MESA Banner
Barzakh as Method: Waiting for the Right to Belong in Tangier, Morocco
As growing numbers of migrants wait in Morocco to continue their journeys northwards, the social consequences of this time spent "en route" should be further considered. This time spent waiting fosters new claims to belonging and political identity as would-be migrants to Europe become immigrants to Morocco. This presentation recounts ethnographically how forms of community emerge amongst im/migrants through forms of shared difference and labors of belonging that speak to the ways in which difference and belonging are particularly articulated in the Moroccan port city and former international zone of Tangier. In these borderlands, immigrants use terms such as "making boza" and "crossing al-barzakh" to describe the temporal stance of waiting. In Islam, al-barzakh refers to the firmament separating life and death. This intervention brings these concepts into discussion with anthropological conceptualizations of liminality to investigate forms of being-in-common that exist outside of, or adjacent too, categories of belonging such as migrant, immigrant, refugee, and asylum-seeker. It does so in order to bring these categories and the concept of al-barzakh into conversation with Mezzadra and Neilson's notion of "border as method," ultimately asking what "barzakh as method" might look like.
Geographic Area
Sub Area