Valued Difference in Rio de Janeiro: Approaching Migration and Urban Development through Infrastructure


Tilmann Heil

Thursday 7 Nov 2019, 11:00 - 12:00
Spoken Language
Room 4.39
International Institute of Social Studies
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Tilmann Heil

In this Special Migration and Development Seminar, Tilmann Heil will discuss about 'Valued Difference in Rio de Janeiro: Approaching Migration and Urban Development through Infrastructure'


Understood as a socio-material, multi-scalar assemblage, infrastructure is a powerful conceptual tool to approach the multiplicity of urban change and development in the context of migration. 

Based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork in Rio de Janeiro (2014-2019). There will be inquired into how Senegalese migrants mould infrastructures in an urban environment largely unequipped to respond to their needs.

There will be unpacked the legal, economic, social, ethical and affective practices of a diaspora association and a religious network to show how a different lived reality in Rio de Janeiro unfolds. 

Two dimensions are co-constitutive. There will be discussed about the newcomers strategically intervene in migration governance at the same time as they re-shape the existing urban fabric of the becoming part. There will be argued that infrastructure conceptually brings the entanglements of processes, people and places into focus as well as the heterogeneity of actors that produce new urban and migration realities.

Infrastructure is one way to make such difference in urban and migration realities intelligible. On this basis, the epistemological value of lives multiplicity can be recognised. 

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