The "African Families: Representations and Renegotiations in Migration Societies" conference took place on 13-14 December 2020 at the University of Oldenburg. The conference was organized jointly by EMMIR and ACMS under the direction of Dr. Lydia Potts, the EMMIR Consortium Coordinator. The conference was held as part of the post-doc project “Shifting Families: Interrogating notions of 'family' in a context of contemporary African migration and diverse urban spaces, using multi-sited case studies in South Africa, Morocco, and Germany” by Zaheera Jinnah and Ulrike Lingen-Ali and funded by Volkswagen Stiftung.
Twenty six scholars and academics participated in the two-day conference, presenting on topics such as:
• "The Concept of the Family in the Arab-Muslim Patriarchy" (Fatima Sadiqi),
• "The Notions of Home and Belonging within Migrant Communities: The case of the City of Fez" (Mounia Slighoua),
• "Negotiating Women’s Bodily Autonomy: Migrant Women’s Perception of Family Planning in the City of Johannesburg" (Magdalena Zimmermann),
• "Generational Conflicts in Migration Processes: Examples from Somali Migrants in Africa and Europe" (Tabea Scharrer)
• "Culturally Informed Interventions in Migrant Families" (Mohammed Baobaid)
• "The Impact of Technologies and Social Media on Refugees and Sub-saharan Migrants and their Families in Morocco" (Moha Ennaji)
Please see the conference program, abstracts, and participant bionotes here.
The conference was attended by participants, several cohorts of students and alum from the EMMIR programme, and interested public from the University of Oldenburg (such as from the gender studies department, ZFG). Ten EMMIR students and alumni presented in the conference, as well as 5 students and alumni from the Erasmus Mundus programme "European Master in Social Work with Families and Children" (commonly referred to as MFamily).
During the closing session on the evening of Friday, 13 December, the Most Innovative Thesis prize for EMMIR Cohort 7 was presented to Alejandro Salamanca Rodriguez for his dissertation, "A floating microcosm: stories of migration in 1747".
A large thanks goes out to the coordinators and staff of the conference from the EMMIR team: Martina Henschel-Roth and Claudia Rosam (administration and finance), Justine Grace Abrugena (coordination), Keti Antadze-Tamminga (conference finance), Rubana Mussharat (logistics), Maruf Taheri (tech), and Gabriella Mikiewicz (communications).
Justine, the coordinator of the conference, says that "the conference's success is an accomplishment for each member of the organizing team, and most especially to our conference director, Dr. Lydia Potts, who spearheaded the whole organization of the conference event from its conception to its execution."
"We are very glad to have had quite an international turnout from three continents (Asia, Africa, and Europe) despite the time constraints and logistic challenges (such as visas for participants). More than that, the presentations and topics were remarkable and thought-provoking especially with regards to the discourse and policy-making in the subject of migration, families, and children. Furthermore it's quite inspiring to see the interactions with expert/veteran scholars with young/new scholars. I'm happy that the conference served as a space to establish ties and possibly start mentorship relations or other future collaborations," said Justine.
"We're also grateful to have had the support of the Volkswagen Stiftung, who really made this conference possible," she added.
Thank you for attending and participating! Please see a short round-up video of the weekend below: