Palladino, M (2017) (Im)mobility and Mediterranean migrations: journeys ‘between the pleasures of wealth and the desires of the poor'. The Journal of North African Studies, 23 (1/2). pp. 71-89. ISSN 1743-9345

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Foregrounding (im)mobility to engage with experiences of human displacement, this study seeks to disrupt and set a change of emphasis in current debates about migration in literary and cultural studies. It engages with Laila Lalami’s Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits [2005. Tangier: Altopress, Moroccan Cultural Institute] to explore the novel’s representation of Morocco-Europe migration, the journeys between what Badiou aptly defines as ‘the pleasures of wealth and the desires of the poor’ [2008. “The Communist Hypothesis.” New Left Review 49: 29–42]. Through reading the stories of Murad and Halima – the two characters in the novel who fail to make it into Europe – this paper draws on anthropological studies of contemporary migration and examines the ways in which failure and (im)mobility stimulate fruitful transformations. It explores the complexities at the heart of migratory projects and the role that both mobility and immobility play in shaping the characters’ lives, and thereby problematises understandings of migration which privilege mobility and border-crossing. A focus on immobility reveals cultural and social processes which would otherwise remain obscured by an increased focus on narratives of mobility; through an insight into experiences of displacement beyond mere movement, this paper identifies acts of resistance, empowerment and agency activated by what Carling calls forced, ‘involuntary immobility’ [2002. “Migration Control and Migration Fatalities at the Spanish-African Borders.” International Migration Review 41 (2): 316–343].

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Taylor & Francis at - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: postcolonial literature, migration, Mediterranean, Morocco, mobility, immobility
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2017 16:49
Last Modified: 07 May 2019 01:30

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