In the last decade, the ‘Bengal diaspora’ (Alexander et al. 2015; Kibria 2011) is assuming a growing importance in migration studies. In many respects this diaspora is ‘a revealing case of postcolonial upheavals and mass migrations of the late 20th century’ (Alexander et al 2015: 2). In Europe, one of the most important sides of this is surely the British-Bangladeshi community – the 2011 census recorded 451,529 Bangladeshis living in the UK (Gardner 1995, Zeitlyn 2016).
In recent years, however, the dynamics of Bangladeshi migrations in Europe have significantly changed. Southern European countries, such as Italy (which hosts the largest Bangladeshi community in Europe after the British one), Spain, Portugal and Greece have assumed a prominent role in continental Europe. In fact, Bangladeshis settled in Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Naples, Lisbon, Oporto, Athens among many other cities, within what has been described as “the Mediterranean model of immigration” (King et al. 2000; Pugliese 2000), and establishing complex relations with the different immigration regimes, labour market structures and models of incorporation at a national and city levels. Simultaneously, in the past years, the changing political economy (namely, the application of austerity measures in the larger context of neoliberal readjustment programmes) led to onward migrations, mainly towards the UK, and reconfigurations in im-mobility trajectories. In sum, Southern Europe represents at the same time a final destination, a new scenario for making a living, an increasingly important hub linking Bangladeshis in Europe and worldwide, and, sometimes, a stage in onward migration routes and trajectories (Della Puppa 2016, 2014; Della Puppa and King 2018; Mapril 2012, 2014; Priori 2017; Zeytlin 2006; 2007).
Despite the crucial role and importance of Southern Europe for Bangladeshis, there is still no comparative approach looking at these different national and cityscapes as interlinked aspects of our interlocutors’ experiences. This call for papers aspires to bring together scholars who focus on different features of Bangladeshi migrations in countries such as Portugal, Spain, Greece, Malta and Cyprus. We aim at accounting for the entanglement of Southern European destinations and routes into the worldwide dynamics of im-mobilites, providing insights on the dialectic between emplacement processes and connectivity and the multiple and complex ways of making banglascapes and being Bengali and Bangladeshi.
We welcome contributions which address, but are not limited to, the following issues:
- Relation between Southern Europe and Bangladesh and/or other diasporic centres
- Production of fragmented and/or multi-centred migration trajectories across Southern Europe and beyond (e.g. onward migrations and return migrations)
- Reciprocal entanglement between practices of ‘home making’ and mobility processes
- Citizenship and practices of (im)mobility across Southern Europe
- Tensions between local political and economic opportunity structures and global processes
- 'Bangladeshi diasporas’ and the economic crisis in Southern Europe
- Bangladeshi associations and political activism in Southern Europe (in relation to immigration regimes and homeland politics)
- Family and kinship, gender, generation and care
- Urban ‘banglascapes’, housing, homing and public spaces
- Cultural and religious practices, artistic productions, identity and every-day life, including the circulation of tangible and intangible items such as food parcels, ingredients, films, among many others.
Abstract proposals should be sent until April 30th to:
250 words (maximum), include a title, authors name and email address, and a short bionote (200 words) – preferably in a single file (word or pdf).