In this article, we draw on the volatile complexity of African migrant trajectories in Central America to broaden the scope of transnational scholarship. These trajectories are characterised by mobilities as well as immobilities, taking shape in particular local contexts. By focusing on the interplays between displacement and emplacement that are part of these trajectories, we aim to increase our understanding of the extent to which migrants still ‘on the move’ experience both temporal embeddedness and cross-border connectedness, thereby acknowledging and unravelling transnational lives as they ‘touch the ground’ en route. To do so, we build on long-standing scholarly commitments in Central and South America and recent field research in Costa Rica. We go into selected empirical cases to discuss the dynamics of travelling, dwelling and travelling again as part of African migrant trajectories across Central America. We then explore the value of a ‘shifting’ transnational social field perspective and indicate some challenges for future trajectory research.
|Journal||Population, Space and Place|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 16 Feb 2021|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We would like to thank the organisers and participants of the Transnational Lives Workshop and the editors of this Special Issue for their inspiring feedback and kind guidance. We would also like to acknowledge funding from the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and the German Research Foundation (DFG project number 406978565) for researching and writing this article. Finally, we would like to extend our sincere thanks to the research participants in Costa Rica and elsewhere. 1
This fieldwork was part of the research project ‘African trajectories across Central America: displacements, transitory emplacements, and ambivalent migration nodes’ funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG): DR 738/9‐1. Further information can be found here: https://www.ifeas.uni-mainz.de/african-trajectories-across-central-america/ . 8
© 2021 The Authors. Population, Space and Place published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.