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Félicien de Heusch (Liège)
Transnational Engagements around Senegalese Migrants’ Death
The aim of the research is to focus on transnational forms of engagement around Senegalese migrants’ death. From the incipient stages of the research, body repatriation has emerged as an important preoccupation among Senegalese migrants. This challenging transnational practice reveals how solidarity networks are deployed to insure a bottom-up ‘funerary social protection’. By focusing specifically on the cases of Belgium, Spain and Senegal the research will address the following questions: how do Senegalese migrants’ community and family networks construct transnational relationships of solidarity around body repatriation? How do social movements emerge, and home and host state authorities (dis)engage around Senegalese migrants’ deaths? Based on a multi-sited ethnography, the research focuses on the diversity of responses implemented by the heterogeneous Senegalese migrants’ community associations in different North-South European settings. In particular, the research shows how transnational multi-level states engage or disengage according to the type of death. Finally, the research raises the issue of the transnational political and religious management of Senegalese necropolis. In a nutshell, the research will provide a better understanding of transnational expressions of social protection around death: a core concern not only for Senegalese migrants, but also for other migrant communities in the context of restrictive European welfare regimes.
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