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Fragile convivialities : everyday living together in two stateless but diverse regions, Catalonia and Casamance


Heil,  Tilmann
Socio-Cultural Diversity, MPI for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Max Planck Society;

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Heil, T. (2012). Fragile convivialities: everyday living together in two stateless but diverse regions, Catalonia and Casamance. MMG Working Paper, (12-18).

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-7D39-E
Numerous immigrants from Casamance, the southern region of Senegal, currently
dwell in Catalonia, the northeast of Spain. Based on anthropological fieldwork in
these two sites, I address the regional discourses and practices of conviviality, the
process of living together in a shared locality. This parallels and supplements other
aspects of Senegalese migrations such as a strong associational life, trading and religious
networks, transnational migration patterns, and an economic motivation for
Many of the Casamançais immigrants share a discourse of a specific Casamançais
way of cohabitation between ethnicities and religions. The local European counterpart
is the Catalan model of social integration called convivència. My analysis shows,
first, that the way Casamançais migrants experience and live conviviality in Catalonia
is not fully equivalent to practices and discourses in Casamance. Second, apart
from regional references, national and global ones are also meaningful for understanding
everyday life. Nonetheless, the regional experience in the Casamance offers
at least three important reference points: religious cohabitation, multilingualism, and
an awareness of internal cultural diversity. They continue to be a relevant framework
for contextualising everyday life in Catalonia.