Endurance and involuntary return to Senegal

Over the last few years, involuntary returns of sub-Saharan African migrants to their countries of origin have become frequent. European states have continued to forcibly deport unwanted migrants and, increasingly, have repatriated them as part of Assisted Voluntary Return programmes. Additionally, migration policies in North Africa, together with the instability in the region, have forced many sub-Saharans en route to also turn to Assisted Voluntary Return programmes or to come back by their own means. In this context, in a country such as Senegal, unplanned homecomings have multiplied. This seminar will explore ethnographically the local dynamics emerging in this situation in Senegal. It will be argued that the subjectivities and practices surrounding involuntary returns can be understood in relation to local debates on migrants’ perseverance and effort. Ultimately, the presentation will seek to contribute to the conceptualisation of endurance as an everyday form of resistance to the European governance of migration.