Precarious encampments in hostile border zones
Maria Hagan (University of Amsterdam) gives a presentation on her ethnographic work in precarious encampments, followed by a discussion with Jennifer Mack (KTH Royal Institute of Technology), and questions from participants.
Maria Hagan: New geographies of makeshift dwelling have emerged in some strategic border zones, where migrant people work to consolidate encampments but these are relentlessly dismantled by state authorities. These sites of life are not fixed but dynamic and shifting, caught in cycles of destruction and reinvention. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in the borderlands of northern France and Morocco between 2017 and 2022, this presentation will discuss the methodological approach that I drew upon to study these geographies of dwelling, which I describe as “contingent camps”. I will reflect on the methodological challenges of bearing witness to living sites that lack fixed boundaries and thresholds in which to anchor a field strategy, before introducing the approach I adopted, rooted in embodied ethnography, a forensic scrutiny of camp materialities, the study of atmospheres and the immaterial practices of contingent camp residents.
The webinar is free of charge, but you have to register to attend.
About the series
This is the seventh seminar of the series Dwelling, elsewhere: Comparative-methodological perspectives on borderland inhabitation, arranged by William Kutz and the Öresund Comparative Borderland Research Group, funded by CEMES.