“What is left of the so-called Balkan Route? The path taken by hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees in the summer of 2015 has been effectively closed off with border fences and increased police presence along the borders of Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia.
In 2015, the Western Balkan countries viewed themselves as a transit zone; the path that migrants took as they attempted to enter the European Union. However, with the closure of borders in 2016, tens of thousands have been trapped on the fringes of the European Union in the Balkans for over a year, and the possibilities for reaching Western Europe are increasingly limited.”
Global Mobility Project graduate student associate Eleanor Paynter’s article “THE SPACES OF CITIZENSHIP: MAPPING PERSONAL AND COLONIAL HISTORIES IN CONTEMPORARY ITALY IN IGIABA SCEGO’S LA MIA CASA È DOVE SONO (MY HOME IS WHERE I AM)” was recently published in the EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF LIFE WRITING.
ABSTRACT: As Italy has changed from emigration country to immigration destination, the growing body of literature by migrant and second generation writers plays an important role in connecting discourses on race and national identity with the country’s increasing diversity and its colonial past. This essay investigates the 2010 memoir La Mia Casa È Dove Sono (My Home is Where I Am) by Igiaba Scego, the daughter of Somali immigrants, as life writing that responds to these changing demographics and, more broadly, to the migration trends affecting contemporary Europe. The self Scego constructs through her narration integrates her Roman identity and Somali background as the narrative returns colonial history to Italian public discourse and public space. I argue that by narrating the personal and historical in the context of Roman monuments and neighborhoods, Scego’s memoir challenges and redefines who can be “Italian,” modeling a more inclusive Italianità. I discuss the memoir in terms of its use of collective memory and its development of a narrative “I” that claims a position within a collective identity while challenging the exclusionary tendencies of that very group.
Read the full article here: http://ejlw.eu/article/view/193
The 2017 Migration Conference will take place in Athens, Greece from August 23rd to 26th, 2017. The Conference will be a forum for discussion where experts, young researchers and students, practitioners and policy makers working in the field of migration are encouraged to exchange their knowledge.
For those interested in the event, the programme is now available on their website at http://migrationcenter.org/programme
The Library of Congress has a great article telling the story of America through songs of immigration and migration.
“As Europeans colonized North America, beginning with the Spanish and French in the 1500s and the British and Dutch in the early 1600s, colonists brought their cultural entertainments along with them. Songs brought to colonial America continued to be sung in their early forms, so that later scholars of songs and ballads, such as the British ethnomusicologist Cecil Sharp and American ballad scholar Francis James Child, looked to North America to find early versions of songs, and songs no longer sung in their country of origin. Ethnomusicologist Juan Rael documented folk dramas and passion plays — sung performances — that preserved early versions of Spanish religious songs in what had been the relatively isolated colony of New Mexico (modern New Mexico and western Colorado). With the development of sound recording, scholars attempted to record the earliest versions of songs that they could find, such as the ballads Child had identified. An example of a rare pre-industrial work song in this presentation is a Scottish song that women used when fulling cloth, called a “waulking” song. See “Fhillie duhinn s’tu ga m’dhi,” sung by Mary MacPhee in 1939.”
In a 2014 article, Steven Brown and colleagues demonstrate that music and genes may have coevolved by analyzing correlations between traditional folk songs and mitochondrial DNA among indigenous populations in Taiwan. “These correlations were of comparable magnitude to those between language and genes for the same populations, although music and language were not significantly correlated with one another. […] Music may therefore have the potential to serve as a novel marker of human migrations to complement genes, language and other markers” (Brown, et al 2014).
Read the full article from the Proceedings of the Royal Society B here: http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/281/1774/20132072.short
Torn between conflict at home and the uncertainty of the travel ban, Libyan students in the United States are struggling to fund their studies and living expenses.
Read or listen to the story here: http://radio.wosu.org/post/libyan-students-ohio-find-frozen-funds-and-few-options-left
What do migrants choose to carry with them? What items are so important that they make it from the beginning to the end of the journey? An exhibition called “State of Exception/Estado de Excepción” at Parsons School of Design sought to answer those questions as it explores the journey of migrants to United States from Mexico through the Sonoran Desert in Arizona.
While the exhibit closed in April, you can still read about it here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/03/arts/design/state-of-exception-estado-de-excepcion-parsons-mexican-immigration.html?_r=0
“It’s tough to know what happened on Earth thousands of years before anyone started writing anything down. But thanks to the amazing work of anthropologists and paleontologists like those working on National Geographic’s Genographic Project, we can begin to piece together the story of our ancestors. Here’s how early humans spread from East Africa all around the world.” – from Business Insider Science