23. February: Dr Hassan Ould Moctar, SOAS
Title: The Constitutive Exterior: EU border externalisation and the social dynamics of the Senegal River Valley
ABSTRACT: This talk will situate the EU border externalisation process within the regional history and social dynamics of the Senegal River Valley. It draws from fieldwork data gathered in the Mauritanian border town of Rosso, a crucial node within the architecture of the EU border regime in West Africa. By exploring the dynamics of the border crossing, as well as the experiences of illegalised migrant workers in Rosso, the presentation will show how the externalisation process is conditioned by the histories and social dynamics of the regions in which it unfolds. In Rosso, migrants who are elsewhere illegalised by the border regime are also caught up in a regional history of racialised displacement and accumulation by dispossession. As regards the Rosso border, the infrastructure of externalisation upholds the colonial conversion of the Senegal River into a territorial dividing line. At the same time, however, the situated socio-spatial dynamics of this locale force compromises on this infrastructure, thereby acting upon and transforming the externalisation process in its unfolding.