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M.A. Sara Bellezza

Freie Universität Berlin

Latin American Institute

Social and Cultural Anthropology

Rüdesheimer Straße 54-56
14197 Berlin

Academic Career:

From 04/2020

PHD candidate in Social- and Cultural Anthropology at Latin-American Institute at FU Berlin

09/ 2019

Master in interdisciplinary Latin American Studies at FU Berlin

03/ 2018

Research in Kingston/ Jamaica: Data Collection for the Master thesis

01/2017 – 06/2017

Study abroad at the University of the West Indies- Mona Campus Jamaica

09/ 2015

Bachelor in Social- and Cultural Anthropology, Latin-American Studies and Italian

Research Focus

Migration/ Deportation/ Post-colonial studies/ Gender/ Anthropology of the state

Research practice

Belonging, Rights and Justice- Multi-sited narratives travelling through the deportation corridor between the UK, US and Jamaica. Master thesis (2019)

Criminalization of flight and escape Aid- Controversies in the European Migration Policies. Research Project (2015-2017)

PHD Project

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Stephanie Schütze

Working Title: Forms of (legal) activism against the criminalization of migration. A case study of agency and resistance around the safe third country agreement between the US and Guatemala

This interdisciplinary PHD project draws on theory and methods from social- and legal anthropology, critical migration- and borderland studies. With ethnographic methods, it will investigate which forms of agency and resistance are possible if the law criminalizes the internationally and constitutionally granted right to demand asylum at the US-Mexican border. The US immigration and border regime has been (in)famous among human rights defenders and activists for its harsh detention and deportation practices for many years. Under the Trump administration, three main policy changes have been established, which criminalize migration into the US from different angles: first, the establishment of the “zero tolerance policies”, which sky rocketed the prosecution for the misdemeanor of “improper entry” and lead to a major separation of children from their families; secondly, the so-called ‘Remain in Mexico Policy that forces asylum seekers to stay in Mexico while making their claim to the US, thus categorizing the entrance of asylum seekers to US territory also as illegal. Thirdly, the safe third country agreement established with Guatemala in June 2019 determines that persons who crossed Guatemala during their journey to the US, should have applied for protection in Guatemala and are thus not eligible for an asylum application in the US. I will analyze the safe third state agreement as a legal norm implemented in various border regimes on a global level and empirically examine legal means as resistance against such forms of migration oppression in the borderlands in San Diego/ Tijuana. Using court room ethnography as a method, I will examine how legal defenders argue with references to constitutional, human rights and justice in front of migration courts. Additionally, I will use interviewing and participatory observation from an engaged anthropology approach to answer questions on how persons affected by rights deprivation perform agency in their struggle for the right to claim and receive asylum.

Bellezza, Sara, Tiziana Calandrino and borderline-europe (ed.) 2017: Criminalization of Flight and Escape Aid. Controversies in the EU European migration policies. Berlin: Tredition

Download: http://www.borderline-europe.de/sites/default/files/background/kidem-doc-final-2-5-17.pdf

Bellezza, Sara 2018:„Beihilfe zur unerlaubten Einreise” Reflexionen zu einer Prozessbeobachtung“ in: Gökçe Yurdakul, Regina Römhild, Anja Schwanhäußer, Birgit zur Nieden, Folashade M. Ajayi, Charlotte Kneffel, Marne Litfin, Hieu Hanh Hoang Tran & Aleksandra Lakić (eds.), Witnessing the Transition Moments in the Long Summer of Migration. Berlin: E-book, 113- 131