In: African Diaspora
Nauja Kleist Danish Institute for International Studies

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In this keyword, I reflect upon African diaspora in a mobilities perspective, exploring analytical and empirical resonance and tensions. Despite the boom of diaspora and mobilities studies in the last decades, research explicitly linking these two literatures is still nascent. Exploring diaspora through a mobilities perspective, I suggest that attention to regimes of mobilities and migratory trajectories can yield important insights. The first perspective highlights how mobility and immobility is governed, facilitated or constrained historically and today, shedding light on the unequal distribution of safe, legal and free (im)mobility for African diaspora groups, whether ‘old’ or ‘new’; the second illuminates the twists and turns of migratory journeys or displacement, bringing attention beyond the host land – homeland axis found in some diaspora studies. Finally, turning the analytical lens around, I dwell upon temporality and belonging in diaspora studies and how they link to mobility, with emphasis on potentiality and elusiveness rather than fixity and stability.

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