Transnational and Translocal Virtual Neighbourhoods
By SefoNe (Searching for Neighbours)
African migrants (Strand 3)
Here the aim is to investigate different types of dispersed translocal networks. This perspective highlights the network relations of individuals or groups beyond specific geographically bounded sites. Here the focus is on spatially dispersed people who form ‘virtual neighbourhoods’: on the connections between social groups such as friends and family members that are upheld by their physical movements and flows across the European and non-European space, as well as internet and satellite phone connections.
While remaining within the regional nexus as a research site, in this strand we will investigate ‘nodes’ in networks determined by the movements and virtual interconnections of individuals or small groups that originate from or lead into the regions we study. Here we are particularly interested in African migrants and their networks across different localities. Despite their European presence Africans are frequently denied belonging in the European space and their movement into Europe is increasingly problematised and associated with politics of securitization. In all our regions (particularly in Sicily) African migrants have become part of the local social and economic fabric, which shows that even remote regions and outposts of the EU can no longer be imagined as monocultural. In many ways this third strand is expected to provide a fresh and illuminating perspective on contemporary imaginings of the nation, the region, Europe and the EU.