UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Geographies of waiting : the (im)mobilities of Venezuelan migrant women in Colombia Pinzon Osorio, Jonas


Some Colombian media outlets have reproduced “on the move” narratives to portray the lives of some Venezuelan migrants in Colombia. These narratives have concealed some instances of waiting that some Venezuelan migrant women inhabit every day. These narratives have largely contributed to rendering their lives precarious, seeding a public urgency to securitize and immobilize their movement. Using semi-structured interviews, content analysis, and hashtag research, this thesis centers the voices of a number of Venezuelan women whose stories offer a nuanced understanding of the ways the Colombian and Venezuelan states have marginalized them by creating some policies that structure instances of waiting that they experience. My analysis contends that despite the efforts of the Colombian state to receive millions of Venezuelan migrants in Colombia, some migration policies have (im)mobilized some Venezuelan migrants, placing them on the margins of society. I explore the ways some Colombian migration policies have largely structured long periods of waiting and uncertainty that some Venezuelan women experience. I then put their migrant stories into circulation to document family separation (and its temporality of waiting) that some Venezuelan migrant mothers negotiate when they engage in the emotional work of transnational mothering. Finally, I draw on their stories to illustrate the ways some Venezuelan women (re)purpose instances of waiting into meaningful time, negotiating ambivalence, and thereby rejecting to wait patiently and docilely. This thesis then unsettles single-narrated “on the move” narratives by rendering visible the geography of waiting, which some Venezuelan migrant women endure, at times painfully, in pursuit of their migration aspirations.

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