Time to embark – my PhD fieldwork on clandestine migration from West Africa to the southern fringes of Europe is kicking off. The project – and this blog – will be about borders, those who cross them, and those who labour on behalf of the EU’s citizens to keep them in place. It will be about the chasm between Africa and Europe, and what’s to be found in this liminal and little-known space.
I’ll be posting stories, snippets, grumbles and witticisms here throughout 2010, first from the Canary Islands where a trickle of African fishing boats has triggered European panic about a ‘flood’ of ‘illegals’ in recent years. The journey will continue in Senegal and then perhaps veer towards Mali, the Gambia, Mauritania and beyond. The travellers I encounter will give shape to my trip through Europe’s southern backyard. Please comment on any of the postings, or get in touch!