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Through the border : Senegalese gendered migration to Spain (2005-2010) Vives Gonzalez, Celia 2012

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THROUGH THE BORDER: SENEGALESE GENDERED MIGRATION TO SPAIN (2005-2010)  by Celia Vives Gonzalez Licenciada en Sociología, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 2005 M.A., Geography, University of British Columbia, 2007  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY  in  THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Geography)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  December 2012 © Celia Vives Gonzalez, 2012  Abstract This dissertation provides a geopolitical and gender analysis of the border that was built between 2005 and 2010 to stop unwanted migration from Senegal to Spain. I combine an investigation of institutional practices and of the experiences of migrants who crossed (or tried to cross) that border. This work constructs a genealogy of the Spanish - Senegalese border, including the obstacles placed to stop unwanted migration and the strategies adopted by migrants to enter EU space. To do so I draw from three bodies of literature: scholarship on migrant transnationalism, critical geopolitics, and feminist political geography. This analysis is built on extensive primary research complemented by secondary data, including life histories, participant observation, and interviews with migrants, members of their transnational social networks, former smugglers, service providers, supra-state organizations, state bureaucrats, and state security forces, as well as official statistics, legislation, and media accounts. I contend that gender is an articulating factor of international migrations. In the case of contemporary Senegalese migration to Spain, I argue that the re-enforcement and militarization of the border was disproportional to the number of migrants using land and sea routes. These efforts were partly responsible for a decrease in illegal migration by land and sea after 2007, but migration by air and secondary migration from other countries of the EU (which represent the majority of the migrant flow) was unaffected. Despite the obstacles placed to stop it, the migration of Senegalese continued and even increased during this period, mainly thanks to the support that transnational social networks provided to migrants. The main consequence of the preventive and defensive anti-immigration measures adopted was a re-territorialization of the EU border. The findings suggest the importance of integrating a variety of scales in the study of the processes, actors, and mechanisms involved in the territorial re-definition of state and supranational borders. In the case of the EU, I contend that as a response militarization is ethically questionable, economically wasteful, and inadequate. Finally, this study suggests the need to engage in a mobile cartography of the migrant transnational network to account for its transformations across time and space.  ii  Preface An earlier version of Chapter 4 (“Multi-sited research and feminist practice”) was published as part of a book. The complete reference is Vives, Luna (2012) “Fragmented migrant (her) stories: multi-sited ethnography and feminist migration research.” In Glenda Bonifacio (ed.) Feminism and migration: cross-cultural engagements, 61-80.New York: Springer. Parts of a chapter co-authored with Sesé Sité (Vives and Sité 2010) have been used in Chapter 7. The background in-depth interviews for this publication were carried out equally, although I was the lead author and responsible for writing the majority of the paper. The complete references is Vives, Luna and Sité, Sesé (2010) Negra española, negra extranjera: dos historias de una misma discriminación.” Revista Estudios de Juventud: Discriminaciones diversas en las personas jóvenes, 89 (Junio), 163-186. This research project benefitted from collaboration with a Spanish research team, currently working on a project on transnational households that compares the experiences of Senegalese and Ecuadorian migrants in Spain “Negotiations of sex / gender postionings within households and transnationalism “from below:” a comparative study of transnational social relations among Ecuadorian and Senegalese migrant populations with a focus on the Embajadores district, Madrid, and the Campo de Cartagena, Murcia” [Resignificación de las posiciones de sexo / género y de los hogares en el transnacionalismo ‘por abajo:’ estudio de las relaciones sociales transnacionales de los colectivos de migrantes ecuatorianos y senegaleses a partir de sus anclajes en Embajadores (Madrid) y en el Campo de Cartagena (Murcia)]. The team, hosted at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, is headed by Professor Fernando José García Selgas. The reference number in the database of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness is CSO2008-04838. The UBC Behavioural Research Ethics Board reviewed and approved the fieldwork associated with this research project in February 17, 2009 (H08-02189).  iii  Table of contents Abstract....................................................................................................................................i Preface.....................................................................................................................................ii Table of contents...................................................................................................................iii List of tables........................................................................................................................vii List of figures......................................................................................................................viii List of acronyms and technical terms..................................................................................x List of graphs.......................................................................................................................xii List of maps........................................................................................................................xiii Acknowledgements............................................................................................................xiv Dedication............................................................................................................................xvi  1 Introduction.........................................................................................................................1 1.1 Introduction...............................................................................................................1 1.2 From March 11 to May 15: a roadmap.....................................................................4 1.3 The migrant-on-the-beach approach to migration and border policy (2004-2009).....................................................................................................................7 1.4 Research questions and goals..................................................................................14 1.5 Introduction to key concepts and theoretical framework........................................16 1.5.1 Migrant transnationalism............................................................................16 1.5.2 Borders and boundaries..............................................................................20 1.6 A few words about gender.......................................................................................23 1.7 “Mujeres y Fronteras:” raising awareness..............................................................26 1.8 Chapter outline........................................................................................................28 2 From Senegal to the world: inheriting a long history of (gendered) migration..........32 2.1 Introduction............................................................................................................32 2.2 Senegal....................................................................................................................33 2.2.1 The people behind the numbers.................................................................38 2.3 Gender and marriage in Senegal...........................................................................42 2.3.1 Divorce and polygamy...............................................................................45 2.4 A brief history of (male) international migrations in the 20th century...................48 2.4.1 Old migrations, new migrations: from the 1940s to 2010.........................49 2.4.2 Transnational networks and the use of ICTs..............................................52 2.4.3 Circularity and “mobile transmigration”....................................................55 2.5 The migration of Senegalese women to Spain.......................................................58 2.6 Discussion: Senegal as a country of origin, transit and destination.......................64 3 Where theory meets migrants: geopolitical approaches to borders.............................67 3.1 Introduction............................................................................................................67 3.2 The (Spanish) state and borders in the context of migration control......................69 iv  3.2.1 Theorizing the borders of the EU..............................................................73 3.2.2 Feminist geopolitics...................................................................................80 3.3 Transnationalism and international migrations......................................................84 3.3.1 Towards a working definition of migrant transnationalism.......................85 3.3.2 Transnational networks and spaces............................................................87 3.3.3 Some preliminary observations on Senegalese transnational spaces and networks worldwide............................................................................................90 3.3.4 Gendering transnationalism.......................................................................92 3.4 Practice: bringing the migrant in............................................................................94 3.4.1 Senegalese men and women in Spain: three sites, three incarnations of the same network............................................................................................97 3.4.2 Migrants in “the city of dreams”.............................................................101 3.4.3 The CETI.................................................................................................103 3.4.4 Senegal.....................................................................................................107 3.5 Discussion............................................................................................................111 4 Multi-sited research and feminist practice...................................................................114 4.1 Introduction..........................................................................................................114 4.2 Within and beyond situated knowledge and positionality....................................115 4.3 Rethinking research across difference in migration studies.................................117 4.4 Choosing multi-sited ethnography.......................................................................119 4.5 Research sites, sample, multi-sitedness................................................................121 4.6 A brief reflection on the challenges encountered.................................................125 4.7 Multi-sited ethnography: contributions to feminist research and the study of gendered migration.....................................................................................................129 4.7.1 “Here” and “there” as interdependent spaces in the geography of gendered migration............................................................................................129 4.7.2 The case of the strawberry pickers..........................................................130 4.7.3 Paulette....................................................................................................131 4.7.4 Greater opportunities towards reciprocity and participation....................134 4.7.5 The migrant as a strategic agent...............................................................138 4.8 Secondary sources: the Yearbook and the Municipal Registries..........................140 4.9 Discussion............................................................................................................143 5 Building the wall: anti-immigration strategies, 2005-2010.........................................145 5.1 Introduction...........................................................................................................145 5.2 The emergence of a border....................................................................................148 5.3 Preventive strategies (I): development aid...........................................................150 5.3.1 Criticisms of Spain’s development actions in Senegal.............................154 5.4 Preventive strategies (II): managed migration schemes.......................................156 5.4.1 Other criticisms........................................................................................161 5.5 Defensive strategies (I): the creation of a border between Senegal and Spain...........................................................................................................................164 v  5.5.1 Actors involved in the militarization of the border..................................164 5.5.2 Other non-state actors: the Red Cross......................................................168 5.5.3 Making the sea border, one operation at a time.......................................171 5.5.4 Externalization and the creation of a buffer zone for the control of land migration...............................................................................................173 5.5.5 Beyond the Spanish-Moroccan land border: surveillance of transit spaces and readmission agreements.......................................................176 5.6 Assessing the success of defensive strategies at the border..................................179 5.7 The COFLEC........................................................................................................180 5.8 Discussion.............................................................................................................183 6 Networks vs. the border..................................................................................................186 6.1 Introduction..........................................................................................................186 6.2 Airport migrants: bureaucracy as the border........................................................189 6.2.1 Air migrants (I): the tourists who never left............................................191 6.2.2 Air migrants (II): kinship-based chain migration....................................195 6.2.3 Air migrants (III): family reunification....................................................200 6.2.4 Why men hesitated to bring their wives over..........................................203 6.2.5 Encounters with the bureaucracy.............................................................208 6.2.6 Solinda.....................................................................................................210 6.2.7 Subsidiary agencies: the case of women who brought their husbands through family reunification..............................................................213 6.2.8 Air migrants (IV): the short-lived temporary worker program for strawberry pickers.............................................................................................216 6.2.9 Discussion: migration, intra-EU mobility and the role of networks........218 6.3 Sea migrants..........................................................................................................221 6.3.1 Migrating by sea before 2006...................................................................223 6.3.2 Migrating by sea after 2006.....................................................................226 6.3.3 Mamadou..................................................................................................228 6.3.4 Discussion: Before, after, and the centrality of gender............................229 6.4 The journey by land: where the border is everywhere..........................................232 6.4.1 Gender, networks, and land migration.....................................................237 6.5 Discussion: nit, nit ay garabam.............................................................................239 7 Trouble beyond the border.............................................................................................245 7.1 Introduction..........................................................................................................245 7.2 From the home to the workplace: migration, gender, and paid labour.................246 7.3 Working the margins: stereotypes and interactions with other racialized groups.........................................................................................................251 7.4 Senegalese migration in a context of economic crisis.........................................255 7.5 Evidence from the field: sectors of employment and the use of networks...........260 7.5.1 Street peddling.........................................................................................262 7.5.2 Domestic work.........................................................................................266 vi  7.5.3 Agriculture................................................................................................269 7.5.4 Hospitality................................................................................................274 7.5.5 Factory work............................................................................................278 7.5.6 Self-employment, multi-employment, and community activism.............280 7.6 Resolving the tensions of motherhood and employment: collective mothering across state and cultural boundaries...........................................................................286 7.7 Discussion............................................................................................................293 8 Conclusions......................................................................................................................300 8.1 Introduction..........................................................................................................300 8.2. Borders................................................................................................................301 8.3 Boundaries............................................................................................................310 8.4 Networks..............................................................................................................313 8.5 Limitations of this research and directions for future projects.............................320 8.5.1 Approaching the border............................................................................320 8.5.2 Research design.......................................................................................321 8.5.3 Motherhood..............................................................................................324 8.5.4 The church as a service hub.....................................................................325 8.6 Concluding thoughts............................................................................................326 Bibliography........................................................................................................................330 Appendices..........................................................................................................................361 Appendix A: life histories and interviews..................................................................361 Appendix B: maps of illegal and mixed migration flows from Africa to Europe......366 Appendix C: map showing the deaths related to the EU’s migration policies............368  vii  List of tables Table 6.1  Categories of air migrants at entry, obstacles they found and the kind, location, and resources provided by the networks they relied upon..............190  Table 6.2  Obstacles found by migrant men traveling by sea and the kind, location, and resources provided by the transnational social networks they relied upon...............................................................................................................230  Table 6.3  Obstacles found by men and women land migrants and the kind, location, and resources provided by the transnational social networks they relied upon...............................................................................................................238  Table 7.1  Respondents’ past and current sectors of employment.................................262  viii  List of figures Figure 1.1 Women doing the laundry in a courtyard in Guédiawaye, Senegal...................1 Figure 1.2 The corpse of a drawn black migrant lies on Tarifa beach under the gaze of white tourists................................................................................................9 Figure 1.3 Rapper Little Rawan poses with his two sisters..............................................24 Figure 1.4 Senegalese woman dressed for a wedding in Casamance...............................27 Figure 2.1 Woman working the fields in the Southern region of Casamance...................34 Figure 2.2 Woman selling fish at a local market...............................................................36 Figure 2.3 Young women at a school for young single mothers in Casamance................37 Figure 2.4 Girls in a Tijan Mosque in Sedhiou, Casamance.............................................40 Figure 2.5 A 17-year old mother poses with her brother and son at her father’s house in Bambey, in rural Senegal............................................................................45 Figure 2.6 Women preparing nakh (a rice-based snack) in rural Senegal.........................54 Figure 3.1 Morocco and the fence seen from Ceuta.........................................................67 Figure 3.2  A Senegalese woman poses with a group of children during a religious celebration in my first research site.................................................................98  Figure 3.3 Wall in Lavapiés with messages in some of the languages spoken in the neighbourhood...............................................................................................100 Figure 3.4 A Senegalese migrant in an illegal settlement near Tangier..........................102 Figure 3.5 Oumar and Pape watch a soccer game in their windowless bedroom...........103 Figure 3.6 African migrants attend Spanish lessons at Ceuta’s CETI............................106 Figure 3.7 Overview of the dormitory area in Ceuta’s CETI.........................................107 Figure 4.1 The author taking pictures of children to take to their relatives in Senegal...........................................................................................................118 Figure 4.2 One of the many Senegalese families who depend almost entirely on remittances from their relatives in Europe....................................................136 Figure 4.2 Promotional flyer for “Women through the Border”.....................................137 Figure 5.1 Functioning of the SIVE................................................................................167 Figure 5.2 Migrants crossing the river Senegal at the border with Mauritania...............169 Figure 5.3 Waiting at the Red Cross processing centre in Rosso Senegal......................170 Figure 5.4 The “3D cord” in the Melilla fence...............................................................176 Figure 5.5 Members of the COFLEC pose with fish processed at the organization’s facilities.........................................................................................................182 ix  Figure 6.1 A migrant’s wife waits in Dakar for her visa to join her husband in Spain..............................................................................................................202 Figure 6.2 Fishing boat in Saint Louis...........................................................................224 Figure 6.3 The fence between Ceuta and Morocco.........................................................232 Figure 7.1 Street peddlers in my first research site........................................................266 Figure 7.2 Street peddlers in my first research site........................................................266 Figure 7.3 The “sea of plastic” in Eastern Andalusia......................................................269 Figure 7.4 A woman working in a greenhouse in southern Spain..................................270 Figure 7.5 A Senegalese migrant with her children........................................................286 Figure 8.1 A group of immigrants and their instructor pose during a Spanish class at a public school in southern Spain..............................................................311 Figure 8.2 Men pray during a TIjan wedding in Sedhiou, Senegal................................316 Figure 8.3 Mame Fatou doing the laundry with baby Awa on her back.........................329  x  List of acronyms ACP: African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States. AECID: Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional al Desarrollo, Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development. AI: Amnesty International (INGO). CEAR: Comisión Española de Ayuda al Refugiado, Spanish Commission for Refugee Assistance. CETI: Centro de Estancia Temporal de Inmigrantes, Spanish Government Centre for the Temporary Stay of Migrants. CFA franc: currency used in West African states (Communauté Financière Africaine or African Financial Community). CIMADE: French NGO for the protection of undocumented immigrants. CIE: Centro de Internamiento de Extranjeros, Spanish Government Centre for the Internment of Foreigners. CIS: Centro de Investigaciones sociológicas, Spanish Institute for Sociological Research. CTA: Clandestine Transnational Actor. EC: European Commission. ECOWAS EDF: European Development Fund. EU: European Union. EUROSUR: European External Border Surveillance System. FAO: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. FORPEX (programme): Spanish initiative for the professional training, selection, and hiring of Senegalese maritime workers. FRONTEX: (from its name in French, Frontières Exterieures) is the European agency for the management of operational cooperation at the external borders of the EU. The agency was created in 2004 and became operational in 2005. HERA (operation): FRONTEX-led operation to curb illegal migration from West Africa to the Canary Islands (2006-2010). HRW: Human Rights Watch (INGO). ICT: Information and Communication Technology. IGO: Intergovernmental Organization. ILO: International Labour Organization. xi  INDALO (operation): Frontex-led operation to curb illegal migration flows from North Africa to Spain (2007-2010). INE: Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Spanish statistics institute. INEM: Instituto Nacional de Empleo, Spanish government employment office. INGO: International Non-Governmental Organization. IOM: International Organization for Migration. MAEC: Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y Cooperación, Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. MEYSS: Ministerio de Empleo y Seguridad Social, Spanish Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs (2011-present). MSF: Médecins Sans Frontières, Doctors Without Borders (INGO). MTAS: Ministerio de Trabajo y Asuntos Sociales, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (1996-2008). MTIN: Ministerio de Trabajo e Inmigración, Spanish Ministry of Labour and Immigration (2008-2011). NGO: Non-Governmental Organization. RC: Red Cross (international humanitarian movement). REVA plan: Retour Vers l’Agriculture, an initiative spearheaded by former President Abdoulaye Wade in 2006 to promote the return of the country’s workforce to the agricultural sector. SEAHORSE: EU-funded project to control the external borders of the Union through the sharing of information among partners using satellite technology. The partners are Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Mauritania, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde and Senegal. SIVE: Sistema Integrado de Vigilancia Exterior, Spanish Integrated System of External Border Surveillance. SIS: Schengen Information System, database used by most EU member states to share information about individuals and objects of interest within the Schengen space. ULYSSES (operation): first multinational EU border control operation in the Mediterranean. UNODC: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. UNPD: United Nations Development Programme. USAID: United States Agency for International Development. VIS: Visa Information System, a database containing information on visa applications by non-EU citizens.  xii  List of graphs Graph 1.1  Percentage of people who believe immigration is one of the three main problems that Spain faces (2001-2011).........................................................12  Graph 1.2  Size of the Senegalese population in Spain by gender according to the Yearbook and the Padrón, 2001-2011...........................................................14  Graph 2.1  Growth of the Senegalese population in Spain by sex (2001-2011).............58  Graph 5.1  Spain’s multifaceted strategy to stop unwanted migration from Senegal........................................................................................................148  Graph 5.2  Undocumented sea migrants detained in Spain by place of detention between 2001 and 2010..............................................................................172  Graph 6.1  Summary of findings on the relationship between gender, networks, and routes in participants’ migration experiences..............................................241  Graph 7.1  Number of Senegalese migrants with a valid contract and total legal Senegalese population in Spain between 2001 and 2009...........................256  Graph 7.2  Sectors of occupation of the total immigrant population and the Senegalese immigrant population in Spain in 2009....................................257  Graph 7.3  Sectors of occupation for the total male immigrant population and the Senegalese immigrant male population in Spain in 2009..........................259  Graph 7.4  Sectors of occupation for the total female immigrant population and the Senegalese female immigrant population in Spain in 2009........................259  xiii  List of maps Map 2.1  Regions of Senegal.........................................................................................33  Map 2.2  Distribution of the Senegalese population in Spain........................................59  Map 3.3  Spanish and Moroccan territories around the Strait of Gibraltar..................104  Map 4.1  Research sites in Senegal.............................................................................124  Map 5.1  Expansion of the SIVE from 2002 to 2010..................................................166  xiv  Acknowledgements With little gestures and sweeping acts of generosity, many individuals and institutions have made this project possible. My first debt is towards my family, both old and new, who have supported me during the high and low moments of this journey. Throughout the last seven years, my MA and PhD co-supervisors Dan Hiebert and David Ley have been my mentors and guides, becoming models to follow in both the professional and the personal. To them I owe my deepest gratitude. Thank you. Generous financial support made the ambitious fieldwork that is the foundation of this thesis possible. This support came from the Vanier Canada Graduate scholarships program (Government of Canada), the Settling into Motion PhD scholarship program (ZEIT foundation, Germany), the Plan Nacional I+D+I (Ministry of Education and Culture, Spain), and UBC’s Faculty of Graduate Studies. Other, smaller awards from the Association of American Geographers helped me pay for equipment and validated my efforts during times of self-doubt. Without this support, I would not have been an able to produce this work. Other scholars and friends provided invaluable encouragement and feedback along the way. In Canada, my work benefitted enormously from the input of other graduate students in the Department of Geography at UBC. I am particularly thankful to Alex Aylett, Sarah Zell, Pablo Mendez, Kathryn Furlong, and Ted Rutland for their friendship and suggestions. I learned much working as a research assistant for Gregory Feldman during the preparation of his book The migration apparatus. Finally, Merje Kuus (UBC) and Jennifer Hyndman (University of Toronto) have contributed to making this a much better piece of work with their insights in the last round of revisions. The group of researchers and PhD students that I met through the ZEIT Foundation had a definite impact on this piece of work. I am particularly thankful to Michael Wertz, Thomas Faist and Steve Vertovec for their comments. Onur Suzan Kömürcü and Sanjeev Routray gave me a slap on the wrist at just the right time before I headed to the first stage of my fieldwork in Senegal and saved me many an embarrassment. Dror Kochan, Anna Boucher, and Hamutal Bernstein also contributed to making my time as a PhD student much more interesting during our meetings in Tangiers, Malaga, Munich, Berlin, and Bavaria, as well as through email. Former colleagues made me feel at home again at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid after many years away, making room for me in their research projects and plans. Fernando García Selgas, Carmen Romero, Antonio García and, particularly, María D. Lois have been incredibly generous with their time and energy. Juan Mata and Javier García Castaño (Universidad de Granada) were also key in the success of my project in Spain. With their xv  connections within the government, Javier Ruiz Medina and Carlos Hidalgo Parra opened the doors of the Ministry of Immigration and Labour (and through them of other official institutions both in Spain and Senegal), and for that I am very grateful. Other individuals who helped me along the way were Augustin Ndour (Asociación Española de Senegaleses Católicos), Spitou Mendy (Sindicato de Obreros del Campo, El Ejido), Thioro Diagne (Comisiones Obreras, Almería), Pilar Tassara (Biblioteca de Andalucía), and Valeriano Hoyos (CETI, Ceuta). In Senegal, researcher Giulia Sinatti introduced me to Professor Papa Demba Fall (Université Cheikh Anta Diop) and through other connections I met Aly Tandian (Université de Saint Louis); both agreed to share their knowledge, time, and offices with me, making my research a much more pleasant experience. Also in Senegal I met Javier Acebal, fantastic photographer, adventurer extraordinaire, and exceptional human being. He introduced me to the Sane-Sow family. From them I learnt much about friendship, integrity, and direction. In Montreal, Annick Germain (INRS), Denise Helly (INRS), François Crépeau (McGill Faculty of Law), and Marie Lacroix (Université de Montréal) helped me get my bearings as a newcomer to the city. To Denise I owe many moments of inspiration in her office, which she graciously shared with me while I wrote the last chapters of this dissertation. Other people were crucial in shaping this research and the pages that follow. They were the migrants, both men and women, that I encountered in Spain, Senegal, and Morocco; as well as their families, friends, and neighbours. I was humbled by their generosity and their strength. Finally, I am forever grateful to Alex for his love, patience, and inspiration. And to Inara, who made my life more complex and complete than I could have ever imagined. You two are my light.  xvi  To Mohamed and Inara, our future.  xvii  In Africa, I followed the trail of fate, made of chance and infinite hope. In Europe, I walk through the long tunnel of performance that leads to welldefined goals. Here, by coincidence, each step takes me to a given result; hope is measured in terms of the fight involved. (...) And so, beneath grey clouds or an unexpected sun, I move forward under this sky of Europe counting my steps and the few metres of dreams achieved. But how many kilometres, how many days of labour, of sleepless nights remain between me and a hypothetical success that, nonetheless, was immediately taken for granted by my people, from the instant when I announced my departure for France? I move forward, my feet heavy with their dreams, my head full of my own. I move forward, not knowing my destination. I do not know upon which pole one hoists the flag of victory; I do not know either which waters could possibly wash away the insult of failure. (Fatou Diome, Le Ventre de L’Atlantique, my translation)  xviii  1 Introduction  Figure 1.1: Women doing the laundry in a courtyard in Guédiawaye, Senegal. Photograph by Javier Acebal (2009), reproduced with permission from the author.  1.1 Introduction At its heart, this dissertation is an exploration of the realities that a unique group of migrants faced during an exceptional period in Spain’s history. I analyze the migratory journeys of 50 Senegalese men and women through their own voices and through the narratives of those who, in different ways, helped shape their migration experience. I simultaneously tell their personal stories and the larger story of Spain’s own struggle as it became (for the first time in recent history) a country of immigration. I pay special attention to the migration of Senegalese women migrants between 2000 and 2010. As Senegalese citizens, these women were members of a larger black African migrant population – a group that became a lightening rod for populist anti-immigrant sentiment and the focus of toughening European Union (EU) border control policies. As women, however, they were also a minority within this larger migrant body, and their experiences provide both a variety of exceptional cases and insights into the more common understanding of the contested movement of Africans to the EU. 1  The current global economic crisis has brought Spain’s short-lived status as one of the top global destinations for immigrants to an end for the foreseeable future. Nonetheless, by looking at the phenomenon of Senegalese migration to Spain in the early 21st century I hope to have accomplished three objectives and learnt a number of lessons that could be extrapolated to other places and time periods. First, I shall provide ample evidence to show that gender is, as others before me have argued, an articulating factor of migration (Mahler and Pessar 2006, Lutz 2010). It is not that women deserve a separate section in migration studies, but that migrants’ lives (and everyone else’s) are fundamentally shaped by their gender. At birth, we are defined as men or women based on our biological sex and, from then on, culturally specific social roles and expectations are imposed upon us. The force of gender binaries (the classification of masculinity and feminity as disconnected, oppositional categories) in the migratory experience of participants will become apparent in this dissertation: gender determined the conditions of possibility for the migration of participants, the way they were seen by the states involved, their access to a thick transnational social network, and the resources that were available to them within that network. This study pays attention to the experience of both men and women, and teases out their journeys to illuminate how gender determined a variety of key moments in their migration.  Second, I shall argue that Fortress Europe (and any other territorial entity that hopes to protect itself against unwanted migration by the sealing of its borders) is an impossibility, particularly when policymakers devise border policies based on electoral calculus and not on empirical evidence (de Haas 2008). For those who were familiar with experiences of border militarization for the purposes of migration control elsewhere in the world, it was clear from the get-go that the new high tech Spanish - North West African border was a misguided effort. It was also obvious for many (including highly-positioned ILO and IOM officers who were part of the negotiations) that secretive preferential migration agreements reached by Spain and Senegal between 2006 and 2008 were poorly designed. This is not to 2  say that the militarization of the border and other initiatives have not had an impact on human mobility: these measures have contributed to a dramatic decrease of human mobility across the Southern EU border (although some have argued that the economic crisis has been a more important factor, see for example FRONTEX 2009a and IOM 2010). However, border crossings have continued. Under the new circumstances, smuggling and trafficking have become a more profitable business than they used to be prior to the year 2000, and migrants’ vulnerability has increased dramatically both due to the longer and riskier routes they follow and the professionalization and smuggling in the region (Carter and Merrill 2007, Collyer 2007, UNODC 2011, Women’s Link Worldwide 2011). Given that the EU continues to invest vast resources to seal its borders against unwanted migration, it is necessary to consider the achievements and failures of this approach.  Third, in this dissertation I shall propose that in order to study migrant transnationalism we, researchers, need to become transnational ourselves. The next few hundred pages draw primarily from evidence gathered in spaces of origin, transit, and destination of migrants. I started in Spain, went back to the African villages and cities that participants came from and to the zones that many of them had crossed during their migration, and interviewed a number of people who had in different ways shaped respondents’ journeys. Connecting these different people and spaces was challenging, but I believe it gave me a broader and deeper understanding Senegalese migrants’ journeys. Thus, I hope to have proven that multi-sitedness is a necessity in the study of transnationalism. More broadly speaking, it is also a desirable approach throughout the field of migration studies.  In the rest of this introductory chapter I shall provide a more detailed overview of the structure of this dissertation. I also provide brief definitions of key concepts that I have used as the foundation of my analysis, introduce the main theoretical discussions that I engage with, and discuss a public outreach project that grew out of my desire to ensure that the work contained in these pages also penetrated into broader popular perspectives on migration that were current in the media during the period of my study. To begin, however, I 3  would like to help orient the reader through two vignettes that give some sense of the turbulent and rapidly changing socio-political and economic context within which Spain’s recent approach to immigration needs to be understood.  1.2 From March 11 to May 15: a roadmap Two events stand as bookends of the research that I discuss in this dissertation. The first took place in Spain in 2004. That year, in March 11 (11M) – three days before the general elections – 191 people were killed and 1,800 more were wounded in an terrorist attack orchestrated by an Al-Qaeda-inspired group of North African immigrants. Initial controversy over the authorship of the bombings, together with suspicions that the government was hiding important evidence for electoral purposes,1 had an unmistakable impact on the electoral results: the incumbent conservative party lost despite their lead in previous polls, and the Socialist opposition won 164 of the 208 seats in Parliament. The new government, led by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, was in power until the Fall of 2011. This government set the legal and policy framework that most of my respondents encountered when they migrated to Spain. They also legislated the 2005 amnesty that helped many of them leave the shadows to join the body of the nation as recognized residents and visible members of the country’s workforce; created the short-lived Ministry of Labour and Immigration (2008-2011); and transformed the state institutions that managed migration at the time, including the National Police, the Guardia Civil, and Spain’s role in FRONTEX.2  The other framing event took place in 2011. It also involved large demonstrations organized by a social movement that drew inspiration from the Arab Spring. The 15M (May 15) or  1  Initially, it was believed that the Basque terrorist group ETA was responsible for the bombings. The President of the Government, José María Aznar, released a statement shortly after the events where he proposed this possibility. It was only two days later (and one day before the general elections) that this hypothesis was proven false, after both ETA denied its responsibility in the attacks and the involvement of radical Islamist individuals as perpetrators became irrefutable. It was then argued that the ETA-authorship thesis strengthened the Conservative party in the elections, while an Al-Qaeda-orchestrated bombing would, as it happened, benefit the Socialist Party. 2  The European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union. 4  Indignados (“Outraged”) was a loosely organized social movement that brought together a variety of groups asking for a radical transformation of Spanish politics. Their frustration was triggered by a dramatic worsening of living conditions in the country, skyrocketing unemployment rates, widespread corruption of the political class, and the government’s inability to protect the population from the impact of the global economic crisis. At first, the movement was framed as the enterprise of a few marginal urban tribes – notably the perroflautas or “crusty hippies” without a stable residence, the kind of person likely to busk in public spaces with a dog (perro) and a recorder (flauta). But soon other citizens joined, among them retirees who saw their income, both net and real, decrease to poverty levels (the yayoflautas, “grandparents with a recorder” to point to their affinity to the previous group); middle-class citizens disappointed with the behaviour of the country’s political elite; large segments of Spain’s hyper-qualified youth, disheartened with Spain’s plummeting investment in research and development and diminishing chances to find a job suited to their training; the parents of this new class of unwilling international migrants, young and over-prepared, who were leaving Spain by the thousands; and immigrants, who saw their hard-won dream of achieving economic success vanish before their very eyes.  The 15M was a catalyst for collective dissatisfaction: demands for change had been brewing for quite some time. Municipal elections were held a week after the demonstrations began, on May 22. New parties at both ends of the political spectrum (notably on the far-right) ran for the first time for these elections, and several popular campaigns encouraged citizens to abstain from voting or cast invalid or blank ballots. Although the Outraged movement hoped to trigger radical changes, the results merely sanctioned disillusionment with the governing socialist party. The progressive vote was too fragmented (or non-existent) in most municipalities to swing local governments to the left, and the right won in the majority of the ridings. These results were a taste of the shift that arrived a few months later, in November 20, 2011. That day – which was, not coincidentally, the anniversary of the death of the two main political figures of 20th century Spanish fascism, Primo de Rivera and Francisco Franco – the Conservative Party won 43.4% of the seats in Parliament. Less than 5  a month later, the newly elected President of the Spanish government eliminated the Ministry of Labour and Immigration.  These two events mark the beginning and the end of my study, but also the beginning and the end of an era of immigration in Spain. For most of its history, the net migration balance in the country was negative. In other words, each year between the 16th century and the 1980s the number of Spanish citizens leaving the country was larger than the number of foreigners who settled within its territorial borders (Vives 2007). The balance began to shift in the late 1980s, shortly after Spain joined the EU. Between 1981 and 2001 the percentage of foreigners grew steadily from 0.5% to 3.3%; by 2004, immigrants were 7% of the population (INE 1981 - 2001). In absolute numbers the total foreign population increased from 198,042 to 3,034,326 in 23 years. The figure for immigrants living in Spain with a residence permit was much lower (1,977,291, MTAS 2005). This gap between the legal and the actual foreign population has been a constant trait of the Spanish experience throughout the last two and a half decades. The largest groups of foreigners by nationality the year the Madrid bombings happened were Moroccans (19.5% of the foreign population), Ecuadorians (11.2%), and Colombians (6.9%).  Fast-forward to 2009, when I conducted the bulk of my fieldwork: that year 12% of the population in Spain were immigrants (5,598,691, INE 2009). Once again, the figure of legal foreign residents was significantly lower: 4,791,232, or 10.2% of the overall population (MTIN 2010). Moroccans were still the largest group (16%), but Romanians followed closely (15.7%) and both the Ecuadorian (9.2%) and the Colombian population (6%) had lost relative weight. The profile of the foreign-born had also changed, becoming more diverse, with more groups of 100,000 members or more. Immigrants not only came from more places, but they also went to more places: in 2009 it became obvious that Spain’s age as a top global destination for international migrants was coming to an end, as both the native-born and the foreign-born left the country in search for greener pastures. In 2011, for the first time since the 1980s, more people left the country than immigrants arrived. 6  According to official statistics, 90% of the 580,850 people who left that year were foreigners (Pérez de Pablos, 2011; Nogueira, 2011).  1.3 The migrant-on-the-beach approach to migration and border policy (2004-2009) Under Zapatero’s leadership, Spain became a top-ten world destination for international migrants and joined a global movement towards a new style of migration management, characterized by tough, militarized borders and the attempt to encourage circular migration. Senegal was a crucial actor in both processes. Citizens from this Western African country started arriving in large numbers after the turn of the century and soon became the largest nationality of black immigrants in Spain. At the same time, West Africa became a site for experimentation with a new kind of territorial border aimed at controlling unwanted human mobility. Policy makers expected to achieve this mainly through the deployment of new technologies of migration control, militarization of spaces of transit, development aid, and bilateral trade and migration agreements. Many of these strategies had already been used at a much smaller scale at the border with Morocco. They were applied in West Africa primarily between 2004 and 2008, when Spain’s efforts to deter illegal border crossings were enlisted (and supported) as part of the EU’s broader attempt to seal its external border. Moreover, during this period the President of the Senegalese republic, Aboulaye Wade, proved to be the perfect ally to realize Spain’s migration and border management plans in Senegal.  One picture summarizes national perceptions on immigration from Africa to Spain and public discourses used to justify these new developments. It was taken in 2000, years before most of my participants and their relatives arrived in Spain. With this image, Spanish photographer and Pulitzer Prize winner Javier Bauluz 3 pioneered a new genre that coloured every discussion on black African migration in the country during the first decade of the 3  Bauluz received the Pulitzer Prize in 1995 for feature photography for his coverage of the Rwandan genocide. 7  21st century, from the coffee shop to the national Parliament: dead migrant voyeurism. Bauluz took the photograph on the Spanish beach of Tarifa (see Figure 1.2, below). Only 15 kilometres separate this beach from North Africa, a reason why many migrants have chosen this route to access Spain by boat since the 1980s.  An unknown number of migrants have disappeared while attempting the sea journey from North Africa to Spain (some estimate the number at around 1,300 between 2000 and 2008) (CARIM 2009). On the one hand, strong winds and marine currents in the Strait of Gibraltar make this crossing dangerous – particularly if the vessel used is not fit for these conditions, which is usually the case for undocumented boat migrants. On the other, surveillance of the narrow passage that separates Africa and Europe in and around this area has increased dramatically since the year 2000, forcing migrants to travel at night and under adverse conditions and increasing the risk of shipwreck.  Maybe because of heavy seas or an unreliable vessel (we will never know), one early morning a corpse appeared on the tourist beach of Tarifa. Police were called. A small group of photographers arrived first, though, to document the bizarre moment when the first beach-goers claimed their spots on the golden sand before the corpse was removed. Bauluz, one of these photographers, captured the situation with shocking bluntness. In the image we see a young white couple under a flowered umbrella. They have brought a cooler to the beach and have three beer cans nearby them. The couple’s eyes are turned to a lump that lies a few metres away from them, close to the end of the beaches in the intertidal zone where the waves have pushed it. The lump is the body of a black man in a pair of light blue jeans and a yellow t-shirt; his feet are bare and his face is flush against the sand. He died (like thousands of others) while trying to reach Europe crossing the Strait of Gibraltar. Statistically speaking, this dead migrant was probably born in Senegal.  Bauluz’s picture did not need words to transmit the chasms and tensions between the two universes its actors embodied: that of the tourist and the undocumented migrant; the wealth 8  of Europe and the poverty of Africa; the white citizen of the Western world and the black foreigner from a South riddled by corruption and poverty; a country (and a Europe) that wanted to seal its borders against unwanted (racialized) migration and a people whose main hope was to reach Europe to get their share of her prosperity. Because of its shock value and apparent simplicity, this picture and the similar ones that followed had a deep impact on the heated immigration debate in Spain. This debate would last a decade, until the economic crisis brought the mirage of Europe as the land of endless wealth to an end.  Figure 1.2: The corpse of a drawn black migrant lies on Tarifa beach under the gaze of white tourists. Photograph by Javier Bauluz (2000), reproduced with permission from the author.  When it came to illegal migration of black Africans to Spain, several lines of argument regularly met in public fora. I call these lines of argument “discourses” because they were systems of thought that described and constituted the reality they talked about; in this case, they provided a meaningful context to interpret the meaning of black African migration to Spain and their impact on the socio-economic life of the country.4 To be sure, these discourses were ideologically charged – they had a transformative goal – based upon religious, civilizational, and racially informed world views. To a great extent, these geographical imaginations were based on the opposition between the EU and black Africa  4  This definition of the term discourse is based on the work of Foucault, particularly on his book The archaeology of knowledge (1972). 9  as inside and outside, rich and poor, progress and regress, Christianity and Islam, white and black, legitimate citizen and definite outsider.  There is a subtle yet important difference between the way undocumented migrants (in particular, boat migrants) have been constructed in Spanish and Canadian media and policy accounts. In Canada, boat migrants arriving in the 1990s and 2000s were seen as “bogus refugees” – greedy queue jumpers whose motives to migrate were not political but economic, and who attempted to take advantage of the protection Canada offers to legitimate refugees by posing as such (Mountz 2010). In Spain boat migrants were never equated with political refugees, perhaps because that is a figure with virtually no currency (and very little legal recognition) in the country. As a group, black African migrants in the media and in political discourse were constructed as poor and needy; with legitimate reasons to leave their homeland, but without a genuine claim to be in the country. From this point of departure three main lines of argument came into conflict as to how Spaniards as a people – and Spain as a sovereign state – should manage the presence of a population perceived to be racially distinct, unprepared to meet the demands of the local labour market, and impossible to assimilate culturally and religiously into the existing social fabric of the country. These discourses created the conditions of possibility for the migration and settlement of black African migrants as well as for the legislation regulating it.  First, the “humanitarian discourse” drew from two main sources (human rights and Catholic compassion) to demand that both political institutions and individual citizens lend a hand to the migrant who, in his desperation, was willing to sacrifice his life in search of a better life. The migrant in this discourse became a helpless victim from an underdeveloped continent where political and economic systems were dysfunctional. The viewer (who was also the main agent) had the power to welcome the stranger in the symbolic home (the nation) and lead him in the way towards becoming a new and more fitting person in the contemporary world. In this sense, there was a civilizational component to this argument.  10  Some proponents of the welcoming approach put less emphasis on religion, pointing instead towards an international legal human rights framework and Spain’s international commitments for the protection of migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees. There were nevertheless more encounters than disagreements within the different groups that defended this solidarity-based approach, including the Catholic Church (and its various proimmigrant and front-line service provider organizations in the country) and civil society groups. We will see how this discourse trickled down to individual citizens’ rapport with some of the respondents upon their settlement in the country (for example, in my discussion on cross-cultural motherhood in Chapter 7). Proponents of the humanitarian approach became a powerful voice that publicly challenged discriminatory public policies and government-based anti-immigration initiatives at the border, in spaces of transit (mainly Morocco) and Spain.  A second line of argument was the dominant exclusionary discourse. Between 2005 and 2011 the anti-immigrant sentiment had been articulated into the electoral platforms of several centre-right and far-right political parties. According to this discourse, there were too many foreigners (especially undocumented migrants) taking advantage of privileges and public services that should be reserved for the native-born. Moreover, defendants of this approach argued that migrants were responsible for the perceived increase of criminality; and that racial, religious, linguistic, and cultural diversity were a threat to the survival of Spanish society and culture.5 Black migrants, Muslim foreigners, and Eastern European Roma were favourite targets for those who defended this point of view. The solution that they proposed included sealing the border and giving chase to illegal migrants in the national territory. As for those already settled and with residence permits, the postures varied depending on the radicalization of the discourse.  5  For a detailed discussion of some of these premises in citizens’ perception of international migration, see for example Cea D’Ancona and Valles Martínez 2008. 11  Graph 1.1: Percentage of people who believe immigration is one of the three main problems that Spain faces (2001-2011). Source: CIS, Barómetros.  Anti-immigration was not a marginal feeling in Spain at the time of my study. In May of 1995 (with less than half a million foreigners living in Spain) 32% of Spaniards believed that the number of immigrants in the country was “excessive.” Ten years later, soon after a major border crisis when hundreds of black African migrants jumped over the land fences that separate the Spanish territories of Ceuta and Melilla from Morocco, the number had increased to 60% (Cea D’Ancona and Valles Martínez 2008). By 2007, over two thirds of the population (68.7%) expressed this opinion. When asked if they trusted any specific group, Spaniards tended to point to Latin Americans (31.5%) and black Africans (12%). Two groups were identified as particularly non-trustworthy: immigrants from Maghreb (18.9%) and Romanians (29.3%) (CIS 2007).6 These numbers are only a breakdown of a marked tendency observed in all surveys conducted by the Spanish Centre for Sociological Research (Centro de Investigaciones Sociolgógicas or CIS): starting in 2004, immigration became a main concern for Spaniards. To give one more example, the percentage of citizens who identified this phenomenon as one of the three main problems that the country faced  6  These were the two groups with over 10% of positive responses. The categories were non-exclusive (there was one for Latin Americans plus four others for specific nationality groups from the region) and some of the labels used non-standard terms such as “Moors” and “Blacks.” 12  grew from under 10% to almost 60% between 2004 and 2007 (see Graph 1.1). This was precisely the period when the largest growth of the Senegalese immigrant population occurred.  This context was, of course, fertile ground for parties in the far right of the political spectrum. A proponent of an extreme version of the exclusionary discourse was the nationalist group Plataforma per Catalunya. The party’s political platform is, to this day, articulated around a frontal rejection of Muslim immigration, which they consider a threat to democratic values; zero tolerance of terrorism and crime, which they trace directly to migrants from certain parts of the world; and a return to traditional family values. The number of representatives from Plataforma per Catalunya in the region’s municipal governments increased by almost 400% between 2007 and 2011, from 17 to 67.  A more normalized but also exclusionary discourse came from Spanish mainstream political parties in the centre-left and centre-right – the governing party and the official opposition during this time period. Proponents of the “crisis approach” argued that exceptional measures were needed to respond to the exceptional circumstances the country was immersed in. Defendants pushed for the creation of new and tougher legislation to protect the country against illegal migration; the militarization of the border; increased cooperation with a variety of governments, agencies, and institutions to improve the management of migration; and the creation of novel migration programs based on the experiences of countries like Canada (e.g. the point system for skilled workers). The official discourse nominally situated itself between the humanitarian and the exclusionary arguments insofar as its defendants (including those in charge of the immigration departments and Ministry) wanted to seal Spain against unwanted migration while conforming to international agreements in the area of human rights and refugee protection. Despite its nominal moderation, the leanings of this discourse towards exclusion became evident in many of the government’s initiatives in and beyond West Africa. Some examples include the militarization of the sea border through cooperation with FRONTEX and with governments 13  in countries of origin and transit of migrants in Africa; the extension of the SIVE, a system for the detection and detention of migrants attempting to cross the borders illegally; the reconfiguration of the two main national security forces; the cancellation of a number of visa waiver programs with Latin American countries; and the international development programs in West Africa between 2005 and 2010. All these initiatives worked on the assumption that there were too many migrants in Spain and the number of new arrivals had to be curbed or, in some cases, stopped.  1.4 Research questions and goals The arrival of Senegalese migrants, both men and (to a much lesser extent) women happened in a context shaped by solidarity-based, exclusionary, and official discourses: one welcomed them, another demonized them, and the last one tried to keep them out. These migrants arrived by plane as tourists, temporary workers, and relatives of migrants already settled in the country; or by land and sea as undocumented migrants. Most of them lacked status at one point or another during their stay in Spain.  Graph 1.2: Size of the Senegalese population in Spain by gender according to the Yearbooks (“YB”) and the Padrón (“P”), 2001-2011. Sources: Ministerio del Interior (2003, 2003), MTAS (2004, 2005, 2006), MTIN (2008a, 2008b, 2009, 2010), MEYSS (2012), INE (2001-2011). 14  Graph 1.2 summarizes the gap between legal Senegalese residents (“Senegalese Men (YB)” and Senegalese Women (YB)”) and registered inhabitants of Spanish municipalities regardless of their status in the country (“Senegalese Men (P)” and “Senegalese Women (P)”) between 2001 and 2011. Although I will discuss these data in Chapter 7, here I want to highlight the growing disparity between the number of legal and de facto residents in this group, as well as the larger incidence of undocumented status among Senegalese men. The unavoidable conclusion is that Senegalese migrants kept arriving despite the legislation, policies, and programs that tried to prevent them from reaching Spanish territory. In this context, the main question that I address in this dissertation is: how did Senegalese men and women migrate to Spain in a context of increasing barriers to their movement? More specifically, the research questions that I address in the next pages explore three main topics: border(s), strategies used by migrants to overcome them, and the role that social networks played in these strategies. I approach these general areas of interest with a specific focus on gender relations, and ask:  •  What is the genealogy of the Spanish - Senegalese border for the purposes of migration control? How has this border evolved to repel unwanted migrants from the region, and how is it gendered (or not)?  •  What are the obstacles and barriers encountered by Senegalese migrant men and women in their migration to Spain? Which of these have to do with the state border, and which do not (e.g., obstacles resulting from gendered collective constructions of the migrant)? How are these obstacles gendered?  •  What kinds of social networks have been deployed by Senegalese migrants in Spain to migrate and settle in the country? How is gender, along with other axes of social differentiation such as ethnicity, religion, and place of settlement in Spain, relevant to understanding the ways these networks function and the kinds of services they provide? 15  To answer these questions, I conducted one year of multi-sited ethnographic work in Spain, Senegal, and to a lesser extent Morocco. The details of my epistemological and methodological approach are discussed in detail in Chapter 4.  1.5 Introduction to key concepts and theoretical framework In this dissertation I rely on a series of key concepts and engage in a conversation with existing theoretical traditions and discussions. Chapter 3 is devoted to a detailed account of my theoretical framework, but as a way of introduction here I will briefly elaborate on the concepts of migrant transnationalism and state border as I have used them in my analysis.  1.5.1 Migrant transnationalism Throughout the following chapters I use the concept “migrant” to mean a person who lives in a country other than that in which she or he was born. My respondents were individuals who were born in different parts of Senegal and lived, legally or otherwise, in Spanish territory. Many of them were secondary migrants: migrants who had initially arrived from Senegal to another EU country and had then moved onward to Spain in search of better job opportunities, a legal status, or following other members of their family. Most were economic migrants who had accessed the Schengen space7 as tourists or visitors with a travel document that allowed them to enter and stay in the country for a limited number of days, but did not give them the right to either work or settle. They had subsequently overstayed their visas, becoming undocumented migrants. Others were wives, daughters, and husbands of Senegalese citizens already settled in Spain who had benefitted from family reunification legislation. Those in this group arrived with a relatively comfortable safety net (strict laws ensured this was the case) but also encountered some difficulties upon arrival, mainly when entering the Spanish labour market. A third group were workers recruited in Senegal to participate in the agricultural harvest as a temporary workforce, and 7  The Schengen space or area includes the territory of the 26 European countries that have ratified the Schengen Agreement. Controls for the movement of people within this space no longer exist, except in exceptional circumstances. 16  who had decided to abandon their positions and join the undocumented population in large numbers. Finally, there were the boat and land migrants who had arrived in Spain crossing the border illegally.  I focus on economic migration and not on asylum seekers and refugees because these two groups did not exist in my sample. The only participant who at one point had sought refugee status (in Switzerland, before migrating to Spain) acknowledged that her application was a strategy to buy up some time while she explored the options she had to remain in Europe. The reasons why I did not encounter Senegalese asylum seekers or refugees may be a result of the difficulties the Spanish government puts in the way of migrants who pursue a protected status in the country. The Spanish Commission for Refugees (CEAR, Comisión Española de Ayuda al Refugiado) talks about a crisis of asylum in Spain: in 2008, only 5.34% of the accepted applications for refugees were given status (151 people). An additional 126 individuals received protection on humanitarian grounds (CEAR 2009). But there may be another reason that I have not sought to tease out in this dissertation: there are readmission agreements in place between Spain and Senegal. I saw the implications of this while looking for Senegalese respondents in the Centre for the Temporary Stay of Immigrants (CETI) in Ceuta. Everyone (including the director) knew there were Senegalese citizens in the centre and I could hear Wolof and other Senegalese languages being spoken in the common areas, but there was only one person registered with this nationality (a minor). The staff believed that Senegalese migrants tried to increase their chances of being accepted into Spain as refugees by pretending to be nationals from countries with ongoing conflict and no readmission agreements, like Nigeria. The strategies adopted by boat and land migrants interviewed for this study point in this direction.  The migrants I worked with participated in social, religious, cultural, economic, and political communities and spaces rooted in different national contexts; this made them transnational migrants. Participants were members of thick and pre-existing transnational social networks: “sets of interpersonal ties that connect migrants, former migrants, and non 17  migrants in origin and destination areas through ties of kinship, friendship, and shared community origin” (Massey et al. 1993, 448). The evidence I collected suggests that most Senegalese who migrated to Spain between 2000 and 2010 deployed networks that were well-established in Senegal, Spain, France, Italy, and (in some cases) Portugal. The deeply transnational nature of worldwide Senegalese migrations is a phenomenon observed by researchers in Spain and elsewhere (in the case of Italy see Riccio 2001a, 2001b, 2008; Sinatti 2006, 2008, 2010a; in the case of Spain see Rosander 2001, Moreno Maestro 2005, 2006 and 2008, Suarez-Navaz 2004, Vázquez Silva 2010; in the case of France see Bava 2002 and 2003 and Coulibaly-Tandian 2008, among many others).  As a result, this dissertation fits squarely within the growing field of transnational studies. At the heart of it is an effort to further the study of a phenomenon that has captured the imagination of a multi-disciplinary crowd. Of the vast existing literature, I have drawn primarily from the theoretical contributions of anthropologist Steve Vertovec (2003, 2009), and sociologists Peggy Levitt (2009, 2010 and 2011; see also Levitt and Jaworsky 2007) and Thomas Faist (2000, 2009). This dissertation is also in conversation with the work of geographers that brings together theory and empirical evidence on migrant transnationalism. Particularly influential have been the works of David Ley (2004, 2005 and 2008; see also Hiebert and Ley 2006), Gerry Pratt and Brenda Yeoh (2003), and Margaret Walton-Roberts (2004).  The vast majority of the West African citizens who migrated to the EU since the turn of the 21st century did so with a proper travel document. However, illegal border crossings have triggered public anxiety and resulted in stringent immigration measure. Because of the existing tensions between illegal Senegalese migrants’ objectives and those of the Spanish state and the EU, and due to the transnational nature of this particular group, the term Clandestine Transnational Actors (CTA) is particularly useful for this study. According to the author who coined the term, Peter Andreas, CTAs are:  18  nonstate actors who operate across national borders in violation of state laws and who attempt to evade law enforcement efforts. CTAs are as dramatically varied as their motives. (...) They may be highly organized or disorganized and operate regionally or globally. Nevertheless, these otherwise radically different types of CTAs have some core common characteristics: they are the targets of border controls, and their bordercrossing strategies are designed to avoid detection and minimize the risk of apprehension. CTAs have existed in one form or another as long as states have imposed border controls (Andreas 2003: 78-79). Strictly speaking, Andreas’ definition of CTAs only applies to those who attempt to cross the border illegally. However, the concern with illegal migration flows from West Africa to the EU was such between 2005 and 2010, and these migrants’ legal status in Spain so precarious, that we could argue the overall Senegalese-born population in the country was treated as CTAs during the period of my study. This makes Andreas’ concept unfortunately useful for this dissertation.  Some authors have highlighted that studies on migrant transnationalism emphasize agency over structure and tend to paint a too-rosy picture of current international migrations. Most studies chose to focus on one side of the old debate between structure and agency, and it is true that scholars working in the area of transnationalism tend to privilege agency (Bailey 2001, Castles and Miller 2003, Portes 2001). Furthermore, until recently most studies on transnationalism focused on the wealthy and male (see Mahler and Pessar 2006, Pratt and Yeoh 2003). My goal here is to both contribute to an expansion of the object of transnationalism studies and to reach a happy medium between agency and structural constraints, where the latter are acknowledged as contextual factors shaping participants strategies. In this sense, I align with author Laura Agustin (2003) and argue that conceptualizing South-North international migrants as either victims or criminals is a lost opportunity to understand agency and strategy within this group of transnational actors. Giving structural constraints the place that they deserve, I aim to focus on the constant negotiations migrants engage in to challenge, modify, or adapt to state interventions at and beyond the border. 19  1.5.2 Borders and boundaries This study is also built upon a second concept, that of the state border. I am critical of the traditional conception of the border as a “zero-width” line separating the discrete and selfcontained units (the nation-states). In this sense, I often use the term border to refer to the liminal spaces of states’ territories (border zones) where migration management and surveillance are put in the hands of state security forces. For the purposes of control of unwanted migration from West Africa to Southern Europe, the border that migrant had to cross spread through entire national territories in countries of origin and destination; it was a vast “buffer zone” resulting from negotiations between the EU, individual member states, and a number of African countries.  This way of understanding the border as a space and not a line draws from a critical and feminist political approaches, a large and growing area of the literature. Of particular relevance has been the work focused on the emergence of a new, “safer,” and technologically advanced kind of border worldwide. The works of Mathew Coleman (2005, 2007, 2009 and 2012), and Alison Mountz (2004, 2010 and 2011a and 2011b), Mark Salter (2008, and Piché 2011) although focused on the Canadian and US borders, have served to put my study in a larger context. In Europe I have drawn primarily from the work of Bigo (2009, and Jeandesboz 2010, among others), Henk van Houtum (with Pijpers 2007, and Boedeltje 2009, 2010), and William Walters (2002, 2004, 2006).  I have borrowed conceptual and theoretical perspectives from these authors, as well as an interest in the deployment of high-tech and military equipment in the creation of a new kind of border. I depart from the work of some of these authors in my decision not to ground my analysis in the the theoretical works of Foucault and Agamben. Foucault’s work on biopolitics and governmentality and Agamben’s reflections on “spaces of exception” and the homo sacer have been extensively used to study contemporary border processes. For example, Alison Mountz’s study of the actions of the Canadian government to manage the arrival of almost 600 Chinese boat migrants to the coast of British Columbia relies heavily 20  on both the notions of biopolitics and spaces of exception (Mountz 2010). In my own study, the only space that could be comparable to the naval base where the boat migrants she studied were held was the CETI (“Centro de Estancia Temporal de Inmigrantes” or centre for the temporary stay of migrants) in Ceuta. But there migrants were free to come and go as they pleased and they were offered a variety of services; it was more a site of “paradoxical sovereignty” (Agamben cited in Mountz 2010) than of suspension of the law.  Other scholars have applied Agamben’s work to their study of EU maritime borders (see for example Carter and Merrill 2007) or to recent developments in the processing of visa applications in the region (see van Houtum 2010). Although it is not my intention to question the validity of their findings, the evidence that I collected for this research suggested that the actions of official institutions towards migrants could not be interpreted using the terms of “bare life” and “homo sacer” offered by Agamben. Instead, I witnessed the delegation of border control duties to actors beyond the border, the collision of different legal spaces, and more individual agency than those conceptual approaches might suggest. Finally, there is a fascinating area of the literature that studies biopolitics and the biometric dimensions of contemporary borders (see Amoore 2006 and 2009, van Houtum 2010, Walters 2002). I did not have the opportunity to contribute to due this literature to a lack of empirical information. My goal here has been to build theory from the evidence that I found during my fieldwork. Recent applications of Foucault and, in particular, Agamben’s work did not seem to offer tools to interpret this evidence. Despite this departure, in my discussion I take on the challenge put forward by critical and feminist geographers, and examine how the state border is a place where difference is made and power asserted and executed. Encouraged by the work of John Agnew (2002, 2005, 2007), James Sidaway (2002, and Power 2005) and Anssi Paasi (2001 and 2011), I approach borders as ideological constructions and complex semiotic systems; places ripe with contradictions and power struggles; instruments that need to be constantly re-created. Despite the limitations of my methodological approach, I also aim to take on Alison Mountz 21  (2004, 2010) and Merje Kuus’ (2011a, 2011b, 2011c) demand that we delve into the spaces and discourses where borders are made by individual people. Finally, I have been deeply inspired by Michael Collyer (2007, 2008, 2010, et al. 2011) who has provided sophisticated reflections on transit migration across state borders in different parts of the world.  As a continuation of the state border, whenever I study barriers that happen at different scales (e.g. the local, the home, or the body) I often use the term “boundary.” Agnew (2007) has argued that the distinction between state borders and social boundaries only makes sense in a world where Western European models of statehood are predominant. That is the context for this study. I take on calls from feminist geographers that we need to understand how geopolitical thinking (and the state borders that create international migration) is constructed at different and interconnected scales (Gilmartin and Kofman 2004, Hyndman 2004a and 2004b, Mountz 2004 and 2010, Silvey 2006, Staeheli and Kofman 2004, WastlWalter and Staeheli 2004). Although this dissertation remains mainly about state borders, I engage with this area of the literature by extending my study below the nation-state at different points during the discussion.  A key aspect of this multi-scalar analysis is the concept of race as it is constructed in contemporary Europe, and more specifically in Spain. Here I will not engage in a historical and geographical study of the concept, something that I have done elsewhere (Vives 2011), but rather explain how the term is used in the pages that follow. First, I take race as an ideological construction and not only a social construction, “because the idea of ‘race’ has never existed outside of a framework of group interest” (Essed 2002: 185). Second, race is conceived here as historically contingent, and as such fluid and evolving (Hall 2002; Kobayashi 2003). Third, race is relational, built upon the direct and mediated interactions among bodies, groups and institutions at many scales at once (Pulido 2000; Kobayashi 2003). And finally, race and racialization are considered fundamentally spatial concepts (Saldanha 2006). Combined with the discourse of “domopolitics” (Walters 2004b, explained in Chapter 3) and in relation to other axes of differentiation such as citizenship status, 22  religion, and gender, I take race to be one of the fundamental pillars of the anti-immigration strategy in Spain between 2000 and 2010.  1.6 A few words about gender Feminist migration scholars have highlighted that, prior to the 1980s, women were largely absent from studies in this area of the literature (Gabaccia 1996, Lutz 2010, Mahler and Pessar 2006, Morokvasic 1984, Moch 1992). In the last thirty years we have witnessed an uneven and fragmented attempt to bring first women and then gender to the centre of migration studies. This project has not yet been wholeheartedly embraced by mainstream scholars (Lutz 2010, Mahler and Pessar 2006, Silvey 2004 and 2006), although recent years have seen an increasing number of publications that examine gender in the context of transnationalism and migration.  Scholar Helma Lutz discusses four stages in the integration of gender into the field of migration studies. First, there was the compensatory approach, which aimed to prove that women had been and were part of international migration movements. Second, scholars embarked in a project to make women’s contributions to migration explicit (what Lutz labels the contributory approach). In the last half of the 1980s and 1990s emerged the intersectional approach. The focus on differences among women instead of on commonalities was part of a much larger debate, were the goal was to tease out how axes of social differentiation such as race, socioeconomic status, or immigrant / citizenship status impacted women’s experiences. Finally, Lutz argues that since the mid-1990s there has been a paradigm change in the social sciences (including migration studies) that has taken feminism from a focus on women to a focus on gender. Here, “[t]he key subject is the social construction of masculinity and femininity, the differential meaning of private and public as a workplace, the gender-specific evaluation and the differential consequences of migration experiences for male and female migrants in the context of being couples, parents and families” (Lutz 2010: 1651). We currently see studies that could fall under any of these approaches (compensatory, contributive, intersectional or gender). 23  This dissertation stands with one foot on the intersectional approach and another one on the gender approach. In other words, I will put gender at the very centre of my discussion and look at how social constructions of masculinity and femininity both in Spain and in Senegal shape participants’ experiences of migration in fundamental ways. I conceptualize gender as a social and ideological construction that takes the inborn biological traits of an individual and uses them as indicators of proper behaviour, roles, and position in the social structure. Culturally defined gender roles and gender relations are factors that determine how biological sex is translated into gendered expectations in a specific context. But fundamentally gender norms are one of many ways used to distribute power in a society. In this dissertation, gender is considered a central organizing principle of international migration (Mahler and Pessar 2006, Lutz 2010) and treated as such.  Figure 1.3: Rapper Little Rawan poses with his two sisters, who represent new and old models of feminity in Senegal (the woman who builds a professional career for herself and the traditional wife who prepares thieboudienne in the background). Photograph by Javier Acebal (2009), reproduced with permission.  At the same time, I acknowledge and investigate how this socio-ideological construction (gender) is part of a larger matrix of difference that weaves into other factors like, for example, religious affiliation, socioeconomic status, place of origin and settlement, or family structures. To capture this inter-dependency I use the term “intersectionality” to signify “the complex, irreducible, varied, and variable effects which ensue when multiple 24  axes of differentiation – economic, political, cultural, psychic, subjective and experiential – intersect in historically specific contexts” (Brah and Phoenix 2004: 76; see also Vives 2010).  The tensions between the multiple gender ideologies that I encountered in Senegal and in Spain (within and beyond the immigrant population) and my own runs deeply throughout the entirety of this dissertation. I cannot assume that complete understanding of the many intricate ways in which differences of class, ethnicity, caste, religion, or geographical origin were woven into existing gender ideologies within the migrant families that I worked with, resulting in gendered social hierarchies that can be very different from those found in socalled “developed countries.” Being allowed into Senegalese households where gender relations were so unlike anything I had ever seen before; where polygyny (a form of polygamy where a man has more than one wife) was widely practised; where anything from household spaces to professional occupations to the division of labour was clearly demarcated as either male or female; where marriage was agreed upon by the family and it became one of the most significant events determining a woman’s social status; where female genital mutilation was still commonly practised; where, as a Wolof saying goes, “a woman’s worth is in her womb” and young girls were raised in the belief that their fertility was their most valued treasure – all these things tested both the limits of my empathy and of my analytical capacity. I felt torn between the need to preach about gender equality and my curiosity as a researcher. Soon I realized that the former was both inappropriate and a sure way to fail in my study, and proceeded to disagree quietly and from a position of respect with the daily practices of many of my respondents. I met my participants as a young white married woman and left many of them as a young white married woman who had become a friend, without ever challenging the gender relations that were the foundation for their lives. Rather, my objective has been to understand how femininity and masculinity, as they are constructed and practiced both in Senegal and in Spain, has impacted participant’s options to travel to Europe, the transnational spaces and resources available to them, and the difficulties found once in Spain. 25  1.7 “Mujeres y Fronteras:” raising awareness If imposing my world view was not my goal, it was nonetheless my mission to invite participants as something more than “subjects of (my) research” and make my findings available for a wider audience outside of academia. Inspired by the works of a number of feminist geographers (e.g., Caitlin Cahill 2007, Domosh 2003, Pratt 2007) I aimed to make this a participatory research project, and also give something back by disseminating my results within a larger audience. In this sense, this dissertation always had a public vocation: it aimed to talk about, engage with, and to some extent challenge the people who were involved, as either migrants, citizens of the country that had received those migrants, or policy makers that created the conditions for their migration.  I will discuss some of the aspects of the project we called “Women Through the Border” (in Spanish, Mujeres y Fronteras) in Chapter 4. We received funding from the European Union, the Spanish Ministry of Education, and the regional government. A team comprising a handful of participants, an outstanding Spanish photographer, a writer, two graphic designers, and myself put together a photo exhibit, a multi-cultural concert, two story-telling sessions for school-aged children, and three movie screenings. All of these activities evolved around Senegalese society and the migration of women (and men) from this country to Spain. I guided over 250 children through the exhibit and many more people came to visit independently. All the shows sold out.  The event was a huge success covered by the local, regional, and national media (press and radio). And yet the most meaningful moment for me was one day when the exhibition room was almost empty. It was near closing time and man in his late twenties was standing in front of the picture of a woman dressed in pink, half smiling (see Figure 1.4). That same man had been there the day before, and the day before that, and all the days since we opened the exhibit: he would come and stand in front of that particular picture for a very long time; 26  then he would walk around the room and leave. I approached him and asked what he liked so much about that image. He looked at me and said: “this lady looks so much like my mother I come here to pray with her.” He kept coming every day until we took down the pictures.  Figure 1.4: Senegalese woman dressed for a wedding in Casamance. Photograph by Javier Acebal (2009), reproduced with permission from the author.  The night of the concert was our busiest night at the photo exhibit. There were three hundred people waiting for the doors to open (both the exhibition room and the auditorium were part of a main public library). The whole team was there, two of us walking from picture to picture in case anyone in the audience (most of them, Spaniards) had a question. We soon realized we were not needed: a group of Senegalese migrants that were not part of our project had claimed ownership of the space. They did not wait for people to ask. Instead, they stood by their favourite picture and explained it to the people who were around them. A man from Guédiawaye talked animatedly by an image of a group of women doing the laundry (Figure 1.1) and said: “See? This is my neighbourhood, and when I lived there our 27  courtyard was exactly like this one. Women in my family also do the laundry by hand.” Another migrant kept guard by the picture of a group of women selling mangoes under a tree in Casamance and explained to Spaniards the basics of the conflict between the region’s nationalist militia and the government of Dakar. And so on.  The events of Women Through the Border were meant to give something meaningful to my respondents in return for their participation. Also, they were an awareness-raising project that aimed to make some of my findings accessible to school children and adults who were not necessarily knowledgeable about the phenomenon of Senegalese migration to Spain aside from what they saw in the media. There were some unexpected outcomes too: being involved in this project gave me legitimacy in the community and opened a number of doors also in Senegal, where I found out some of my respondents from the government had seen (and loved) the pictures. It also gave me access to a collection of beautiful photographs to illustrate this dissertation and make its reading a lighter task. Unless otherwise specified, the images used here are part of the collection that Javier Acebal and I put together for the project Women Through the Border. These images were selected by participants (from among the many taken in the field) as those that they felt best captured their experiences prior to, during, and after migration. The images were used with participants’ permission. A catalogue of the complete photo exhibit is available at http://issuu.com/mujeresyfronteras/ docs/exposicion_myf.  1.8 Chapter outline This dissertation starts with an overview of past and present migrations from Senegal to Europe (“Chapter 2: From Senegal to the World”). Here, I introduce the economic, political, cultural, and demographic profile of Senegal. The core of this chapter is the discussion of gender relations in the country. Once the context of origin is introduced, I turn to existing studies on 20th-century Senegalese migrations to Europe. I present the disparate findings of the few scholars who have focused on the experience of Senegalese migrant women in  28  Spain and point to some of the contributions to this area of this literature that I aim to make with this study.  The theoretical framework that I used in this dissertation is discussed in Chapter 3 (“Where Theory Meets Migrants”). In this chapter I draw from critical and feminist political geography to explore the contemporary geopolitics of immigration control at the border of the EU. I also discuss the concepts of migrant transnationalism and transnational social networks and run a preliminary test of their validity for the study of Senegalese citizens’ experiences in Spain. In a somewhat unusual move, I have decided to include a discussion of my research sites in the theoretical chapter. I have used only a minute fraction of the vast amount of theoretical work available on migration, transnationalism, borders, and geopolitics because that was the literature that helped me interpret the things I found while doing my fieldwork. I hope that, by forcing theory and empirical evidence into the same chapter the criteria I used to select relevant literature will become evident.  In Chapter 4 (“Multi-Sited Research and Feminist Practice”) I engage with the concepts of situated knowledge, positionality, and research through difference from a critical standpoint. I argue that there is enormous potential in multi-sited ethnography for both feminist and mainstream migration scholarship. I then discuss the specifics of the fieldwork that grounds this dissertation, present the characteristics of my sample, and elaborate the methods I have used to gather the information. I also contend that despite the challenges I encountered, my approach allowed for both a better understanding of participants’ experiences and a more reciprocal relation with the migrants involved in this study. Finally, I introduce the statistical sources I used to put my findings in a larger context.  Chapter 5 (“Building the Wall”) discusses national (Spanish), supranational (EU) and regional (West African) strategies to manage and stop the illegal inflow of Senegalese migrants to Spain between 2005 and 2010. I argue that these responses were articulated through preventive and defensive measures in several areas of policy. I focus specifically on 29  how development aid, managed migration programs, and the militarization of the land and sea borders were geared towards stopping illegal migration from Senegal.  In Chapter 6 (“Networks”) I contend that the strategies analyzed in chapter 5 failed because they were based in false premises (notably, that migrants who were in Spain without status had entered the national territory illegally). My argument is that unwanted migration continued and even grew thanks to the resources that migrants’ transnational social networks provided. I discuss the experiences of participants according to their means of arrival (by plane, land, or sea). Throughout the chapter I delve into participants’ experiences and pay special attention to the ways in which gender was woven into respondents’ migration opportunities and the social networks that were available to them.  Finally, in Chapter 7 (“Trouble Beyond the Border”) I discuss some of the obstacles that participants found upon their arrival in Spain. I begin with an exploration of how migration forced migrants to re-define themselves as gendered subjects both within their household and as part of the workforce. I also explore participants’ negotiations of their relationship with other marginalized groups and illegal activities, mainly drug trafficking and prostitution. The bulk of the chapter explores the integration of participants into the Spanish labour market by employment sector. I conclude this discussion with an unexpected finding: the centrality of motherhood in Senegalese migrant workers’ experiences and how children became, for a number of participants, a foothold for meaningful cross-cultural alliances with the local Spanish population.  In summary, my goal here has been to reconstruct the journeys of a group of migrants and the barriers they confronted, using their experiences to draw a series of implications that apply to academic research practice, migration literature, and policy. I have very intentionally made the migrant the centre of the narrative, by emphasizing both their agency and the specific strategies that they adopted to achieve their goals. At the same time, I reconstruct the structural conditions that surround their migration as faithfully as possible. 30  To this end I gathered information from numerous secondary sources and conducted interviews with people who helped create this larger context. I believe that this combination of perspectives will help us understand structure as the result of individual agencies, and migrant agency as a series of actions that adapt to, push against, and transform those structures. Drawing from such a varied set of sources and respondents presented its own rewards and challenges. It is to a more detailed discussion of these methodological issues that I will turn in the chapter that follows.  31  2 From Senegal to the World: inheriting a long history of (gendered) migration 2.1 Introduction The desire to migrate reaches the level of a collective obsession among Senegalese youth. Walking on the streets of Dakar, taking a taxi to Guédiawaye, at a restaurant by the side of the road somewhere on the way from Saint Louis or in the middle of a rice field just outside of Oussuye in rural Casamance, people would approach me to ask if I could open the doors of Europe for them. Gender, socio-economic class, and rural or urban origins were of little importance: everyone wanted to leave a place where they saw no future. Les émigrants, Senegalese migrants abroad, where revered because they possessed what few other people had in the country: money and prestige. Migrants sent remittances that kept their families afloat. They built houses and opened businesses. They lived in El Dorado,8 the promised land where “you can pick up money from the ground as you stroll down the street.” And, when migrants came back, “they had the biggest cars and were always surrounded by beautiful women. Their wallets were bursting fat, and with them they bought respect, you understand, money made people kiss the ground they walked on, even if their nails were black from the dirty jobs they had [in Europe]”. These impressions, shared by a respondent who had lost his fiancée to a migrant and decided to leave for Spain as a result, were common among Senegalese young people.  In this chapter, my goal is to discuss the economic, social, and political conditions that have resulted in this collective dream of migration for both men and women. I begin by introducing the national context of origin, Senegal (section 2). In the third section I briefly talk about the status of women in the country and the meaning of marriage as a first insight to the heavy gender imbalances of migrants headed towards Spain. I then turn to migration 8  People often referred to Europe as El Dorado in their daily conversations. El Dorado (literally, the Golden One) is a legendary place somewhere in Latin America, a kingdom of endless richness that has eluded explorers and treasure hunters since the time of Spanish conquistadores in the 16th century. 32  flows originating in Senegal in the 20th century: their main destinations and some of the characteristics that set this population aside from others. Finally, in section 5 I focus on the migration of women and try to answer the following question: why is their migration to Spain so rare when compared to men’s?9  2.2 Senegal Ours is a country of passings and encounters, of hybrids and exchanges. (L.S. Senghor, first President of Senegal after independence, quoted in Diouf 1998, 8)  Map 2.1: Regions of Senegal. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Made by NordNordWest, under Creative Commons License.  9  The reader should be warned that while my discussion of Senegal focuses mainly on the socio-cultural and economic context, when I talk about Spain I tend to refer to the politico-institutional context. There are several reasons for this. On the one hand, I have a particular interest in the obstacles to migration created by the Spanish state through its migration and border policy; when it comes to Senegal, I am more interested in the (social) conditions behind the existence of very dense migrant transnational social networks. On the other, this difference in my treatment of both national contexts is a result of my limited ability as a foreign researcher to scrutinize the workings of the Senegalese state. Unlike the case for Spain (the country where I grew up and where I had close personal connections within the socialist government in power at the time) I had few entry points into the Senegalese state -- and not as deep an understanding of its internal functioning. As a result, my treatment of the institutional context in Senegal is not as nuanced or detailed. 33  Figure 2.1: Woman working the fields in the southern region of Casamance. Photograph by Javier Acebal (2009), reproduced with permission from the author.  Fishing and agriculture are the engine of the Senegalese economy.10 Despite the use of outdated artisanal methods, the fishing industry feeds both local and international markets. The agricultural sector is focused on food crops (millet, rice, corn, and sorghum) and cash crops (peanuts, sugarcane, and cotton). The top agricultural exports in the country are gum arabic and peanut-derived products. Senegalese agriculture is characterized by its dependence on the natural seasons, the importance of subsistence agriculture, and its low productivity; it is estimated that local production meets about 30 percent of the population’s needs, making the country painfully dependent on foreign imports (particularly rice). This makes the Senegalese economy “extremely vulnerable to climatic variations and fluctuations in the international markets” (Ndiaye 2007, 3). Peanut, the production “engine of the rural economy” (4) occupies about 40 percent of agricultural land and employs roughly one million people, but it is particularly sensitive to variations in rain patterns. Today the economy depends to a great extent on remittances (between 15 and 20 percent of the GDP) and foreign aid (Daffé 2008).  10  Unless noted otherwise, the information in this paragraph is from Ndiaye 2007. 34  Since the 1970s, the Senegalese economy has received a series of hard blows. Authors attribute the worsening of living conditions (and real income) to a series of environmental, economic, and political factors. Repeated droughts devastated the local peanut industry in the 1970s-1980s. More recently, a succession of plagues has decimated production (Ndiaye 2007). The instability and decreasing productivity of the land resulting from drought and plagues led to a rural exodus to the major cities, in particular to Dakar, fuelling the emergence of poor and under-serviced suburbs in the Cape Vert peninsula (Tall 2008). This explains the growth of the urban population, from 33 percent of the nation’s inhabitants in 1969 to over 45 percent in 200011 – with more than half the country’s urban population living in the capital (Diouf 1998, Fall 2010). At the same time, there has been an extraordinary decrease in the productivity of the fishing sector, mainly due to the use of outdated and largely manual methods as well as to the over exploitation of coastal waters by foreign companies, who use more advanced technologies (Diop 2008). The Structural Adjustment Programs promoted by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund since the 1980s are believed to have aggravated the situation of poverty within the population (Diop 2008, Fall 2010, Moreno Maestro 2008).  Due to Senegal’s dependence on a chronically flawed primary sector and the underdevelopment of both industry and services, the population faces a severe lack of employment opportunities. According to the IOM (2009) between 40 and 50 percent of the active Senegalese population is currently unemployed (either inactive or active without a job). Of those with a job, most are employed in the informal sector, which in 2007 constituted roughly 60 percent of the country’s GDP (IOM 2009). The main occupations in the underground economy are industry work, street commerce and services, which offer much lower salaries and little or no protection to workers. Currently, 30 percent of the workers express lack of satisfaction with their current occupation and 20 percent are employed part-time. Those with secondary education, urban dwellers, youth, and women have been particularly hit by the lack of employment opportunities. As a result, the exodus 11  The rate of urbanization has dropped slightly since 2000: more recent estimates calculate that 42 percent of the Senegalese population will live in cities by 2010 (UNPD 2009). 35  of highly-skilled migrants is an important phenomenon: this “brain drain” included 51 percent of medical doctors and 27 percent of nurses licensed in the country between 1995 and 2005 (IOM 2009).  Figure 2.2: Woman selling onions and fish at a local market. Informal commerce is one of the main niches for Senegalese women. Photograph by the author (2009).  Together with environmental and economic factors, the endemic corruption of the Senegalese political class has resulted in a draining of already scarce public resources (including international aid) away from the general population and into the pockets of government officials. This corruption is commonplace both in the everyday interactions of citizens with local government workers (“low-level corruption”) and in the practice of using public resources of the state for officials’ private benefit (“high-level corruption”; USAID 2007, 39 and 62).  36  Figure 2.3: Young women at a school for young single mothers in Casamance. This group faces particular obstacles to achieve basic literacy, including discrimination and increased family responsibilities. Photography by Javier Acebal (2009), reproduced with permission from the author.  Corruption and a failing economy exacerbate the challenges posed by a rapid demographic growth. The Senegalese population has increased almost four-fold growth since the 1960s.12 Most of this increase is due to natural growth, which has decreased slowly yet steadily in the last few decades (in 2009 the country still had a fertility rate of 5.0) (UNPD 2009). The lack of economic opportunities for this increasing body of young workers has resulted in poverty being a daily experience for large sectors of the population. In 2009 more than a third of the country’s 12 million inhabitants lived under the country’s poverty line, with the average income per capita just slightly over the region’s average, at $1,666 US per year (UNPD 2009). Less than half the population was literate, with illiteracy higher within the non-urban population (58 percent of the total) and women: only 33 percent could read and write, compared to more than half (52.3 percent) of the men. Women were also disproportionately impacted by poverty; health problems; and restricted access to education, the labour market, professional occupations, and political positions (Dial 2008, HeyenPershon 2005, UNDP 2009). Single mothers and divorced and widowed women were at very high risk of falling through the cracks. In the near total absence of a functioning state,  12  In 1960 Senegal included 3,110,000 inhabitants, while in 2009 the total population amounted to 12,171,365 (Diouf 1998, IOM 2009). 37  this group, young children from rural areas, and the handicapped formed a large and rapidly expanding urban homeless population that lived in outmost poverty (HRW 2010).  2.2.1 The people behind the numbers Indicators, statistics, and negative economic assessments developed by foreign organizations hide the demographic and historical processes that have taken the country to its current situation. Senegalese society is extremely complex, marked by ethnic, cultural, religious, and linguistic heterogeneity, and by a strongly hierarchical traditional social organization that varies according to ethnicity but is generally based on caste, age, birth order, and gender. Political economist Makhtar Diouf (1998) considered this heterogeneity as a mixed blessing – at once an obstacle for development and a testimony to the country’s cultural wealth. Offering one of many categorizations that exist of the Senegalese population, this author proposed that five ethnic groupings dominate Senegalese demographics: the Wolof (including the Lebou), the Haal Pulaar (including both Toucouleur and Peuhl), the several Sereer groups, the Jola, and the Manding (including the Soninké, the Malinké, Jaxanke, and Bambara). Other minority populations native to neighbouring countries exist as well. These ethnic groups are not geographically segregated, with the possible exception of the Jola who are concentrated in the southern Casamance region.  Language is the chief instrument to delimit ethnicity, although in some parts of the country the “wolofization” of the population through cultural influence and inter-ethnic marriage has rendered this measure inadequate (Diouf 1998). Today, French is the official language in the country. There are six other national languages recognized and many others that are spoken daily in certain communities although some (like Sereer) are expected to disappear within the next few decades. Despite conflicts over the cultural dominance of the Wolof group and  38  with the exception of the Casamance separatist movement,13 inter-ethnic relations are largely peaceful. Nevertheless, mixed marriages remain rare everywhere but in Dakar, proving the resilience of ethnic differences (Dial 2008). Besides ethnicity, other axes of social differentiation include religion and social caste. The country’s population is overwhelmingly – and increasingly – Muslim (roughly 95 percent at present). Senegalese Islam is of a peculiar kind, mixing North African teachings and religious texts with local traditions (Cissé 2007). The Muslim population in the country is spread between several brotherhoods or confréries, of which the Tijaniyya (originating in Algeria and popularized in Senegal through the work of El-Hadjj Malick Sy) and the Muridiyya (which draws from the labour of spiritual master and creator Cheikh Amadou Bamba) are the most central. Other brotherhoods include the Qadiriyya (imported from Iran) and the Laayeen (a local brotherhood particularly important among the Lebou, a Wolof sub-group concentrated in the coastal areas). Religious leaders, called marabouts,14 exert great political influence in the country, leading some observers to blame the dysfunctionalities of the Senegalese state to the influence of religion and in particular marabouts in the country’s politics (Fall 2010).  13  The Casamance region has a long story of resistance against foreign political powers. Historians date the current conflict to a promise supposedly made by the first President of Senegal upon independence in 1960 that were the region to join Senegal for 20 years, it would be given status as an independent country afterwards. By 1980 and with Senghor still head of the state there was no sign of it happening, and protests began in Ziguinchor, the region’s capital. Since then, there has been a low-intensity civil war fought between the central Senegalese government and the Mouvement des Forces Démocratiques de la Casamance (MDFC). 14  Marabouts are Muslim religious leaders in contemporary West Africa. They are well-versed in the Quran and other sacred texts of Islam and offer spiritual guidance to their communities. At the same time, in Senegal they have continued pre-Islamic practices: they read the future, provide health remedies for all kinds of diseases from infertility to migraines, and ensure divine protection through the selling of lucky charms that protect the person wearing them from anything ranging from infidelity to death during the sea voyage to the Canary Islands. More unfortunate is the involvement of “false-marabouts” (people who do not have any interest in religious teachings) in the exploitation of children (see HRW 2010). 39  Islam coexists peacefully with other imported (Christian, mostly Catholic) and local animist practices, 15 although the latter are losing ground rapidly. Families with different members professing several faiths (at times a combination of two, usually Islam and animism or Christianity and animism) are not rare, particularly in Casamance. Private Catholic schools enjoy a good reputation throughout the country, and Muslim families do not hesitate to send their children there and to Islamic schools separately on weekends. Despite fears that Muslims may proselytize to Christians and vice versa, religious diversity has not been a challenge to the country’s stability. However, once again, the rarity of mixed marriages signals the limits of religious tolerance: inter-religious marriages between Muslim men and Catholic women are exceptional. Muslim women are banned altogether from marrying Christians unless their fiancés convert to Islam – but families generally oppose these kinds of unions (Dial 2008).  Figure 2.4: Girls in a Tijan Mosque in Sedhiou, Casamance. Photograph by Javier Acebal (2009), reproduced with permission from the author.  15  It is remarkable that, in a country with such an overwhelming Muslim majority, the first President of Senegal was a Catholic Sereer man, Léopold Sédar Senghor. Abdulaye Wade, President of the country during my fieldwork and member of the Mouride brotherhood, is married to a Catholic woman. I made a point of talking about this issue with everyone I could, and, although my sample was by no means representative, I did not find anybody who showed any discomfort about the presence of Catholics in the country or in preeminent positions in the government (Senghor’s influence is undeniable: he is one of the most influential figures in Senegalese history, a widely respected intellectual and statesman). If anything, Catholic and non-Mouride Muslims alike showed certain discomfort with Wade’s disdain for religious groups other than his own. 40  The vast majority of the population, over 80 percent, belongs to ethnic groups with a social hierarchy based on a unique sort of caste system where high-class groups are called “noncaste” and low-class are thought of as “casted” individuals (Babou 2009, Dial 2008, Diouf 1998, Rosander 2001). Scholars agree that the term “caste,” imported from the Indian context, is applicable to talk about some aspects of the highly hierarchical Senegalese societal structure; however open discussion of the caste system remains a taboo (Diouf 1998, Rosander 2001). Rosander uses a definition by historian and anthropologist Abdoulaye Diop, according to whom Senegalese castes are “endogamous and hereditary groups with a professional specialization, maintaining hierarchical relations” (quoted in Rosander 2001, 492). This author adds that further ideas about purity / pollution are relevant, and that caste status is a hereditary affair. In contrast to other contexts where the term caste applies (notably India) the low-status (“casted”) population in Senegal is a minority, between 10 and 20 percent of the total. The remaining 80-90 percent (the “noncaste”) are considered upper class, a sort of nobility. In Wolof non-caste citizens are called guéer; they are (or were originally) mostly land owners. Caste groups are the ñeeño, and they branch into manual workers and artisans (jëf-lekk), traditional singers or griots and griottes (sab-lekk), and other lower class workers (i.e., courtesans, waiters and jesters, known as ñoole). The caste system remains very much alive in current Senegal. Nevertheless, traditional hierarchies have been displaced by the monetarization of social relations, and today economic success seems to be the main indicator of an individual’s position in the social hierarchy – particularly in areas of widespread emigration and in Dakar (Dial 2008, Fall interview, Sarr interview).  In summary, today Senegal is a poor but, for the most part, peaceful country that prides itself in its hospitality (teranga in wolof), one of the dominant national values. The society is incredibly complex, including a variety of ethnic groups, religions, and other lines along which its members are positioned, including caste, birth order, and gender. Using intermarriage rates as an indicator of the continuity of ethnic, religious, and caste divisions, we can conclude that these remain strong to this date, although the behaviour of city dwellers 41  (notably in the Dakar area) and certain groups offer a stark contrast to the reality of rural and poorer populations (Dial 2008).16  2.3 Gender and marriage in Senegal In an exceptional book by Fatou Binetou Dial, titled Marriage et divorce a Dakar: itinéraires féminins (2008), the author argues that marriage marks the coming of social age in Senegalese society. This is the case for all citizens, but particularly for women. Marriage, she says, is a decision made early on by the family. Through marriage women achieve social status (an unmarried woman has none), economic status (as tradition and family law establishes that the man is responsible for providing food and shelter for his spouses and children), and respectability (because every single woman is potentially a sexual deviant, that is, she is susceptible to engaging in extra-marital sex). Senegalese society overall being fundamentally conservative on all issues related to gender, the safest option is to marry a woman as early as possible.  Professor Fatou Sarr, from the Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, explains how the choice of spouses is generally made:  The “best” marriage is considered the marriage chosen by the family. We can’t talk about freedom in the way the term is used in the West. Nobody, nobody has the right to choose his wife by himself. See, there are desired marriages, advised marriages, preferred marriages. And when [the union is] not one of the above, complications are unavoidable. (...) We can’t really talk about “forced” marriages; the term “consented” is more appropriate, even though the future spouses – in particular, the woman – may not always be in a position to contradict the decision made by her elders (Sarr, interview January 2010, my translation).  16  It should be clear after this discussion that it is impossible, due to the complexity of Senegalese society, to talk about “a Senegalese culture”. In the remainder of this thesis there are points where I refer to Senegalese traditional values, the tenets of a common national identity, or compare Senegalese and Spanish dominant cultures. I do so for the purposes of efficiency when making an argument, aware that such generalizations are fraught with tensions and contradictions and without any intention to oversimplify or caricature a culture or a group. 42  According to tradition, the preferred marriage is that which takes place between two crossed cousins within the extended family – i.e., the closest family member of the opposite sex beyond the taboo of incest (Dial 2008). All but one of the women who participated in this study, both as migrants and as members of a migrant’s close social networks in Senegal, were married within the family.17 Most of these women did not see their marriage as an imposition, but as advice given to them by loving, wise parents who knew what was best for them. The consequences of not abiding by this “advice” were significant: lack of status, loss of family support, and potentially ostracism. This contributed to their bending to their family’s wishes. Such was the case of Binta (the sister of a young man who lived in Spain and widow of a migrant who worked in Italy for a couple of decades), who reflected on the factors that made her accept to marry her maternal uncle:  We were not very close, I never ever thought that he would be my husband one day. He was ten years older than me and had moved to Italy in the 1980s. (...) He suggested the idea to my aunt who lives in Pikine, who talked it over with my parents, and my mother told me about it. I told my mother I wanted to think it over. But later on, I thought that for example, if I refused this marriage, if one day I had problems with a man, or if I got married with someone who abused me and I had trouble with him, what would I do? My parents wouldn’t help me, I would have brought that upon to myself for not agreeing to their will that I should marry this man. I told myself, well, maybe this is a good idea. (...) And I decided to marry my uncle. (Binta, 30-40 years old, teacher living in Grand Yoff, Dakar; my translation). Other women offered similar accounts of the factors they considered before accepting their family’s proposed marriage. The decision was made by the family and accepted (sometimes enthusiastically, sometimes reluctantly) by the future spouses. Fatoumata, also married to a cousin living abroad and 18 years her senior, did not find her lack of voice in the matter the least problematic, and in fact most respondents found that their relatives’ choice was the  17  The exception was Diabira, a young Catholic woman who traveled to Switzerland as an athlete. While her refugee application was being processed in Switzerland, Diabira met a Senegalese man and fell in love with him. Far away from her family, the couple formalized their commitment in front of some friends (they were never legally married). During one of our interviews Diabira said that she had always prayed to marry a Christian man, but then God had decided otherwise. She also admitted that although her family in Senegal was disappointed to find out she had married a Muslim and low-caste man, they saw this marriage as a lesser evil to her being single while a migrant in Europe. 43  best available option. Sometimes accepting the proposed deal provided these women with significant bargaining power. For example, when Fatoumata agreed to marry her cousin at 16, she did so on the condition that they would not consummate their marriage until her 18th birthday, thus giving her two years to finish a short post-secondary degree at the university before giving birth to her first child. Fatoumata then became a full-time housewife, but regularly reminded her husband that he had promised to pay for her studies if she decided to go back to university when her children were older.  Fatoumata and Binta were Wolof women from traditional families living in similar neighbourhoods in the Dakar metropolitan region, but while Fatoumata married at 16, Binta did so at 30. The great variation of the age of the first marriage among respondents illustrates what Dial (2008) calls “the silent revolution:” urbanization, the involvement of women in formal education and professional work, and, particularly, the worsening of the economic situation (which translates into scarcity of “desirable” men) have led parents to wait longer than ever to marry their daughters, especially in Dakar. Between 1978 and 1997, the median age to enter the first marriage increased from 16.1 to 16.4; the change for the city of Dakar was markedly bigger, from 18.3 to 19.6 for the same period (Dial 2008, 64). Marriage of women under 15 is now virtually non-existent; so are permanently unmarried women, as a woman who gets divorced or becomes a widow will remarry as soon as possible (Dial 2008).  Forced marriages are uncommon, but they do exist in Senegal. Batouly (a middle-aged migrant woman interviewed in Spain) described arriving home one day just to learn that she had been married at the mosque. This is possible because legal marriages are relatively uncommon in Senegal (Dial 2008, 59). Unions are traditionally formalized in the Mosque by a marabout and the bride and groom’s parents, not necessarily with the spouses being present, and their registration with government authorities often does not follow. This practice was frowned upon by respondents and researchers interviewed, but it still takes place. Dial (2008) found that forced marriages often end up in divorce. 44  Figure 2.5: A 17-year old mother poses with her brother and son at her father’s house in Bambey, in rural Senegal. Photograph by the author (2009).  2.3.1 Divorce and polygamy So far, the discussion has referred mostly to the first marriage. However, it is worth noting that divorce is legal (and in fact, fairly common) in Senegal. Divorce from the first spouse can be complicated, since it requires the agreement of the extended family who made the initial choice. Further marriages involve less family involvement, especially since marriage compensation to the woman’s parents is low (or non existent) and traditional marriages are easier and cheaper to dissolve than legal unions – which are almost unheard of for second and further marriages (Dial 2008).  Polygamy (more exactly, polygyny as regulated by the Quran) further complicates the discussion on marriage and the choice of spouse. Polygyny is a common practice in Senegal, affecting about 40% of the families in the country (Salif and Ayad 2006). It is embraced with enthusiasm by men and tolerated by women as a lesser evil to unmarried status – which is the worst possible situation for a “respectable” woman. For the first spouse, the arrival of a second wife is a penalty: it means that her husband and their families consider that she has failed to fulfill her duties as a wife because, for example, she did not bear children or behaved inappropriately (Dial 2008, Sarr interview January 2010). It could 45  also happen that the husband “inherits” his deceased brother’s first wife, in which case the second marriage does not harm the first wife’s reputation.18 Another possibility is that the husband (who lives abroad) decides to have a spouse join him abroad. In this scenario the family will likely want to ensure that the relation with the migrant remains strong (and remittances continue to flow). The migrant should then take a second spouse and leave the first one behind:  I often say that the [first] wife is a hostage taken by the family so that the migrant continues to support the family economically [through remittances]. Generally, families oppose the migration of the wife, because they’re afraid that will bring about a rupture in the relationship with the migrant. That explains that often, if the migrant insists that he wants to have someone with him in the country where he lives, the family may authorize for him to take a second wife (Fall, interview January 2010; my translation). Female respondents saw polygyny with ambivalence. Women married to migrants had little choice on the matter, and all they could hope for is that their husband’s family would oppose the union. Educated devout Muslim women who lived in Senegal with their husbands did everything they could to distract their spouse’s attention from other women, mainly by devoting themselves to the satisfaction of his sexual needs and desires.19 Ningou, a veiled Muslim and professional woman in her late 20s, reflected on this:  18  A classic piece of Senegalese literature reflects on the realities of polygyny from a female perspective. In Une longue lettre (So long a letter, 1981) by author Mariama Ba, Ramatoulaye Fall expresses her feelings as a first wife who is first betrayed by her husband (who takes a much younger woman as a second wife without her knowledge), then abandoned by him, and finally becomes a widow just to have her family try to marry her with her deceased husband’s younger brother. The novel was a raging success among Senegalese female audiences. More recent social commentaries on polygamy in Senegal include the play Polymachin, by local theatre group Cruellas. 19 According  to Fatou Binetou Dial, the virtues of a good wife in Senegal are abnegation (towards her husband, her family in law, and her children) and the satisfaction of her husband’s sexual needs (2008, 80-82) 46  I pray to God my husband won’t take a second spouse, and so I’m always ready for him: I use the bin bin,20 the petit pagne, 21 sexy underwear, incense ... I hope he will be so tired by the end of the night he won’t have the energy or interest to think of other women!! [laughs] But the Quran gives my husband the right to take up to four women – if he can support them, and their children, financially. So I hope, I pray to the good God that if that happens I will have so much work I won’t have the energy to think too much about it (Ningou, Dakar, interview January 2010; my translation). Other Muslim women in Senegal agreed with this, while Christian women were happy not to have to worry about it – since, for the most part, neither divorce nor polygyny are considered an option for this group.22 Migrant women living in Spain were ideologically opposed to the practice, but saw some advantages to it, particularly since desirable (i.e., financially secure) men are so scarce in Senegal’s current economic climate. For example Neyba, a Muslim woman living in an Andalusian city, entered a polygamous union as a second spouse shortly after her first husband passed away. Her second husband had to pay no marriage compensation to Neyba’s family because she was a widow. And since Neyba already had children from her first marriage that her second husband was not required to take care of, she could stay in the neighbourhood of Yembeul, a two-hour drive from her second husband’s residence who she saw two days a week. Her family responsibilities meant that Neyba could legitimately engage in small-scale commerce between Gambia and Senegal, and eventually migrate. Another case is that of Batouly, who married a second man as a third spouse after divorcing her first husband (to whom she had been forcibly married). Batouly saw this marriage as a key to her independence: her family stopped insisting that she should marry; she was not required to reside with her husband; and she could finally work with the full legitimacy that her married status gave her. As Dial’s work and these 20  Bin bins are loose belts made of beads of different materials, shapes, and colours worn around the waist, used as erotic artifacts in Senegal. 21  Petit pagnes are a sort of short skirt made of see-through fabric, used exclusively in the bedroom previous to sexual intercourse. 22  Young Catholic respondents expressed a strong belief that their marriage was to be monogamous and to last forever, or until death do them part, as predicated by the Catholic Church (Matthew 19,6: “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder”; translation from the King James Bible). Older generations of Catholics (migrants’ parents) practiced a mix of local preCatholic traditions including polygyny. This was particularly common among families from the Casamance region, where anecdotal observation showed that older Christian families were often polygamous. 47  examples show, polygyny can take many shapes and sometimes, although not always, it may allow women to enter spaces where they would not be allowed if unmarried (mainly, economic activities and international migration).  2.4 A brief history of (male) international migrations in the 20th century Senegalese migrants arriving in Spain today are a small portion of a much larger Senegalese “diaspora.” The use of the term “diaspora” to describe Senegalese migrants abroad is common among scholars; however as in the following quote from an interview with geographer Giulia Sinatti shows, its use is still controversial:  ... [T]here are these two extremes, one that I call “diasporic cosmopolitans,” and other Senegalese that I call the “translocal conservatives.” The first being (...) basically a bunch of intellectuals or those rare Senegalese migrants who really stand out from the crowd if you like, they’re different, they are more cosmopolitan in their way of migrating, and they feel that they belong to a more abstract community of conationals, of people who have [gone through] the same experience of migration. But I find the majority of the Senegalese are closer to the extreme of the conservative translocal person, who lives very much in place, in either “little Senegals” that have been created outside of the home country or with a very, very strong attachment to the homeland as such, so they’re very much grounded in the actual places [where they live] (...). So I think that you are right, the use of the term diaspora in the case of the Senegalese is still quite controversial because (...) it’s still early for that really diasporic sense of belonging to have been developed among the Senegalese. It’s a term that I would use with greater ease if I was thinking of highly skilled migrants, an intellectual diaspora I would consider as a diaspora, but the smaller transnational migrant who has his family back home and tries to go home as often as possible, who comes and goes between the home country and the country of immigration or even various countries of immigration, that migrant I find quite difficult to describe in terms of a member of a diaspora (Sinatti, interview, December 2008). Translocal or diasporic, smaller or larger, older or younger, interconnected communities of Senegalese citizens can be found throughout the world, from Buenos Aires to Paris, New York to Kinshasha. Migration has provided a way towards economic prosperity for millions 48  of Senegalese citizens throughout the 20th century. Available information – particularly, statistical information – on past and present Senegalese migrations is fragmented, incomplete, and often contradictory (de Haas 2008; IOM 2008, 2009; ICDMP & IOM 2009; Sinatti 2010a). To this day, the Ministry of Senegalese Abroad, migrant organizations, and discrete surveys cannot agree on how many Senegalese citizens live outside of the country’s borders, giving figures anywhere from 479,000 to three million (IOM 2009).  It is worth noting that the studies analyzing the experiences of this group of migrants have been overwhelmingly about the migration of men. Whatever women were part of these migrations, their joys and tribulations have only exceptionally even been addressed by researchers.23 The next sections will provide a brief discussion of the main characteristics of these movements of population across international borders, focusing on recent flows towards Spain.  2.4.1 Old migrations, new migrations: from the 1940s to 2010 The recent history of Senegalese migrations is often discussed in periods that differ slightly from one author to the next. In its analysis of the Senegalese case, the IOM (2009) establishes three main stages. The first period (also called l’ancienne migration or old migration; Tall 2008) stretches from the 1940s until the mid 1970s. This was a time when the balance of net migration was positive, that is, the country received more foreigners than the number of citizens leaving for foreign countries. Senegal’s flourishing agricultural sector and its political stability attracted a large number of African students and seasonal workers, mostly from neighbouring countries (Cabo Verde, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, today’s Burkina Faso, Mali and Mauritania). Tall notes that, at the time, Senegalese citizens living abroad were mainly soldiers who stayed in Europe after fighting with the French army in the World Wars, as well as circular migrants who benefitted from relatively flexible temporary workers  23  In the case of Spain some exceptions worth noting here are the work of Oumoul Khaïry Coulibaly-Tandian (2005, 2008), Susana Moreno Maestro (2008), Eva Evers Rosander (2001), Papa Sow (2004), and Iria Vázquez Silva (2010). 49  schemes in France and free entry to the country’s territory. Other Senegalese migrants settled in West Africa (Mauritania, Mali, Guinea Conakry, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, and Gabon) and, during the early 1970s, Central Africa (current Congo and Cameroon) where they engaged in the trade of diamonds and other precious stones (Tall 2008).  A second period began around 1975, when the worsening of living conditions in Senegal and the success of previous waves of Senegalese migrants shifted the balance in favour of out-migration (IOM 2009). African countries (notably Congo and Cameroon) remained top destinations for migrants interested in trade; Gabon and Ivory Coast organized the recruitment of temporary construction workers and also attracted newly graduated professionals (mostly teachers) who did not find a place in the Senegalese labour market. This period came to an end with the increasing political and economic instability of the region in the 1980s (IOM 2009, Tall 2008).  The decreasing lure of other West African countries explains why in the third period, since the 1990s, Senegalese migrants have turned towards North Africa and Europe, expanding their areas of destination in their search for new labour markets. Countries like Libya, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco, which Senegalese citizens can enter without a visa, have received these migrants since the 1970s and particularly in the 1990s. Today, North African governments’ alliances with the EU to stop undocumented migration from Sub Saharan Africa have made them less popular than ever.24 New favourite destinations emerged in the late 1990s, particularly Italy and Spain in Southern Europe (IOM 2009, Tall 2008). This migration is characterized by a high percentage of undocumented migrants at the destination both due to illegal border crossings and, mostly, to overstayers.  24  The EU has increased its diplomatic relations with the Southern Mediterranean basin (Libya, Morocco, Algeria) in an attempt to create a buffer zone for the control of undocumented migration to its territory. Status refugees, international students, visa holders, and transit migrants alike have been targeted by the security forces in these countries, resulting in physical violence, persecution, abandonment of arrested black migrants at the Southern border of these countries, and numerous deaths. 50  Further North, France continues to be a pole of attraction for Senegalese migrants, mainly due to the thickness of their social and associative networks in the country, family reunification procedures, and linguistic similarity between the two populations (Tall 2008). The following quote from a migrant living in Marseille shows the extent to which this is the case:  When I am in Palmarin [respondent’s home village in the Petite Côte, Senegal], young people ask me to help them come to France and I try to explain to them that life there isn’t easy. (...) Young people know it, they’ve heard about the many Senegalese who are returned to Dakar [by the French government], those things appear in the press and they have access to international information [via the internet] but they want to give it a try themselves. They think: “It can’t be worse than where I am right now.” For them, there is always something to do in European countries: there are factories, the service sector ... [they think] they’ll find a way to make it work (Tom Sarr, interviewed in Bertoncello 2009, 59; my translation). Throughout the years, Senegalese migrants have shown an important capacity to adapt to changing conditions. Today the Mediterranean basin has become less and less attractive. Governments along the Mediterranean’s southern shore are increasingly hostile to black populations, who have given policy-makers much leverage in their negotiations with EU and its member countries.25 Spain and Italy, on the other hand, are immersed in an economic crisis and are putting in place more restrictive immigration policies for African migrants. Given the climate, it is clear that new destinations will arise, but which ones will they be? New York is already known territory for Mouride traders, and it is likely to increase in importance; new populations have settled in Latin American countries, where migration legislation is more favourable; and China seems, for some, the next territory to discover. This part of the history of the Senegalese diaspora is yet to be written.  25  North African countries have assisted the EU in the control of north-bound migration for some time now. In exchange of vast amounts of money and preferential trade agreements, several countries have acted as border guards to prevent the movement of black Africans towards Europe. Libya, Egypt, Morocco, and Algeria have all signed agreements either with the EU or with specific member states. 51  2.4.2 Transnational networks and the use of ICTs When compared with other migrant populations, the Senegalese migrant population shows certain particularities. Foremost of these is the thickness of the transnational social networks, an issue that will be only briefly introduced here, since it is the focus of Chapter 6. The Senegalese population abroad deploys available new information and communication technologies (ICTs) to stay in touch with migrants throughout the world and with the community of origin in Senegal. The use of such ICTs is already intense among the Senegalese: virtually everyone owns a cellphone and internet cafes are incredibly popular, particularly among the youth.26 Tandian (2010) highlights that ICTs have also had a deep impact on Senegalese migrations in a variety of ways. ICTs have facilitated money transfers, which, together with cellphones, have helped bridge the spatial gap between migrants and their families. These technologies also provide migrants with quick access to domestic news through online news websites, making possible the emergence of “political transnationalism” among citizens residing abroad. The internet and cellphones have allowed both potential migrants and the Senegalese migrant population to create an accurate cognitive map of their national, ethnic, extended family, and religious networks abroad, allowing them to access help when needed, either from Senegal or during the initial stages in the life of a new migrant.27 Finally, cellphones and GPS technology have allowed undocumented migrants to navigate their way through the sea and land borders (Tandian 2010).  26  The cyber cafes (often owned by migrants and maintained with income from remittances) are mostly used to connect Senegal with other countries. Young people are savvy users of a variety of social networking websites, and online dating services through which young women expect to find a partner (in particular, a national of a rich country) are very popular. This is the case also in other parts of the continent (see Agbinya 2008, Venables 2008, Fair et al 2009). Internet cafes are also used to establish connection and stay in touch with Senegalese migrants through email, online social websites, and online video / voice services such as Skype. 27 All  respondents in Spain affirmed relatives or acquaintances that had recently arrived from Senegal regularly contacted them. They were required (by tradition as well as social pressures) to provide these new migrants with a place to sleep, food, and guidance during the first 3 to 6 months, if they could do it. Respondents also received numerous calls from co-nationals in Senegal asking them for money: for food, religious celebrations, to help pay for the medical costs of a treatment for a relative, etc. 52  Through the use of ICTs, the Senegalese population abroad has the capacity to exert a great deal of influence in the economic, political, and social life back in Senegal. Their economic influence, in particular, is key. Roughly 20 percent of the country’s GDP comes in the form of migrants’ remittances (the exact figure is not known, since much of the money is sent through informal means; Daffé 2008). These remittances, when channelled through hometown associations (associations villageoises) and co-development projects, may result in important improvements in the living standards of the population. Another kind of money transfer often not taken into account is migrants’ contributions to their daara (the religious centre belonging to the religious Mouride brotherhood to which they ascribe, headed by a marabout or religious leader). These contributions, which can be quite substantial, are collected by the marabouts themselves during trips they take to visit migrant populations throughout the world. Both men and women make donations, however the latter are not part of decision-making processes and their interactions with religious leaders are limited to a few hours in the evening, after more important issues have been dealt with. 28 The money is used for marabouts’ personal expenses and also for the maintenance of Islamic schools in Senegal (Rosander 2001).  Marabouts being among the most powerful political actors in the Senegalese political arena, their dependence on migrants’ remittances gives the latter significant leverage in domestic politics. However, migrants are politically active through their own means. Organized through local and national branches of the Fondation des Emigrés Sénégalais (Foundation of Senegalese migrants, FES), independent grass-root organizations, or through individual actions, Senegalese migrants have become an influential – and often mordant – voice in local as well as national politics. Not coincidentally, all four Presidents of the Republic of Senegal (Léopold Sédar Senghor, Abdu Diouf, Abdulaye Wade, and Malick Sall) resided in 28  Rosander (2001) argues that the benefit of these visits is mutual. On the one hand, marabouts collect money crucial for the expansion of Mouridism, receive royal treatment, and continue exercising influence on the Senegalese population abroad; on the other, migrants (and in particular casted women) are allowed to reinforce their collective identity as Senegalese and Mourides and have very close contact with some of the most prestigious figures of Senegalese society. I personally attended a religious celebration in Spain with some marabouts from Senegal in attendance and was impressed by the amount of respect (and money) with which they were showered. 53  France for a significant part of their lives – Wade in fact ran much of his 2000 presidential campaign from Paris. Migration has triggered the transformation of some key social institutions such as hierarchy based on caste or gender, allowing women to make decisions on how to run the family and even catapulting “low-class” citizens to important public positions in domestic politics (Moreno Maestro 2008; Rosander 2001; Fall 2008; Sarr, interview January 2010).  Figure 2.6: Women preparing nakh (a rice-based snack) in rural Senegal. Note the coexistence of old and new technologies: wooden pestles and cellphones. Photograph by Javier Acebal (2009), reproduced with permission from the author.  The influence of migrants in the economic and political life of the country, from the micro (intra-household) to the macro level (national politics) means that, today, migrants enjoy a great deal of prestige in the country. Migrants are heroes: the ones that keep the country and the family afloat, the ones that attract the most beautiful women and have the most expensive cars, and the ones that create employment. They are figures assimilated to the great prophet Cheikh Amadou Bamba, creator of the Mouride brotherhood, who in order to carry his divine mission had to first live in exile (Diop 2008; Rosander 2001).  54  The mere survival as well as the prestige and influence of migrants abroad depends on their social networks. A key factor, already mentioned, are religious brotherhoods, in particular the Mourides. Even non-Mouride Senegalese migrants pay their dues to the Mouride marabouts and participate in religious celebrations as a way to claim their national and religious collective identity when abroad. This is the case also for Tijan migrants, whose brotherhood is not as active outside of the country as the Mourides’. Christian migrants, on the other hand, reach out both to Senegalese Muslim groups and to Spanish Christian institutions, using their identity as both Senegalese and Christian to access services and support networks that would otherwise be beyond their reach. These religious networks are activated by recent and not so recent arrivals. They are key in providing food, a temporary shelter, and vital information upon arrival. In the case of the Mourides, they are also crucial in getting migrants involved in street (informal) commerce, a common occupation for new arrivals (Moreno Maestro 2008, Rosander 2001; for the Italian case, see Sinatti 2008 and Riccio 2008). Other networks that are also employed are based on nationality (open to all Senegalese), extended family connections, and ethnicity.  2.4.3 Circularity and “mobile transmigration” The high mobility of Senegalese migrants also makes this group stand out when compared to the broader foreign population in Southern Europe, particularly in Spain. However, the hyper mobility of the Senegalese can also be observed in other regions of the world, for example in Africa, where this population has been known, for decades, as international traders and manual workers (Tall 2008).  In Europe, mobility is an adaptation strategy: migrants move to wherever work and legal status are thought to be more easily available, following information which is spread through the use of ICTs across transnational social networks. A sizeable portion of the migrants interviewed for this study did not originally arrive in Spain: they held tourist visas for other European countries, and it was upon their arrival that they learnt of greater opportunities in Spain (mainly the availability of underground work and the possibility of 55  accessing legal status through an amnesty). Original countries of destination were often chosen due to existing bureaucratic shortcuts (e.g., easier access to tourist visas for Senegalese who wish to go to France, visa waivers for dual Senegal - Guinea Bissau citizens in Portuguese legislation) or well established social networks (notably in France and Italy). Although there is no data regarding the original country of arrival of Senegalese migrants currently living in Spain, the prevalence of such journeys among participants of this study suggests that it is not uncommon.  Another kind of mobility, well studied by Giulia Sinatti, refers to circularity and return. This author talks about the “mobile transnationality” of the Senegalese migrant population in Italy, and points to a new kind of transnationality (in fact, translocality) very different from that which is often discussed involving mostly wealthy migrants (Ley 2004, Ley and Kobayashi 2005). This author argues for a need to re-think the concept of return, which should not be seen as an ending to the migration cycle, but one more stage. In the case of Senegalese migrants, a perpetual cycle of temporary returns and re-migrations characterizes the experience of this group. She labels this “circularity” “mobile transnationality” (Sinatti 2010a).  This “mobile transnationality” is, in part, grounded on the impossibility of return for most Senegalese migrants. Migration being mainly a collective project, decisions and financing are achieved through the participation of the extended family; relatives invest in migration in order to reap future benefits in the shape of regular remittances. If the migrant succeeds in settling down in a foreign country and securing a job, families become dependent on money transfers. Marriage, the growth of the family, and the need to retain the social prestige that results from the status as a migrant (status earned through conspicuous consumption and the redistribution of wealth within the community of reference) increase this dependence. Such solidarity is at once imposed on the migrant and embraced by him or her, because it results in a significant augmentation of their social status in their home communities in Senegal (Daffé 2008, Diop 2008, Fouquet 2008, IOM 2009, Sinatti 2010a). 56  By the time the extended family has become dependent on the migrants’ remittances, it becomes impossible for a migrant to seriously consider returning. If departure is a collective project, voluntary permanent return is an individual one that clashes against many forces, most of which have to do with money. To return without money is not an option for migrants, because it would mean the loss of face and of all the prestige they have attained while abroad. Families often oppose permanent return, because it would imply putting an end to the flow of money.  To satisfy both personal and family preferences, the Senegalese living abroad often consider opening a business back at home. But the truth is that few businesses in Senegal are as lucrative as being a migrant worker in a richer country. Besides, many of these migrants are manual workers and lack the skills that would allow them to run a successful business in Senegal (Sinatti 2010a, 2010b). The small portion of migrants who succeed in starting a business often invest in the informal market, in niches already saturated by other migrants (e.g., informal taxis, corner stores, internet cafes) with the help of relatives who do not always have the knowledge, or the inclination, to run the business properly (Sinatti 2010a). Revenues are scarce if they exist, and these investments often fail within a short period of time. Although research on productive investments refers mostly to the Senegalese male migrant population in countries other than Spain, female respondents who participated in this study narrated experiences consistent with Sinatti’s observations.  The difficulties of securing a profitable business in Senegal make permanent return impossible, forcing migrants to re-emigrate continuously: “once they have engaged in the process of migration, they are unable to stop, trapped between the luxury of ensuring a better livelihood for those who have stayed behind and the need for geographic distance to uphold local demands” (Sinatti 2010a). Instead, Senegalese migrants return to Senegal as often as they can for as long as they can – considering the costs of the trip include the price of travelling but also large amounts of cash to distribute among family and neighbours to 57  buy the prestige they enjoy as migrants (Rosander 2001, Sinatti 2010a). Visits often coincide with important religious celebrations such as the tabaski (Eid Al-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice) or the Great Magal of Touba (which commemorates the day that Cheikh Amadou Bamba, creator of the Mouride brotherhood, was sent to exile). On the one hand, these visits could potentially allow the migrant’s permanent return, since they provide an opportunity to research possible productive investments in the country. On the other hand, these trips are expensive and they postpone the migrant’s permanent return (Sinatti 2010a). In the end, this situation turns Senegalese migrants into “mobile transnationals” (Sinatti 2010a): migrants that shuttle back and forth, with a strong foothold in both countries of origin and destination that challenge mainstream definitions of (elite) transnationalism.  2.5 The migration of Senegalese women to Spain  Graph 2.1: Growth of the Senegalese population in Spain by sex (2001-2011). Source: INE (2001-2011).  The previous discussion focuses on the migration of Senegalese men to Europe. Scholars have focused on this group on the basis that most Senegalese migrants are men (see Graph 2.1); but often their bias remains unacknowledged, and it is assumed that women’s 58  experiences will be equivalent to men’s or (potentially) irrelevant, since they are after all a small percentage of the group.  Currently there are over 55,000 Senegalese citizens registered as inhabitants in Spain; of them, 17 percent are women (see graph 2.1 above). The population is distributed unequally through the national territory, as shown in map 2.2.  Map 2.2: Distribution of the Senegalese population in Spain. Data from INE (2008).  The statistical data beg the question: why are women such a small percentage of the Senegalese immigrant population in Spain? Researchers point at gender roles in Senegal, where women carry the burden of domestic responsibilities and their respectability (which is equivalent to their submission to their husband) is paramount. Women cannot, generally speaking, migrate without their family’s acquiescence. Besides, the Senegalese population being still young in Spain, it is often considered dangerous for women to migrate alone; sea and land migration are deemed particularly risky for women, which may help explain that only women in extreme circumstances (unmarried pregnant women, women fleeing abusive relations) engage in this journey, often alone and without their family’s support (AI,  59  interview, March 2009; Spanish Red Cross in Senegal, interview, April 2009; CIMADE, interview, January 2010).  When asked about the relationship of Senegalese women with migration, Professor Papa Demba Fall, geographer and leading scholar of Senegalese migration studies, distinguishes three categories. He calls the first “immobile women:” wives whose husbands have migrated but who have stayed in Senegal, usually with their in-laws.29 The second category is “dependent women” who migrate to join their husbands in Europe through family reunification procedures. Finally, there are “independent migrant women”, a relatively small group of women who have left Senegal with or without their family’s accord, either to study or to work in Europe (Fall, interviews April 2009 and January 2010). According to Fatou Sarr, director of the Centre for Gender Studies and Scientific research at the University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar and migration scholar, the strongly hierarchical and patriarchal organization of Senegalese society is an important factor preventing the migration of women, particularly to new destinations like Spain where the Senegalese diaspora is still not fully rooted (Sarr, interview January 2010).  In Spain, anthropologist Susana Moreno Maestro applies similar categories to those used by Professor Fall in her study of Senegalese migrant women’s involvement in the informal labour market (i.e., street peddling and braiding) in Seville, in Southern Spain. This author reluctantly 30 accepts the terminology proposed by Senegalese scholar Ba and distinguishes b