Trapped inside lorries or huddled aboard unseaworthy boats, irregular African migrants make for troubling headlines in western media, fueling fever pitch fears of an impending "African exodus" to Europe. Despite the increasing, albeit sensational, attention irregular migration attracts on both sides of the Mediterranean, little is known about what shapes and influences the lives of these Africans before, during, and after their “migratory projects.” By privileging migrants' narratives and drawing on evidence-based field research from different disciplinary backgrounds, the volume demystifies and dislodges many common assumptions about the human ecology of irregular African migration to Europe, arguably one of the most widely debated, yet least understood, phenomenon of our time.
Alessandro Triulzi is Professor of sub-Saharan African History at the University of Naples ‘L’Orientale’, Italy. He has published extensively on twentieth-century Ethiopian history, colonial memory and postcolonial violence. Since 2007 he has been involved in recording migrant testimonies and narratives. In 2012 he established an Archive of Migrant Memories in Rome to support migrants’ rights and agency through audio-visual productions.
Robert Lawrence McKenzie is an expert on governance, politics, and regional security in North Africa and the Middle East. He works for the U.S. Department of State, and he previously served as an advisor to the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As both a researcher and consultant he has conducted extensive field research on forced migration, African urban refugees, and international aid in the Middle East. Robert is a doctoral candidate at the School of Oriental and African Studies. His doctoral thesis examines the lives of sub-Saharan refugees in Cairo, Egypt.
'....Triulzi and McKenzie’s edited book is a strong collection of personal narratives that have been contextualized with professional skill from anthropological and historical points of view'.
Tamás Régi, Keimyung University, in African Affairs, Vol. 113, Issue 452, pp. 472-474
1. Preamble – Home: a poem by Warsan Shire (London)
2. Prologue - A Migrant’s Last Journey: a short story, by Kevin Eze (Dakar, Senegal)
3. Introduction - Listening to migrant voices, by Robert McKenzie (SOAS, London) and Alessandro Triulzi (Orientale University of Naples, Italy)
4. Sub-Saharan African Migrants Heading North: a mobility perspective, by Joris Schapendonk (Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands)
5.Nigerian Border Crossers: Women Travelling to Europe by Land, by Kristin Kastner (Goethe University, Germany)
6. High-risk Migration: From Senegal to the Canary Islands by Sea, by Miranda Poeze (University of Maastricht, Netherlands)
7. Stranded in Mauritania: Sub-Saharan Migrants in Post-Transit Context, by Armelle Choplin (Paris-Est University, France) and Jérôme Lombard (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, France)
8. Untangling Immobility in Transit. Sub-Saharan African Migrants in Istanbul, by Brigitte Suter (Malmö University, Sweden)
9. Marabouts and Migrations: Senegalese between Dakar and Diaspora, by Amber Gemmeke (University of Bayreuth, Germany)
10. ‘Today, I Would Never Go to Europe’: Mobility for Resources and Local Development in West Africa, by Laurence Marfaing, Hamburg University, Germany)
11. Migration, Class and Symbolic Status: Nigerians in the Netherlands and Greece, by Apostolos Andrikopoulos, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands)
12. Lessons for life: two migratory portraits from Eritrea, by Magnus Treiber, University of Bayreuth, Germany)
13. ‘Like a plate of spaghetti’: Migrant Voices from the Libya-Lampedusa route, by Alessandro Triulzi (Orientale University of Naples, Italy)
14. Epilogue – Our Journey: a narrative, by Dagmawi Yimer (Rome, Italy)
Notes on contributors
All interested in transnational mobility in the contemporary world, including academicians, policy makers, aid workers, activists, and general readers concerned with the complexity of African migration to Europe.