Trajectories of activism: contemporary anti-slavery movements (Niger, Mauritania, Mali and the Parisian diaspora)

224, Arts building, Danford Room
Tuesday 23 October 2012 (17:00-19:00)

Speaker: Lotte Pelckmans (MHS-Paris)

Over the past decades, several West African social movements emerged and addressed the problematic nature of legacies of slavery in West Africa. After describing the particular contexts in which each of these movements have emerged, the analysis will focus more particularly on the individual trajectories of the movements’ leaders. How does their personal trajectory of emancipation in the past feed into their collective activism against predominant slave ideologies in the present? This biographical approach sheds light on new vectors of change in post-slavery societies. The analysis is based on interviews with movement leaders in Mali and Niger and recent fieldwork among activists in the West African diaspora in Paris. These data allow for exploring the various motivations and strategies that are used to put collective emancipation of a stigmatized status groups in West Africa on the agenda.