The French-Brazilian border usually goes unnoticed in discussions about the complex relations between Europe and South America. In this presentation, I seek to shed light on the historical trajectories across and beyond the allegedly ‘peripheral’ borderland which is located at the juncture of Amazonia and the Caribbean. In doing so from a historical sociological perspective, I place special emphasis on transregionally entangled processes of spatial re-(b)orderings: my talk details selected cross-border histories of fugitive slaves, convicts of color, Antillean migrants and others in order to counter conventional historical narratives about the contested borderland more generally and the about two border towns of Saint-Georges and Oiapoque more particularly. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, I also link the historical insights to recent observations of inequalities in the borderland. Overall, the presentation aims to contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the region’s border occupations, demarcations and contestations within the broader context not only of competing colonial interests, but also of subordinated, silenced groups who struggle(d) in a region marked by striking asymmetries.
Jan 22, 2019 | 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Institute for Latinamerican Studies
Rüdesheimer Str. 54