One step more and I will be elsewhere. Reflections of an ‘illegal’ migrant anthropologist€ 3.00
The considerations being presented by Shahram Khosravi, a Swedish anthropologist of Iranian origins, concern the nature of physical and political borders, the rituals and practicalities of the migrant’s crossing. His thoughts are inspired by research in the field and his own personal experience of being an illegal migrant, 30 years ago. What emerges is a detailed study of borders, the migration process, contemporary inequalities and discriminations, combining ethnographical methodology with stories packed with sensations and emotions. When describing this global phenomenon, Khosravi recalls the experiences of several historic minorities and the thinking of intellectuals who belonged to them, such as Said, Kafka, Benjamin and Arendt. He also uses testimonies from the protagonists themselves, like the people from Central America pushing at the USA’s southern border, or those who come from all over to throng at the borders of “Fortress Europe”.
Shahram Khosravi, an Iranian, is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Stockholm. He was an illegal immigrant in 1988 and used this experience as the starting point for his studies on migrants, forced deportation and asylum seekers. He has written various essays, including: Young and Defiant in Tehran (2008); Precarious Lives: Waiting and Hope in Iran (2017) for the University of Pennsylvania Press; and After Deportation: Ethnographic Perspectives (Palgrave, 2017). Io sono confine (elèuthera, 2019) is his first text published in Italian. The book is unusual as it intertwines a personal story with ethnographic writing, a self-ethnography that gives us a decidedly original perspective on one of the major trends in modern life: that of illegal migration, which places the self within the social and geopolitical context.