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UNIC. Unexpected Inclusion: Migration, Mobility and the Open City (session 2 of 2)

June 30, 2021 13:15
June 30, 2021 14:45

Sandro Cattacin, Université de Genève


Bob W. White, Department of Anthropology, Université de Montréal

Alice Clarebout (CEDEM-LASC, Université de Liège, Shannon Damery (CEDEM, Université de Liège)

Marco Martiniello (CEDEM, Université de Liège), Elsa Mescoli (CEDEM, Université de Liège)

The everyday work of producing (personal and collective) identities in cities (heterogeneous places by definition) is also the everyday work of reinventing a territory as a common place of belonging, as a place of social justice. We believe that welcome groups, migrant associations and in particular urban rituals are essential in producing temporary, inclusive commons that may be prototypes of more enduring forms of belonging and social justice. At the centre of our proposed panel is the discussion of the open city as place where complex identities in everyday reality are able to find a common ground, a sensus communis. Given the realities of our mobile societies, we consider migrant associations, welcome groups and rituals as crucial phenomena in this respect, since they require participation but not necessarily much formalised affiliation. 

The panel’s main objective is to discuss and analyse, through concrete exemples, self-organised migrant associations, independent civil society initiatives and established ritualised practices of inclusion in the city that occur outside formal migration and integration policies and that improve social justice, dynamics of belonging, exchange, cooperation, interactions and peaceful coexistence between the established and newcomers. From our inclusionist perspective on the city visions are needed on the way in which the city as an inclusion machine works on the ground in everyday activities that connect rather than separates newcomers and the established. Our panel focuses on dynamics in urban spaces that can be seen as a type of “commons” producing inclusion and/or exclusion. Our panel provide insights for all kind of cities in search of inclusive practices through which belonging can be created. Scientifically, we will present insights on inclusion dynamics, and contribute to the growing critiques of traditional migration and “integration” studies. Focalizing on inclusion dynamics as fundamental elements for social justice, all presentations will be based on empirical research. The following contributions are planed:

Shanon Damery, Alice Clarebout (Université de Liège): Migrant associations and inclusion Bob White (tbc; Université de Montréal): Producing History to Create Urban Belonging and Inclusion Nerea Viana Alzola (Université de Genève). Exclusion and Inclusion of Differences in Urban Japan Marco Martiniello, Alissa Raziano (Université de Liège): Inclusion and the Anchored Cosmopolitism in the Fair City Fiorenza Gamba (Universities of Geneva and Sassari): Urban Rituals as Commons Andrea Rea (tbc, Université libre de Bruxelles): Spontaneous welcome groups in the urban context Sandro Cattacin (Université de Genève): Sanctuary Cities, Differentiated Citizenship and Social Justice

Keywords: Inclusion/Exclusion;  Migration; Mobility, Refugees; Urban dynamics; Rituals; Migrant Associations; Civil Society Organizations

Interculturalisme et anti-racisme comme dispositifs d'inclusion

Bob W. White, Department of Anthropology, Université de Montréal

Dans les villes du monde entier, les partisans de l’interculturalisme (une approche axée sur la communication et les interactions positives) et de l’antiracisme (une approche davantage concernée par la discrimination sociale et raciale) ont été actifs dans la lutte pour la justice et l’égalité. Alors que les militants de ces deux domaines ont clairement des objectifs communs, les deux approches sont parfois en contradiction en termes de stratégies à utiliser pour opérer un changement. S’il est souvent avancé que les deux approches sont complémentaires, il existe également une tendance à subordonner une approche à l’autre sans se poser de questions fondamentales sur l’approche la mieux adaptée pour traiter un ensemble particulier de problèmes à un moment donné. Dans cette analyse je propose de considérer différentes initiatives qui visent à rendre la ville plus inclusive, surtout dans le contexte de l’action municipale à Montréal, et en abordant les tensions entre l’interculturalisme et l’antiracisme d’un point de vue systémique et comparative.

Keywords: Anti-racisme, Interculturalisme, Inclusion, Villes, Pensée Systémique  

Bob W. White est professeur titulaire au Département d’Anthropologie à l’Université de Montréal et directeur du Laboratoire de recherche en relations interculturelles (LABRRI). Depuis 2012 il dirige un partenariat de recherche multi-sectoriel sur les dynamiques d’inclusion dans l’espace urbain à Montréal (« Montréal Ville Interculturelle », CRSH 2012-2020). Il est coordonnateur du Réseau des municipalités en immigration et relations interculturelles du Québec (RÉMIRI) et expert pour le programme de Cités interculturelles du Conseil de l’Europe. En 2014 il a publié L’interculturel au Québec : rencontres historiques et enjeux politiques(Presses de l’Université de Montréal) avec Lomomba Emongo. Son dernier livre, publié en 2018, s’intitule Intercultural Cities : Policy and Practice for a New Era (London : Palgrave McMillan). Il travaille actuellement sur une théorie générale de la communication interculturelle.

Migrant associations as a springboard for the inclusion of newcomers: the cases of two Belgian cities 

Alice Clarebout (CEDEM-LASC, Université de Liège, Shannon Damery (CEDEM, Université de Liège)

This presentation provides an overview of the background research and initial fieldwork on migrant associations in two Belgian cities - Liege and Brussels. These two cities, with their rich diversity and migratory histories, are relevant sites for the study of the complex issue of inclusion. This ongoing work explores the inclusion of newcomers in their city of settlement through their social and cultural participation in migrant associations at the local level. The city, as an urban laboratory, leads us as researchers to question the diversity that inhabits it and the welcome that it offers. We find that the two cities under study offer particular insights given their unique histories and different migratory make-up. We have based this presentation on the questions we initially asked ourselves. How did the migratory history of these cities influence the types of migrant associations that were created and the goals and services of these associations? What influences do current inflows of migrants have on the situation of migrant associations? What role do migrant associations play in the inclusion of newcomers? What activities enable newcomers to feel that they belong to the city? How do these associations interact with other welcoming and support mechanics and government actors in the city? Through concrete examples from our fieldwork, we will show how migrant associations impact, or don’t, migrants’ sense of belonging, support the creation of integration networks, involve themselves in the interactions between newcomers and established populations, and engage in the promotion of social justice in the city. 

Keywords: Inclusion, Belonging, Welcome, Migrant Associations, Cultural Participation 

Alice Clarebout is a PhD candidate at CEDEM after having completed a MA in Anthropology at ULiège in 2020. Her master’s thesis, entitled “An ethnography of citizen hosting in Belgium: stage in the migratory route and particular practice of hospitality”, was about the practice of hospitality of Belgian citizens towards asylum seekers, transit and undocumented migrants. In the last year of her MA, provided with her ethnographic experiences carried out during her training, Alice was hired as a student researcher by CEDEM on a research project on cultural practices in the Canal zone in Brussels in collaboration with CUDOS (UGent). She is now starting her doctoral thesis as part of the FNRS research project "UNIC" (Unexpected Inclusions: Migration, Mobility and the Open City) under the supervision of Marco Martiniello. Her research interests include the following themes: international migration, refugee studies, hospitality, reception policies, integration policies and practices, migrants’s cultural and artistic practices.

Shannon Damery is a post-doctoral researcher in the CEDEM. She is currently conducting research in the Horizon 2020 Project CHILD UP (Children Hybrid Integration: Learning Dialogue as a way of Upgrading Policies of Participation) and the UNIC project Unexpected Inclusions: Migration, Mobility and the Open City. Her doctorate was part of the INTEGRIM ITN in which she was a Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher in the framework of the 7FP Training Network “Integration and international migration: pathways and integration policies.” Her research focused on how young migrants’ official migratory status impacted their daily lives. Her research interests include refugee issues, forced migration, home and homemaking, youth and childhood studies, arts and integration, and activism and political participation.

Culture, Solidarity and co-inclusion in the (post) Covid city: the case of Brussels

Marco Martiniello (CEDEM, Université de Liège), Elsa Mescoli (CEDEM, Université de Liège)

This presentation stems from a research project focused on the cultural practices of the inhabitants in five districts of the central canal zone of the Brussels-Capital Region. At the time of the first lockdown of the population in Belgium initiated on 18 March 2020 to combat the spread of Covid-19 we were at an advanced stage of our ethnography. Participants in the study who had already been met were asked again for a short feedback on the impact of the lockdown on their activities in the socio-cultural sector. The data collected provided us with a series of elements enabling us to answer the following two main questions: firstly, which are the effects of the lockdown on the cultural sector in the Brussels geographical area covered by our research? Secondly, what are the ways in which cultural institutions and associations have coped with this crisis? This presentation answers these questions in the form of an ethnographic restitution and an analysis of the materials collected. It also discusses the role that culture can play in a superdiverse city like Brussels in terms of solidarity and co-inclusion through cultural practices in a unique crisis situation.

Keywords: Culture City Brussels, Inclusion, Solidarity

Marco MARTINIELLO is Research Director at the Fund for Scientific Research (F.R.S.–FNRS) and Director of CEDEM (Center for Ethnic and Migration Studies) at the University of Liège. He teaches the sociology of migration and interethnic relations at this university. He is also Director of the Research Institute in Social Sciences of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Liège. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the European Research Network IMISCOE. He was President of the research committee "Sociology of Migration" of the International Sociological Association until 2014. He has been a visiting professor or visiting researcher at Columbia University, New York University, Cornell University, University of Malmö (Sweden), Sciences Po Paris, University of Warwick (UK), University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia), University of Kwazulu Natal (Durban, South Africa), European University Institute (Florence, Italy), College of Europe (Natolin, Poland), City University of New York, University of Geneva and University of Warwick.

His work is in the field of political sociology. It deals with the relations between the arts, culture, sport, immigration and ethnicized and racialized minorities. In addition, he is interested in transnationalism as well as issues of migration policy, citizenship, multiculturalism, racism and the political mobilization of immigrants and minorities in Europe and North America.

Elsa MESCOLI is affiliated to the CEDEM since 2011. She is currently post-doctoral researcher and assistant lecturer at the Faculty of Social Sciences, where she teaches courses related to migration and intercultural issues. She holds a PhD Degree in Political and Social Sciences from the University of Liege (in co-tutorship with the University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy) with a thesis on the culinary practices of Moroccan women living in Milan (Italy). She conducted extensive ethnographic research in the domain of migration studies both in Europe and outside, with a particular focus on migrants’ cultural practices. She holds a MA in Anthropology and a BA in Intercultural communication from the University of Milan-Bicocca (Italy). Her research interests include: food and migration, artistic practices of migrants, gender issues, discrimination of Muslims, public opinion and citizens’ initiatives on refugees and asylum seekers, socio-cultural practices of undocumented migrants, policies and practices of integration of newcomers.