Rethinking Mobilities: Solidarity and Migrant Struggles Beyond Narratives of Crisis


  • Celine Cantat Central European University

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Recent mobilities towards Europe have been framed through a discourse of crisis. This discourse presents migratory movements as illegitimate and exceptional, and calls for the deployment of emergency measures in order to restore putative order and normality. In this article, I propose to think of mobilities beyond crisis. First, I challenge the notion that Europe is experiencing a migrant crisis by relocating recent mobilities in a larger history of confrontation between sovereign power and movement. Second, I draw on ethnographic fieldwork conducted with refugees and solidarity activists in order to bring to the fore wider histories of autonomous migrant struggles against Europe’s borders and to uncover alternative accounts of identity and subjectivity that are being enacted within ‘Europe’. Last, I examine the discourse of Mediterranean Solidarity mobilised by migrants and activists and assess the way in which it disrupts the dominant European geography of borders. This investigation allows us to perceive and assess existing forms of political and ethical community that transcend the citizen/non-citizen dichotomy and open up the possibilities of non-territorial imagination of identity and belonging.

Author Biography

Celine Cantat, Central European University

Celine Cantat is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Policy Studies at the Central European University. Her work focuses on migrant solidarity movements in Hungary and Central Europe and their relation to the European political project and its border regime. Before starting at CPS, Celine completed her PhD in Refugee Studies at the Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging, at the University of East London, and spent a year at Migrinter, Universite de Poitiers, as an INTEGRIM Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher.




How to Cite

Cantat, C. 2016. Rethinking Mobilities: Solidarity and Migrant Struggles Beyond Narratives of Crisis. Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics. 2, 4 (Dec. 2016). DOI:



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