Tricked by Cash

A banker, a blacklist, and a money-changer at two borders

Myriam Amri (Harvard University) gives a presentation, followed by a discussion with William Kutz, and questions from participants.

In this seminar, Myriam Amri will focus on the conversion, trafficking, and criminalization of cash at Tunisia’s borders with Algeria and Libya. First, Amri traces Tunisia’s entry into the blacklist of money-laundering countries, from international expert reports to European parliament votes to changing national policies. Money laundering gets conflated as the movement of cash, intensifying modes of surveillance at borders, altering the relations between small bankers and petty traffickers in these geographies, and producing subversive transformations of cash into other objects. Second, Amri will relate the everyday work of money changers at the country’s borders, contrasting conversion practices across the Algerian, Tunisia, and Libyan dinars as forms of “soft” circulations that come into friction with the “hard” and criminalized exchange of the dollar and the euro. As cash operates as a sensationalized money form, imagined by national and transnational authorities as a quintessentially criminal form, Amri will show how cash tricks by hiding behind its material presence, the hierarchies of currencies, countries, and people that constitute the logic of racial capitalism.

The webinar is free of charge, but you have to register to attend.

About the series

The seminar series Comparative Borderlands Research Seminar - A global seminar series on borders and boundary-making today is arranged by the Öresund Comparative Borderland Research Group, funded by CEMES.