‘Stay calm and carry on?’: Adventurers in the neighborhood of joy and machetes

Sebastien Bachelet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

“Adventurers” is the nickname that “irregular” sub-Saharan migrants—in Morocco and beyond—have given to themselves. Heroic discourses surrounding migrants’ journeys and their exploits towards Fortress Europe are the antithesis of what Hage (2009) describes as “heroism of stuckedness”; that is a conservative governmentality which delegitimizes impatience and disruption in a permanent time of crisis. “Boatpeople,” “illegal migrants,” who do not “wait out” the crisis, are perceived as hordes of savages assaulting Europe. This photo-essay aims to depict migrants’ liminality and complex agency in a marginal neighborhood of Morocco, Douar Hajja. A poor and over-crowded part of Rabat, Douar Hajja is where sub-Saharan migrants’ im/mobility is grounded as a result of Europe’s externalization of border controls. It is a space in constant (re)making where migrants’ establishment is not fully realized as they wait to decide whether to stay in Morocco, go on, or return. Though legally and materially marginalized, migrants in Douar Hajja engage in socio-political activities: they organize life in collective houses, open businesses, and set up political organizations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-90
Number of pages6
JournalStudent Anthropologist
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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