Title: International migration: transit space - creative space?

Authors: Christina Oelgemöller

Addresses: PHIR, Loughborough University, LE11 3TU, UK

Abstract: Is it possible to make illegal migrants intelligible as a force creating social space? What is transit space? Many migration experts seem to ignore the transit space beyond managing geopolitical borders. Much literature analyses this space in terms of the migrant's (in)capacity to act. I argue that transit space policies make possible both a particular kind of illegality of the transit space and ephemeral spaces of solidarity/creativity quite different from the places of citizenship (accorded or denied). Geopolitical transit space is intrinsically important to understanding how contradictory mobility practices are constructed. My speculation is informed by a postanarchist perspective and draws on selected ethnographic studies for illustration. Approaching transit space as contradictory constellation makes it political, in that abstract logics imposed by the European discursive order interact with ephemeral practices, producing violence and solidarity in a way that throws what is licit and illicit open to radical questioning.

Keywords: illegal migrants; illicit activity; geopolitical transit space; worldliness; Arendt; political; ephemeral; imaginary; authority; autonomy; EU; European Union; Maghreb; Global North; Global South; international migration; mobility practices; postanarchism; ethnographic studies.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMBS.2017.083218

International Journal of Migration and Border Studies, 2017 Vol.3 No.2/3, pp.121 - 138

Received: 21 Sep 2015
Accepted: 23 Feb 2016

Published online: 15 Mar 2017 *

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