References of "Mescoli, Elsa"
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See detailPublic opinion and forms of mobilization towards asylum seekers in Belgium
Mazzola, Alessandro ULiege; Mescoli, Elsa ULiege; Reidsma, Marije et al

in Mazzola, Alessandro; Martiniello, Marco; De Cuyper, Peter (Eds.) et al The refugee reception crisis in anti-immigrant times. Polarization of the public opinion, local mobilizations and reception practices in Europe. (in press)

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See detailFood practices among Moroccan families in Milan: creative adjustments of cultural repertoires
Mescoli, Elsa ULiege

in Diasio, Nicoletta; Julien, Marie-Pierre (Eds.) Anthropology of Family Food Practices: Constraints, Adjustments, Innovations (2019)

Les études contemporaines autour des cultures alimentaires, menées au départ de différentes perspectives disciplinaires, mettent en évidence le dynamisme interne et interrelationnel qui caractérise les ... [more ▼]

Les études contemporaines autour des cultures alimentaires, menées au départ de différentes perspectives disciplinaires, mettent en évidence le dynamisme interne et interrelationnel qui caractérise les gastronomies, plutôt qu’une « pureté » et un « immobilisme » originels (La Cecla, 1998). Cependant, lorsque l’analyse est portée sur le rapport entre alimentation et migration, une essentialisation des pratiques est souvent produite, plaçant ces dernières dans l’un ou l’autre de deux pôles opposés : le modèle alimentaire associé au pays d’origine et celui majoritairement diffusé dans le pays d’accueil. Une évaluation de ces habitudes ainsi que d’une éventuelle résistance au changement, permettrait d’établir la disposition des migrants à « s’intégrer » à la société locale (Bastenier et Dassetto, 1993 ; De Lesdain, 2002 ; Scardella et al., 2003). Dans ce contexte discursif, où l’inclusion des individus dans certains groupes (la communauté majoritaire, la collectivité « saine » etc.) se fait par l’adhésion aux normes locales, les familles issues de la migration performent leur quotidien alimentaire. Bricoler avec ces normes surdéterminées leur permet d’exprimer une créativité qui se met en œuvre à plusieurs niveaux : celui de l’approvisionnement, celui de la préparation des repas, celui de la transmission des savoir-faire entre les générations. Ces dynamiques seront explorées au travers de l’analyse des données collectées lors d’un travail de terrain mené pendant dix-huit mois au milieu d’un groupe de femmes marocaines résidant dans la province de Milan en Italie. Observations et entretiens ont été conduits à la fois dans les maisons et dans les espaces publics. Ils portaient sur les (micro-)pratiques alimentaires entendues comme facteurs centraux dans la définition du Soi, suivant une approche praxéologique à la subjectivation (Warnier, 2001). Grâce à cette analyse, il sera possible de constater qu’un modèle alimentaire composite se redéfinit au niveau familial, bien qu’il ne soit pas exempté de l’effet de dynamiques culturelles, sociales, économiques et politiques plus amples et apparemment structurantes. On assiste en fait à une diversification et innovation des pratiques. D’un côté, avec leurs déplacements pour faire leurs achats, femmes et hommes dessinent des chorégraphies complexes à l’intérieur de la ville, et ils engagent aussi une circulation transnationale de biens alimentaires. D’un autre côté, mères et filles puisent de savoirs et savoir-faire différents et s’appuient sur une pluralité d’outils (mémoire incorporée, bouche à oreille, livres de recettes, internet) pour faire face à leurs exigences alimentaires. Ainsi, les familles continuent d’effectuer un choix actif en matière d’alimentation. [less ▲]

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See detailLA CRÉATION DANS L’INCONFORT : L’EXPÉRIENCE THÉÂTRALE POUR ET PAR LES MIGRANTS SANS PAPIERS DE LIÈGE
Mescoli, Elsa ULiege; Bertholet, Edith; Dieng, Abdourahmane et al

Conference (2018, October 25)

La contribution que nous souhaitons apporter au colloque « Migrations : nos voix, nos chemins de traverse. Rencontre entre arts, sciences et militances » émerge de la convergence d’intérêts au départ ... [more ▼]

La contribution que nous souhaitons apporter au colloque « Migrations : nos voix, nos chemins de traverse. Rencontre entre arts, sciences et militances » émerge de la convergence d’intérêts au départ d’acteurs, perspectives et parcours différents. Le regard porté sur les migrants, la place qu’il leur est accordée dans le contexte socio-culturel local – et de manière plus générale dans l’espace public –, les effets des interactions interpersonnelles et interculturelles, sont parmi ces intérêts partagés par les auteur(e)s de cette contribution. Issus de milieux professionnels différents (théâtre, arts du visuels, domaine académique – anthropologie) et amenant des histoires de vie et statuts variés au niveau du contexte où nous vivons (Liège, Belgique), nous souhaitons présenter le résultat d’un travail commun mené pendant six mois. [less ▲]

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See detailBonheur de dire, malheur de taire. Speaking out through art by undocumented migrants in Liege (Belgium).
Mescoli, Elsa ULiege

Conference (2018, August)

This paper explores the artistic initiatives of a group of undocumented migrants as tool for creative political engagement in the local context (Salzbrunn, 2014). La Voix des sans papiers de Liège was ... [more ▼]

This paper explores the artistic initiatives of a group of undocumented migrants as tool for creative political engagement in the local context (Salzbrunn, 2014). La Voix des sans papiers de Liège was recently settled starting from the occupation of public uninhabited buildings in Liege and to claim the right to regularization. This occurred in an urban context that has been theatre of similar struggles for migrants in the past, and that shapes as a "welcoming city" (commune hospitalière) with regard to migrants and their rights. A network of actors from different social spheres (politics, NGOs and associations, cultural actors) support and permit the emergence at the local level of these artistic initiatives, that become social spaces for migrants to raise their voice. In particular, non-professional actors go on scene to narrate their story and to state their rights as active citizens despite their legal status, thus positioning against the restrictive policies on migration operating at the federal level of the state. Through a perspective that sees knowledge as collaborative production (O'Neil, 2008), ethnographic material has been collected during the writing workshops that lead to the creation of a short theatre representation, as well as during the performing of this. The analysis of this material shows how art permits to blur the boundaries between legality and illegality and to participate in the political life of the state through culture. Through art, undocumented migrants become visible actors against the process of invisibilization willed by federal state authorities. [less ▲]

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See detailRepas métissés. Culinary experiences and participation by undocumented migrants in Liege
Mescoli, Elsa ULiege

Conference (2018, June 14)

Within the framework of a research project focused on the public opinion about refugees and asylum seekers, and on the migrants’ and local citizens’ initiatives of socio-cultural and political ... [more ▼]

Within the framework of a research project focused on the public opinion about refugees and asylum seekers, and on the migrants’ and local citizens’ initiatives of socio-cultural and political participation, it was possible to gather relevant data about the way in which food permits – among other cultural activities – such participation. In particular, through ethnographic research, I could explore the preparation of meals for local population by a group of undocumented migrant women living in Liege as means to take active role in the life of the city, in spite of being excluded from it in terms of legal status and rights. Through preparing food at local events, and through interacting with local organisms (associations, services, institutions) that set the conditions for these activities to develop, undocumented migrant women position themselves as active subjects contributing to local dynamics. For example, in collaboration with a local cultural association, they organize some tables d’hôtes in the house that they are occupying to prepare meals that combine sub-Saharan African culinary traditions with local recipes and values – in fact, specifically in the neighborhood where this activity takes place, ecological preoccupations drive food habits in terms of supplying practices and cooking methods. Besides this, they also prepare the meals to be served at a training program organized by the local section of the socialist trade union focused on migrants’ – and workers’, more generally, – rights. The exploration of these and other examples shows how food – and sharing food in particular – can be the material and discursive site for establishing relevant relationships and claiming rights. Undocumented migrants, whose demand for regular stay in Belgium has been rejected and who find themselves lacking civic rights, manage to find a – though unstable – place in the hosting society thanks to the performance of cultural practices involving local people and engaging with contextual dynamics. [less ▲]

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See detailBetween normality and exceptionality: the place of Muslims in society debates in Belgium
Mescoli, Elsa ULiege

Conference (2018, June)

This paper introduces the analysis of some fieldwork material collected in Belgium within the framework of the European project “Countering Islamophobia through the development of best practices in the ... [more ▼]

This paper introduces the analysis of some fieldwork material collected in Belgium within the framework of the European project “Countering Islamophobia through the development of best practices in the use of counter-narratives in EU member states”. In particular, some reflections will be brought on the place of Muslims in the broader debate on Islam in Belgium, as well as, more precisely, in dealing with some issues such as radicalization and Islamophobia. The starting point is that a polarization is at play between a process of discrediting political representatives having a Muslim background – claimed or assigned – when intervening in general society debates, and the mobilization and legitimation of Muslims’ participation as key stakeholders on specific topics. Islamic religion operates as prior identity marker and this occurs in two directions. On the one hand, it seems to preclude the intervention of Muslim experts on non-religiously related issues at a larger level; on the other hand it fosters the solicitation of Muslim personalities (activists, analysts, artists etc.) – or it creates spaces for them to intervene – as specialists of religiously-related matters. To challenge this polarization, a tension emerges between the will of “making commonplace of Muslims”, of “normalizing” their presence through making their moral positioning a common character among others, and the need of claiming expertise and rights that are specifically disregarded when dealing with Muslim people. The tension is between indistinctness and visibility, between normality and exceptionality. Such challenge results into actions that promote the inclusion of Muslims as full citizens of the local society. [less ▲]

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See detailIn Belgio
Mazzola, Alessandro ULiege; Mescoli, Elsa ULiege; Martiniello, Marco ULiege

in Il Mulino : Rivista Mensile di Attualità e Cultura (2018), 6(18), 165-169

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See detailL'art pour exister, l'art d'exister: l'engagement artistique des nouveaux migrants
Martiniello, Marco ULiege; Mescoli, Elsa ULiege

Article for general public (2018)

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See detailI profili della neo-mobilità giovanile italiana in Belgio
Mazzola, Alessandro ULiege; Mescoli, Elsa ULiege; Martiniello, Marco ULiege

in Licata, Delfina (Ed.) Rapporto Italiani nel Mondo 2018 (2018)

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See detailL'art pour exister, l'art d'exister
Martiniello, Marco ULiege; Mescoli, Elsa ULiege

Article for general public (2018)

L'histoire montre que les personnes et les groupes qui n’ont pas d'accès aux institutions politiques et aux médias ont souvent trouvé dans les activités artistiques des moyens d'exister socialement, d ... [more ▼]

L'histoire montre que les personnes et les groupes qui n’ont pas d'accès aux institutions politiques et aux médias ont souvent trouvé dans les activités artistiques des moyens d'exister socialement, d'affirmer leur présence, voire de revendiquer des droits et un statut. C'est le cas aussi en Belgique pour une partie des migrants. Cet article sera précisément consacré aux immigrés sans statut et sans document qui habitent le territoire de la ville de Liège, et en particulier au collectif de la «Voix des sans papiers de Liège» (VSP). [less ▲]

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See detailCreating Undocumented EU Migrants through Welfare: A Conceptualization of Undeserving and Precarious Citizenship
Lafleur, Jean-Michel ULiege; Mescoli, Elsa ULiege

in Sociology (2018), 52(3), 480-496

Following the financial and economic crisis, welfare policies across the EU are increasingly becoming instruments for limiting the mobility of certain EU migrants. In this article, we focus on EU citizens ... [more ▼]

Following the financial and economic crisis, welfare policies across the EU are increasingly becoming instruments for limiting the mobility of certain EU migrants. In this article, we focus on EU citizens who see their freedom of movement in the EU being restricted after they have applied for social assistance or unemployment benefits in their country of residence. Doing so, we conceptualize undocumented EU migration by means of the concepts of ‘non-deportability’, ‘deservingness’ and ‘precariousness’. Overall, this article – based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted with Italian migrants in Belgium – expands our understanding of undocumented migration by demonstrating how arbitrary and intimidating bureaucratic processes undermine the exercise of EU citizenship. [less ▲]

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See detailCultures alimentaires et appartenances. Une ethnographie dans l’espace de la frontière
Mescoli, Elsa ULiege

in Lika, Liridon; Weerts, Audrey; Contor, Justine (Eds.) et al Frontières : approche multidisciplinaire (2018)

« Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai qui tu es », écrivait déjà en 1826 Brillat-Savarin, en suggérant une approche herméneutique de l’alimentation. La nourriture, en raison de son incorporation, est ... [more ▼]

« Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai qui tu es », écrivait déjà en 1826 Brillat-Savarin, en suggérant une approche herméneutique de l’alimentation. La nourriture, en raison de son incorporation, est intimement connectée à la construction symbolique de la subjectivité ; elle a également une implication sociale (Sahlins, 1982), dans la mesure où elle fait l’objet d’un partage selon des règles de commensalité (Douglas, 1972). L’anthropologie de l’alimentation permet aujourd’hui d’éclaircir des processus sociaux plus amples que la consommation de nourriture engage (Mintz and Bois, 2002). Un intérêt particulier est porté sur le rapport entre l’alimentation et les représentations identitaires des groupes culturels ou sociaux. Les membres de ceux-ci se rapportent à des cultures alimentaires de façon active, s’engagent dans un processus d’affirmation d’une identité propre et partagée (Lupton, 1996). Ces dynamiques font aussi l’objet de plusieurs études sur la connexion entre alimentation et migration. Ces études mettent tout d’abord en évidence le fait que, lors d’un déplacement, les individus ou les groupes sont confrontés à des cultures alimentaires différentes, et elles s’engagent alors à vérifier dans quelle mesure cette rencontre défie l’identité individuelle (Spiro, 1955; Crenn, 2004; Cardona, 2004) et quelles pratiques elle engage afin de la préserver (Hage, 1997; Beyers, 2008; Diner et Diner, 2009). Souvent, les discours sur l’intégration des migrants concernent aussi les habitudes alimentaires (voir par exemple De Lesdain, 2002), considérées comme des indices d’une disposition à adhérer aux normes de la société « d’accueil ». Le niveau d’intégration (ou la disposition à s’intégrer) serait établie sur base de l’acculturation alimentaire dans le contexte migratoire (voir aussi Bastenier et Dassetto, 1993). Loin de constituer les extrêmes d’une dichotomie irrésoluble, les cultures alimentaires du pays d’origine et du pays d’accueil des migrants qui se rencontrent grâce – entre autre – à la mobilité de ces derniers, créent un espace de frontière qui est habité par les acteurs eux-mêmes (Agier, 2013). Dans cet espace l’appartenance culturelle est questionnée, elle fait l’objet d’une réflexivité (voir aussi Rodier, 2010), et les habitudes alimentaires prennent également la forme d’une « mise en scène du culturel, favorisant des stratégies ponctuelles d’affirmation identitaire et des rhétoriques du conflit » (Julien, 2010 : 17). Cette contribution veut amener une réflexion à propos des dynamiques qui ont lieu dans l’espace de la frontière ainsi définie, au départ de l’analyse de matériaux ethnographiques concernant les pratiques alimentaires de certaines femmes marocaines résidant en Italie et les discours qui les accompagnent. Dans l’espace de la frontière les appartenances socio-culturelles se définissent et sont négociées grâce également aux choix alimentaires. Le rapport individuel aux interdits alimentaires d’ordre religieux en est une preuve, notamment lorsque ce rapport assume la fonction de « [f]aire barrage à l’altérité […] c’est-à-dire instituer la séparation » (Benkheira 1997: 261) ou, inversement, d’affirmer l’échange social selon des modalités propres. [less ▲]

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See detailDe l’intersectionnalité
Mescoli, Elsa ULiege

Conference given outside the academic context (2017)

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See detailNGOs and female circumcision in Egypt. An anthropological enquiry
Mescoli, Elsa ULiege

in Anthropology of Contemporary Middle East and Central Eurasia (2017, June)

In 1994, during the International Conference on Population and Development convened by the United Nations in Cairo, a shocking video was shown, realized by an operator of CNN and depicting the ... [more ▼]

In 1994, during the International Conference on Population and Development convened by the United Nations in Cairo, a shocking video was shown, realized by an operator of CNN and depicting the circumcision of a ten-year-old child living in this very same city. Discourses around female circumcision were not new in Egypt and in the international community, but what was considered as a new episode of a recurrent scandal (not the last one indeed) led to enhance the “war against bad government” (Foucault 2003: 38). A war fought by means of ideological weapons produced by various forms of expert knowledge among which the medical and the feminist ones. The assignment of a value to the state of integrity of the female body and to the women freedom of choice, both designed according to Western canons, led to different actions to “save” Egyptian women. In this context, development agencies foster a widespread representation of the victim, constituted by the woman mutilated body. Such representation is functional to put in place programs which do not guarantee a freedom of choice, but rather require adherence to another female model, one that defines the "modern" woman. My article, based on ethnographic experience, aims at highlighting the complexity of such dynamics and the role played by humanitarianism within them. Female body becomes the arena where local and international economic powers operate, disregarding a real understanding of the practice, its meanings and its eventual change. [less ▲]

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See detailBetween practices and belongings: intersectional stories of migrant women around food
Mescoli, Elsa ULiege

Conference (2017, March)

Short abstract Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted among Moroccan women living in Milan hinterland in Italy, this paper aims at exploring the negotiated ways of performing both cultural and social ... [more ▼]

Short abstract Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted among Moroccan women living in Milan hinterland in Italy, this paper aims at exploring the negotiated ways of performing both cultural and social belongings through food and at pointing out how these two dimensions can diverge or overlap in practice. Long abstract Migration constitutes for human beings an opportunity – among others – to develop a reflexive gaze upon one’s own habits (Rodier 2010), food habits in the case under study. In fact, not only changes that may occur in the ways of eating, cooking and supplying of produces, but also new relationships push individuals to question their everyday practices, which are associated with specific meanings. These meanings are socially and culturally oriented and performative, since they permit to state belongings as well as to take part to differently defined groups. In order to study these dynamics, I will present some ethnographic data collected during a research among Moroccan women living in Milan hinterland in Italy, mainly focusing on the history of two of them. The description of food practices, embedded in the narration of the migration experience and its consequences, which in its turn interacts with contextual discourses around immigrants and cultural diversity, reveals unexpected strategies to take social and cultural positionings within the collectivity. The theoretical framework upon which my analysis relies consists of a praxeological approach to subjectivation (Warnier 2001) combined with the consideration of the multi-dimensionality of the self which is derived from the intersectional perspective on identity (Crenshaw 1989; Anthias 2002; Yuval-Davis 2006). Through concrete practices involving food, individuals – women in this case – define their self as a layered complex of belongings, and they do that at both social and cultural level; thus proving how these two dimensions can diverge or overlap. [less ▲]

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See detailEthnographies du proche: perspectives réflexives et enjeux de terrain
Campigotto, Marie ULiege; Dobbels, Rachel ULiege; Mescoli, Elsa ULiege

in Emulations: Revue des Jeunes Chercheurs en Sciences Sociales (2017)

Les contributions de ce volume portent sur différentes expériences d’ethnographie du proche pour montrer en quels termes la réflexivité propre à l’ethnographie se déploie lorsque le contexte au sein ... [more ▼]

Les contributions de ce volume portent sur différentes expériences d’ethnographie du proche pour montrer en quels termes la réflexivité propre à l’ethnographie se déploie lorsque le contexte au sein duquel le chercheur œuvre implique une proximité de différents ordres entre celui-ci et les sujets de son terrain. Elles permettent de répertorier les trajectoires singulières auxquelles le retour réflexif sur l’expérience de terrain peut ouvrir. Trajectoires qui convergent sur certains points et divergent sur d’autres par rapport à la réflexivité qui s’exerce dans le cadre de l’ethnographie telle qu’elle est conçue et pratiquée par l’anthropologue « traditionnel », c’est-à-dire dans ces lieux lointains qui, par définition, installent une distance entre l’observateur et ce(ux) qu’il observe. [less ▲]

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See detailHow did EU Citizens Experience Belgium’s Policy of Expulsion and Removal?
Lafleur, Jean-Michel ULiege; Mescoli, Elsa ULiege

E-print/Working paper (2017)

The issue of experiencing illegality as EU citizens is here explored through analyzing the case study of Italians in Belgium who saw their residence permit removed by state authorities. This example shows ... [more ▼]

The issue of experiencing illegality as EU citizens is here explored through analyzing the case study of Italians in Belgium who saw their residence permit removed by state authorities. This example shows how becoming undocumented is the result of “a legal production of illegality” and that social policies switch from being instruments of protection for groups at risk of social exclusion to being instruments incentivizing individuals to participate in the labour market and consequently rejecting “unproductive migrants” from the social system. EU citizenship and freedom of movement within member states is thus questioned and conditioned to some other socio-economic issues. The notion of “deservingness” highlights that the restriction of the mobility of the poor in general shapes here in terms of “undeserving” the right to freedom of movement and determines further stratifications among migrants. Strategies are developed within an emerging discourse of a “moral economy of deservingness” and they respond to the individuals’ precarious statuses. [less ▲]

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See detailBeing Moroccan abroad. Objects and everyday practices in women subjectivation.
Mescoli, Elsa ULiege

in International Review of Social Research (2017)

Objects and practices used and performed daily, play a central role in the definition of the self, and migration paths, meant both in a personal and in a collective sense, determine complex dynamics which ... [more ▼]

Objects and practices used and performed daily, play a central role in the definition of the self, and migration paths, meant both in a personal and in a collective sense, determine complex dynamics which involve them directly. Starting from De Certeau's analysis of everyday life [1980], my research focuses on Moroccan women living in Milan's suburbs, and it aims at studying how they make themselves and the place where they live, after migration, through materiality, moving in peculiar ways among what new local context (with its mass production and wished standardization of habits) and origin country (where what is perceived as "traditional" constantly meets the global dimension of goods and practices) impose. The murmuring of everyday practices and the words of the objects involved talk about women who perform and use them in ways that lead a complex reflection on the definition of a proper Moroccan "style" [Gell, 1998]: if we can say that a person is made of material objects which determine an induction of its own agency, of biographical history and of collective memory, equally we might state that these objects interlace among each other and define different manners of being Moroccan, and of being it abroad. [less ▲]

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