Debt, mobility and the pandemic: Migrants everyday lived experiences of precarity in Covid-UK

Tuesday 7 June 2022 (13:00-14:00)

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact upon both migration and mobility as well as levels of debt and indebtedness.

Defining features of contemporary times, the intersections between these are relatively underexplored. Drawing upon findings from a project, Connecting during Covid: Practices of care, remittance sending and digitalisation among UK migrant communities, this presentation makes three key arguments. First, it unpacks migration as a financial practice highlighting how debt precedes, is produced through, and by, migration and how debts are made and remade through mobility. Second, it explores the socio-economic and emotional precarity that indebted migrants have experienced partly as a consequence of the pandemic. Third, it identifies the consequences of being indebted during a global pandemic on transnational caring practices. 


Kavita Datta is a Professor of Development Geography and Director of the Centre for the Study of Migration at Queen Mary University of London.  Her research spans migration studies and development and financial geography with current projects exploring practices of care, remittance sending and digitisation among UK migrant communities during the Covid-19 pandemic; food (in)security, mobility and internal and international Zimbabwean migration; and gender, intersectionality and south to south migration. Her research is funded by the ESRC, AHRC, NIHR and GCRF. Her books include Global Cities at Work: New Migrant Divisions of Labour and Migrants and their Money: Surviving Financial Exclusion in London. 

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