In Egypt, the economic costs incurred by spouses to pay for a marriage are huge, going far beyond the parties’ regular income. Migration often appears to be the only possible way to amass the capital required to pay the expenses associated with their establishment as a couple and to support the household. This article is based on data collected in the course of several ethnographic surveys carried out between 2014 and 2017 in a village in the Nile Delta, and deals with the issue of establishing a family in the context of migration for men who have left for France, and for women who remain in the village. It presents the marriage of migrants in the village as an instrument which both guarantees the homecoming of the men who have emigrated and enables the upward social mobility of women without however challenging the patriarchal organisation of Egyptian society.
En Égypte, les coûts économiques engagés par les futurs époux pour le paiement du mariage sont colossaux, dépassant largement les revenus réguliers des contractants. La migration apparaît souvent comme une voie possible pour accumuler les capitaux économiques nécessaires au paiement des frais consécutifs à la mise en couple et à l’ entretien du ménage. Cet article s’ appuie sur des données récoltées lors de plusieurs enquêtes ethnographiques réalisées entre 2014 et 2017 dans un village du Delta du Nil. Cette contribution aborde la question du « faire famille » en situation migratoire pour des hommes partis en France, mais également pour des femmes restées au village. Elle présente le mariage des migrants au village comme un instrument qui assure à la fois le retour des hommes émigrés et permet l’ ascension sociale des femmes sans pour autant remettre en cause l’ organisation patriarcale de la société égyptienne.
The current system of the surveillance of migrants relies on biometric capture. To be captured is to be codified into machine-readable representations. This paper merges technological codifications with political discourse to explore the disproportionate capturing of black migrants in the UK. Using the historical treatment of Nigerian migrants in the UK as an illustration, this paper interrogates how contemporary technologies are used to codify and confine black migrants. This paper explores works from digital artists – Keith Piper and Joy Buolamwini – to address this codification of blackness using biometric technology. It calls for new technological cultures of coding that centre the disruption of violent systems of capture. Failure is defined as this disruption of hegemonic systems of codification and capture that aim to subjugate black communities. This paper stresses that it is only when technologies of capture fail that black and migrant communities can truly experience digital freedom.
Digital media, diaspora and deterritorialisation have provided important ways to think about contemporary global flows and social ties. Digital diasporas as a unit of study have become especially relevant for social scientists, particularly anthropologists: In this paper, the author argues that digital diasporas represent both online communities and the ICT practices of those living abroad, which seemingly actualise the potential inherent in Castell’s notion of the Network Society. Examining the material and social dimensions of these ties, however, this paper moves to critique the notion of networks as stabilised representations of diaspora/homeland connections. Drawing from the author’s ethnographic research with tech professionals in Ghana, and with diaspora-based social media users in the U.S. and the Netherlands, the analysis posits that the asymmetry of Africa’s sociotechnical infrastructures is central to understanding the enduring disjunctive nature of these flows. Through interviews and analysis, the author illustrates how these sociotechnical systems configure Ghana’s global cyberculture.
In 2015, a reading group in Abuja, Nigeria, started the hashtag #BeingFemaleinNigeria, which received widespread attention. Within the confines of 140 characters, Nigerian women and men shared stories of gender inequality, sexism and misogyny in the country. Using feminist critical discourse analysis, this article unpacks the tweets under the #BeingFemaleinNigeria hashtag, and teases out what they tell us about gender inequality in Nigeria, and the ambitions for emancipation. This article takes the stance that African feminism(s) exist, that empirical study of lived experiences of African women should define it, and not perspectives that reject and argue that feminism comes from the other. Therefore, this empirical research contributes to scholarship that seeks to define the characteristics of African feminism(s), particularly as the field is criticised for being over-theorised.
This article examines the cyberactivism of Eritrean asylum seekers in Israel. It adopts the concept of digital diasporas to probe the role that the Internet plays for members of the community. Based on interviews with Eritrean asylum seekers in Israel, content analysis of Eritrean websites and other online platforms, as well as government and third-sector reports, the article discusses the potential and limitations of the Internet in promoting the struggle of members of the Eritrean diaspora against dictatorship in their homeland, and in enabling them to deal with hardships in their host country. The research reveals three main uses of the Internet by members of the community: social-cultural uses, consumption of news, and anti-government activism. These uses enable the Eritrean diaspora in Israel to create a political sphere that cannot exist outside the web, maintain the cohesiveness of the community, make informed decisions concerning their future, and preserve individual identities.
Based on fieldwork amongst Burundians in Rwanda, the Netherlands and Belgium, this article explores how information circulates transnationally in times of political and violent crisis and how ordinary members of the diaspora seek to manage these flows of information. Our main argument is that conflict in the homeland creates a massive flow of information across various digital platforms and that while members of the diaspora eagerly take part in consuming and sharing this information, they do so reticently. Rather than simply explore the information flows, their intensity, their ‘spread’ or their content, we explore how individuals in the diaspora engage in emotion work, as they struggle between being ‘hailed’ by the images and messages flowing with ever-increasing intensity, speed and urgency and their reticence towards getting too involved.