Tekalign Ayalew, PhD student, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University

‘Making’ Movement Across Closed Borders: Ethio-Eritreans Transnational Migration to Sweden

Recently Sweden has become one of major destinations for various types of Ethiopian and Eritrean migrants. However, in the face of ever increasing interest for international migration in origin and stricter border/immigration controls in EU/Sweden current migratory flows from Ethiopia and Eritrea to Sweden is forced to be mostly ‘irregular’ in nature. In this presentation I will explore about the contemporary Ethiopians and Eritreans immigration process to Sweden and how it is the result of an entanglement of social and smuggling networks. Hence I will argue that this migration is organized not just by ‘criminal networks’ of smugglers but also by former migrants in diaspora. I will in the presentation demonstrate how this is organized en route through the psychological ‘pulling’ of people (inducement by diasporic remittances) and practical guiding of prospective migrants; by providing information and paying for their journey. I will also briefly talk about the role of key transition localities and routes that link Horn of Africa and the Scandinavia in this migration process. The point of departure is migrants’ experiences during journeys and factors shaped their choices of particular migration strategies. Substantial amount of time will also be devoted to discuss the challenges of doing multi-sited fieldwork in this kind of settings (Sweden, Ethiopia, Sudan) and how, finally, some of the key issues of my work was generated.

Find out more about the Migration cluster at the Department of Social Anthropology.

All seminars in the series.