen
7 Hope and Uncertainty in Senegalese Migration to Spain: Taking Chances on Emigration but not Upon Return María Hernández-Carretero
8 The Migratory Adventure as a Moral Experience Sylvie Bredeloup
9 Death of a Gin Salesman: Hope and Despair among Ghanaian Migrants and Deportees Stranded in Niger Hans Lucht
10 Returning with Nothing but an Empty Bag: Topographies of Social Hope after Deportation to Ghana Nauja Kleist