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What fits in the suitcase? Displacement and movement of objects of the Senegalese diaspora in the "land of the Italians"

Grant number: 17/03724-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2018
Effective date (End): June 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology
Principal Investigator:Bela Feldman-Bianco
Grantee:Cristiano Sobroza Monteiro
Host Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


A city of Italian settlement in the state of Rio Grande do Sul which is now considered "The Capital of Senegal in Brazil" is the backdrop for the questions that I raise in this project. Since mid-2009, thousands of Senegalese have moved to Caxias do Sul looking for work in companies in the refrigerator sector. Along with them, and beyond their desire for better living conditions, habits and expressions of their culture blend with the city's daily life and its inhabitants' social relations. By means of an ethnographic approach, the main purpose of this project is to understand how the objects in Senegalese people's suitcases, in their processes of displacement and insertion in Caxias do Sul - RS, can act as social networks of mobility and work, as well as serve as energizers to a whole system of exchanges and obligations that involve people, places and objects. From the point of view of material culture and power relations, I seek to understand how these objects, in their uses, exchanges and circulations, occupy liminal positions between social and ritual domains, implying their reintroduction and re-signification in a context marked by transnational migratory flows of the Senegalese diaspora and their experiences of life and work in this industrial city. (AU)

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