Migration at home: Migratory Imaginations and Imaginary Cosmopolitanisms in Africa and beyond. location:Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin date:11-13 March 2009
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, inscribing yourself in a diasporic existence in Poto, the West, continues to be a dream for many youngsters. Yet, over the past two decades, alternative models of migration –real and imaginary- have sprung up alongside it. For some, it is no longer Europe that represents the ultimate migratory project, for example, nor even the new diasporic destinations that the Middle east or China seem to offer to an increasing number of Congolese, but rather the diamond fields of Lunda Norte, with all its promises of easy access to money and wealth. For others still, migration has become an imaginary trajectory, fulfilled in one’s dreams, or in one’s prayers. This contribution will analyse these competing models in order to further our understanding of issues concerning mobility, locality, belonging, identity, and citizenship currently at play in Central Africa and in its ramifying and multiplex connections with the world at large.