A Scientific Initiative on/for Border Abolitionism

Node 06 - Antenna

Ended

October 2023 - February 2024

Morocco - Rabat

Exploring Solidarity Spaces in Rabat’s Peripheral Urban Landscape

Rabat serves as the inaugural node in the Morocco Antenna, offering a unique perspective on the interactions between the city and the various mobilities navigating through it.

Introduction: Rabat serves as the inaugural node in the Morocco Antenna, offering a unique perspective on the interactions between the city and the various mobilities navigating through it. The SOLROUTES project aims to study the delicate relationships between the city center and its periphery, with a particular focus on understanding and documenting solidarity in the context of unauthorized movements. This endeavor seeks to redefine and decolonize the concept of solidarity by exploring its manifestations beyond Western academic perspectives.

Objectives: The SOLROUTES project endeavors to observe and analyze the dynamics of solidarity in Rabat, identifying actors, functions, and meanings associated with the materiality of care, support for border-crossing, and hospitality during transit. Researchers aim to investigate the various forms of solidarity practices, discourses, and relational spaces, particularly within the context of Rabat’s role as a hub for mobility and settlement.

Context: Rabat is recognized as a pivotal space for mobility and settlement, where individuals in transit organize stages of “transit migration.” The city becomes a nexus of connections involving governmental actors, international organizations, civil society activists, transnational migrants, and future haraqas. This complex urban environment requires a nuanced understanding of the continuous negotiation and balance between the center and periphery, where survival and resistance strategies are implemented, and solidarity becomes a vital aspect of interdependence.

Case Study: The suburban neighborhood of Takadoum, with its dense sub-Saharan presence, serves as a compelling case study within Rabat. Researchers aim to explore how unauthorized mobility integrates into the urban framework, addressing visibility issues and establishing relationships of interdependence. The study further investigates how various actors, including people on the move, adventurers, settled residents, local communities, care providers, and associations, interact and connect within this dynamic space.

Methodology: The research methodology employs grounded research and multi-sited ethnography, adopting an inductive approach. The presence of the research team in the field will guide the selection of methodological tools and specific research questions, allowing for a comprehensive understanding of the intricate relationships and solidarity dynamics in Rabat’s peripheral urban landscape.

Conclusion: By focusing on Rabat, the SOLROUTES project aims to contribute to a deeper understanding of solidarity beyond conventional Western frameworks. The exploration of relationships between different actors in Takadoum and other areas will shed light on the complexities of unauthorized mobility and its integration into the broader urban fabric.

Researchers

C. Cassarini, M. Lovato