Xaraasi Xanne – Crossing Voices

On 30 May at 18-21:00 I will be co-hosting a film screening at the DAMSLab/Auditorium (Piazzetta P.P. Pasolini, 5b – Bologna) with director Raphaël Grisey

Part of the ERC funded HEMIG project – Hostile Environments: the Political Ecology of Migration and Border Violence, the film Screening will host the powerful film Xaraasi Xanne – Crossing Voices (in English and French with English subtitles). Using rare cinematic, photographic and sound archives, Crossing Voices focuses upon the extraordinary life story of Bouba Touré. An activist and photographer, Touré was one of the founding members of the radical Malian agricultural cooperative Somankidi Coura formed in Paris in 1977 by western African immigrant workers living in workers’ residences in France.

Largely drawn from a rich personal archive, the film was co-directed with French artist Raphaël Grisey and charts the civil rights movement in France and the interwoven anti-colonial liberation struggles on the African continent. The story of this improbable, utopic return to the homeland follows a winding path that travels through the ecological challenges and conflicts on the African continent from the 1970s to the present day. It documents peasant struggles in France and Mali as well as following the personal stories of migrant workers over many decades.


I am glad to announce a joint book presentation at the Biblioteca Cabral in Bologna, with Riccardo BadanoTomas Percival and Susan Schuppli, who have just published their Border Environments with Spector Books. I will presenting my book The Natural Border, Cornell University Press, 2024.

The presentation is part of a series of events organised by LIMINAL a part of the HEMIG project – Hostile Environments: the Political Ecology of Migration and Border Violence which aims to reframe the notion of ‘hostile environment’ as a conceptual and analytical lens to rethink the relationship between environment and migration.

Pelin Tan and Patricia Daley will lead the discussion, creating a dialogue between the two books and opening the debate on these pressing subjects.

Meeting in English open to everyone.

Whose underground

I’m pleased to announce the publication of a co-authored article with my PhD candidate Gabriel Kamundala from Bukavu, Eastern DRC, in Geoforum titled Whose underground? Entangled Territorialization and Mining Cooperatives in Eastern Congo’s gold frontier, which will remain open access for the next 50 days.

The article discusses the problematic formalization of small-scale gold mining by analyzing the geography of underground access to this natural resource – which remains contended between customary authorities, state administration and local cooperatives.

In so doing, we assess the pitfalls of recent supply chain restructuring in the extractives industry which, more often than not, externalizes the costs of rising consumer awareness around so-called ‘conflict minerals’ onto the miners and their extended social networks, thus generating new dynamics of inequality and discrimination.

foto courtesy digital gold

Imagining Just Environmental and Climate Futures in Africa

I’m happy to share the program of the symposium I just attended at Cornell University’s Global Development Programme in Ithaca, NY, Imagining Just Environmental and Climate Futures in Africa with a wonderful group of colleagues form Africa and the US.

In my key-note lecture for this conference, I invited the audience to think through the implications of recent capitalist restructuring in mineral and agri-food supply chains from an environmental justice and critical race perspective, building on recent work in Central Africa and the Mediterranean. I’m extremely grateful to the organizers, particularly the program’s director, Rachel Bezner Kerr, and her PhD candidate Emily Baker, for giving us such a warm welcome and an inspiring couple of days.