Unruly Migrations, Abolitionist Alternatives

Vicki Squire


This essay considers how appeals for the abolition of structures of unfreedom,
situations of violence and harm, and enduring practices of neglect
and dehumanisation are generated through acts of unruly migration. It
does so on the basis of a close engagement with a counter-archive of migratory
testimonies that was produced during 2015 and 2016 with people
who had migrated – or were planning to migrate – across the Mediterranean
to Europe. Drawing inspiration from Ruth Wilson Gilmore’s conceptualisation
of ‘organised abandonment’, the essay suggests that key
dimensions of an abolitionist politics are evident in refusals of the racialised,
gendered and classed dynamics of militarism and colonialism that
are integral to the border complex. In so doing, it also reflects on alternatives
– transformative imaginaries and forms of organising that emerge
through what are interpreted as abolitionist acts of migration.



DOI: https://doi.org/10.6094/behemoth.2021.14.3.1065