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Instances religieuses et d'origine confessionnelle sur les routes de la migration africaine – MIGRELI

Submission summary

Religious and faith-based organizations on the roads of African migration. Since the 1990's, international migrations departing from sub-Saharan Africa have been restructuring themselves in order to reach 'northern forteresses' et step-by-step migration through the Sahara desert has become, once again a frequent scenario. From the year 2000, the increasing controls operated on the European borders have constrained migrants to prolong stopovers in certain places and to spend longer amounts of time on the road. Recently, they have started to settle in countries of Arabic world, which up to now had been considered as transit spaces. Recent studies have pointed out the intensification and reorientation of African migrations, but paradoxically, knowledge on the networks and protagonists implicated in the social life of these settlements remains very scattered. In this context, our aim is to analyse religious organisations or organisations with religious background, (muslim or Christian) which settle on migration trails and recompose them. From Caritas through to transnational Pentecostalism churches, muslim university or charitable societies in local neighbourhoods, different levels of organisation exist, participating, each in their own way, to the construction of a market of religious goods. Therefore, are they to be considered solely as means to gain new adepts ' Charity, solidarity, competition, economic rationality, what motivations are advertised by these organisations' Symbolic water holes, prayer-rooms, places of welcome, of care, of protest, centre for claiming rights, for access to eduction, how do these organisations structure themselves on the roads of African migration ' To interrogate these organisations is also a means in which to study migrants' implication in these constructions, such as the states through the analyses of migration policies. It is finally a way in which to acknowledge the increasing porosity between religion, migration and commerce. This research project will be organised according to three axes of questioning, each of which will be considered in 4 city : Cairo, Ouagadougou, Tunis and Gao. Task1. 'From the migrants' angle'. In taking into account that migrants are also entrepreneurs in religious goods and producers of new religious forms, we will ask how they resort to this religious and associative offer to conduct their migration, while traditional structures and family relays are running scarce. Is this instrumentalisation to be understood as tactical, in relation with individual or collective strategies ' Reciprocally, the project will aim to evaluate le weight of migrants themselves in these religious constructions. Task 2. 'From religious organisations angle confessionnal origin'. We will interrogate the way in which these organisations take advantage of the migrants' arrivals to widen their offer, to give new legitimacy to their action and to consolidate or create territorial anchorage on the roads of African migration. We will also try to comprehend competition between different institutions, the ways in which they adapt to the religious market, their negociations with the State and their degree of implication in migratory policies. The analysis of internal adaptations within the religious organisation ' transnationalisation, openness to other cultures, religious syncretism, liturgical adaptations, re-symbolisation of believers' trajectories- will be given particular care. Task 3. 'Spatial construction of a new religious market articulated to migratory routes'. Here, we will decipher the elaboration of new spatial networks of religious goods, in relation to migratory routes. On the scale of neighbourhoods we will focus on how churches, mosques, temples, prayer groups, NGOs, schools, religious goods' shops are linked together, in order to understand social continuities. How does the expansion of a market of religious goods in relation with new migration routes participate or not in the development of the trading of religious goods ' Methodologically, this research will base itself on qualitative and ethnographic tools : long and repeated interviews, retracing migratory trajectories, analysis of religious itineraries, schedules, change of site, mapping of these processes, inventories on the scale of a neighbourhood, study of internet web-sites in order to trace the Asian-African trade routes of religious goods.

Project coordinator

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


Help of the ANR 0 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 0 Months

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