Power and Resistance in Immigration Detention: Lived Experiences of Women in Italy and Portugal

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Drawing on fieldwork in immigration detention centers in Italy and Portugal, in this talk I explore how gender and sexuality shape women’s everyday experiences in detention in relation to the constructions of race, class, and nationality. In particular, I discuss how racialised and gendered notions of vulnerability and dangerousness come to play a key role in the continuous (re)drawing of a line between ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ subjects in the context of immigration detention. In doing so, I argue that women are not passive spectators of the violence of the sovereign state. Rather, they struggle to resist it, also appropriating normative hegemonic social constructions and strategically using them in counter-hegemonic ways to challenge the detention system.


The Long History of Identity, Ethnicity and Nationhood

Contact name: Ilya Afanasyev

Contact email: ilya.afanasyev@humanities.ox.ac.uk

Audience: Open to all