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I am a social anthropologist. My research interests include (irregular) migration, forced displacement, visual anthropology, participatory and creative methods, uncertainty, political subjectivity and advocacy, with a focus on the Maghreb region (especially Morocco).

Currently, I am principal investigator on the ESRC-project “Acts/Crimes of Solidarity: an ethnographic study of illegalisation and criminalisation amongst pro-migration activists and other citizens”. The project explores illegalisation and criminalisation processes amongst volunteers, activists, practitioners and other citizens in Morocco and France, where Civil Society Organisations have denounced state repression against migrants trying to cross the sea to continue their journeys and those providing assistance to them. It brings to the fore the shifting boundaries between 'citizens' and 'irregular migrants' and debates over solidarity and illegality. Whilst scholars have increasingly paid attention to the production of illegality amongst migrants, there has been little work on how such processes also affect the political agency and subjectivity of citizens. The study addresses this gap by generating qualitative data on how citizens are subjected to and navigate illegalisation and criminalisation processes. Co-designed and co-delivered with civil society partners (Groupe Antiraciste de Défense et d'Accompagnement des Etrangers et Migrants, La Plateforme des Soutiens aux Migrant.e.s), the project examines these processes in a European country (France) and one of its partners in the Global South (Morocco) for the 'management of migration'.

I am also a Co-Investigator on the AHRC-funded project MADAR-Network Plus: Maghreb Action on Displacement and Rights (GCRF). In collaboration with civil society organisations Racines, Caritas, Notre Culture D'Abord, and colleagues at universities in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisa, and the UK, MADAR aims to improve the humanitarian protection of vulnerable, displaced people in contexts of conflict in the Maghreb. MADAR facilitates research collaborations and commission research projects drawing on the regional expertise of UK and Maghreb-based scholars from across the arts and humanities and the social and political sciences. MADAR combines an interdisciplinary approach with participatory and collaborative methods, deploying artistic and creative engagement to mobilise global voices, to improve access to marginal and underrepresented groups, and provide a more active role for displaced people to shape the research process and outcomes.

Recently completed projects include MARAM: Mobilising Access to Rights for Artists in Morocco (AHRC KEI grant, 2019-20), in collaboration with The Minority Globe in Casablanca. MARAM builds on our previous project Arts for Advocacy: Creative Engagement with Forced Displacement in Morocco (ESRC-AHRC Forced Displacement grant, 2016-18), in collaboration with GADEM in Rabat. Visit artsforadvocacy.org to view our virtual exhibitions and to download our creative arts, migration, and advocacy toolkit (available in English, French, and Arabic).

Prior to this, I was a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh (2011-2016 Irregular sub-Saharan migrants in Morocco: Immobility, illegality, uncertainty and “adventure” in Rabat). My doctoral thesis focused on the lived experiences of “irregular migrants” from Central and Western Africa in Morocco. Through long-term ethnographic work in the field, I engaged with critical debates about immobility, uncertainty and illegality, to examine migrants’ circumscribed agency and participation in political spaces.



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