This lecture reflects on the temporalization and territorialization of Africa in response to Europe’s ‘migration crisis.’ Reawakened fears of the African other and its own divisive internal politics have
This lecture reflects on the temporalization and territorialization of Africa in response to Europe’s ‘migration crisis.’ Reawakened fears of the African other and its own divisive internal politics have presented Europe’s leaders with a dilemma: how to contain African ambitions to move while remaining true to their self-professed commitment to individual freedom, universal rights, and global progress. To solve it, Europe has updated longstanding colonial narratives and identities by constructing a timespace trap. This trap justifies exclusion as readying Africa for an elusive global future. Employing temporal forms of socio-spatial governance, the Europeans dangle a global and mobile future to Africans willing to mold themselves into externally defined parameters of moral respectability. Adherence to immigration regulations authored and often imposed by Europe, together with a demonstrated commitment to family, community, and country mark one’s suitability to enter a global future. But meeting these legal and moral standards effectively means building a sedentary life dedicated to ‘development at home’. Together with allies across sectors and continents, they are realizing their ambitions through frameworks that morally justify intercepting and pre-empting movement as means of empowering and perfecting Africans. Doing so effectively excludes Africans from a shared, global humanity while discursively shielding Europe’s liberal commitments.
Dr. Loren B Landau is Professor of Migration and Development at the University of Oxford, Research Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand’s African Centre for Migration & Society, and co-director of the Wits-Oxford ‘Migration Governance Lab’. He has previously held visiting and faculty positions at Princeton, Georgetown, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. His interdisciplinary scholarship explores mobility, multi-scale governance, and the transformation of socio-political community across the global south. He has consulted with the European Union, the World Bank, UNDP, UNHCR, UNECA, the Cities Alliance, and others. As chair of the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (2004-2012) he served on the South African Immigration Advisory Board and is now a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa. He holds an MSc in Development Studies (LSE) and a PhD in Political Science (Berkeley).
Moderated by BCB Faculty member Marion Detjen
This lecture is part of the OSUN Research Creation on Migration Class and the Global Histories of Migration lecture series.