Crossing Sexual Borders. Gender and Sexuality in Migration

Publié le 4 juin par Institut du genre

Research center : Laboratoire d’études de genre et de sexualité (LEGS), Université Paris 8.
Organizers : Éric Fassin (Paris 8 University, LEGS ; Manuela Salcedo (Défenseur des droits-CNRS, LEGS)

Sex has to do with borders. This can involve very different logics. Migration may be the result of intimate relationships, for example through family reunification. Sex can also make migration possible – in particular in the case of sex work. However, these two logics are not always so easy to distinguished. For example, binational marriages are alternately considered as the cause or as the instrument of migration.
This is due to the fact that, conversely, borders have to do with sex. Migration is sometimes a way to flee from persecution based on sexual or gender identity. Indeed, States often use sex to define borders, and accordingly decide whether to let people in, or keep them out. Forced marriage, polygamy, and genital mutilations are used as arguments to open borders to the persons who are recognized as victims, and close them for those that are held responsible for
their plight.
Sex without borders and the borders of sex are thus the two sides of the same coin. This process involves a multiplicity of agents – not only migrants, but also the various intermediaries, from judges to activists, including interpreters. It has consequences on individuals who migrate, as sexual identity does not exist independent of these
power relations : the subjectivation of migrants is thus inseparable from State policies.

June 13-14, 2019
MSH Paris Nord
20 avenue George Sand 93210 Saint-Denis (France)

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