<![CDATA[Valued Difference - Un/Valued]]>Wed, 07 Oct 2020 04:48:06 +0200Weebly<![CDATA[Aproximar-se às diferenças urbanas valorizadas a partir do imagético]]>Fri, 02 Oct 2020 16:19:46 GMThttp://valueddifference.info/unvalued/aproximar-se-as-diferencas-urbanas-valorizadas-a-partir-do-imageticoA potencialidade dos registros visuais na etnografia com residentes urbanxs recém-chegadxs
Invited by the Núcleo de Antropologia Visual (NAVISUAL) of the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul I'll be presenting some of the visual cues that my interlocutors in Rio de Janeiro use to tell their stories in Rio de Janeiro and my own visual registers that developed over hearing their characterizations of the city and its inhabitants. I'm very much looking forward to the debate!

<![CDATA[VII International Symposium on the history and Culture of Brazil]]>Sat, 08 Aug 2020 09:31:36 GMThttp://valueddifference.info/unvalued/vii-international-symposium-on-the-history-and-culture-of-brazilI will be presenting at the 9th roundtable on "Identities and Alterities" of this international symposium that honors the struggles for freedom in 200 years of an independent Brazil. I will discuss some of the current alterities in Brazli that arise from the recent arrival of West Africans and Southern Europeans in the city of Rio de Janeiro. I will discuss notions of Africanness and Europeanness in my interlocutors' narratives and experiences in Rio de Janeiro and how this discussion facilitates an understanding of some of the complexities of historically grown, currently active social hierarchies and racism in the city.
Missed it? Please go and listen to our debate here!
<![CDATA[Continuously shaping horizontal global collaboration]]>Sun, 02 Aug 2020 22:00:00 GMThttp://valueddifference.info/unvalued/continuously-shaping-horizontal-global-collaboration
It is a pleasure to announce that over the coming years I will be able to work together with the colleagues from the Maria Sibylla Merian International Centre for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences Conviviality-Inequality in Latin America - Mecila - to inquire into the entanglements of inequality and conviviality in Latin American societies.

The Centre is a collaboration between seven research institutions in four countries and two continents
  • Instituto de Investigaciones en Humanidades y Ciencias Sociales Research (Institute of the Humanities and Social Sciences, IdIHCS)
  • El Colegio de México (The College of Mexico, COLMEX)
  • Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento (Brazilian Centre of Analysis and Planning, CEBRAP)
  • Universidade de São Paulo (University of São Paulo, USP)
  • Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut (Ibero-American Institute, IAI)
  • Freie Universität Berlin (Free University Berlin, FU Berlin), and
  • Universität zu Köln (University of Cologne, UzK)
The last will be my academic home from where I will work with colleagues on the [hi]stories in which forms of living together with difference are entangled diachronically. It allows me to draw my expertise from my previous projects in Senegal, Spain, and Brazil together.
<![CDATA[Researching with Difference]]>Thu, 21 May 2020 09:26:55 GMThttp://valueddifference.info/unvalued/researching-with-differenceAs a key part of my research for the book Comparing Conviviality, I reflect on the differences between me and my interlocutors, my privilege and the commonalities we identified and challenges we faced. The relations we forged throughout the research process and beyond materialized at the intersection of race, origin, class, world view and outlook, among others.
Impressions from the presentation and debate of Comparing Conviviality at the Núcleo Interdisciplinar de Estudos Migratórios (NIEM), IPPUR, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, in March 2020.

The sound at the beginning and end are from ZigFest in 2010 in Ziguinchor, Senegal which I discuss in Chapter 4: Staged and sensous.

If ever you do not have access to the book through your institution, please get in touch.
<![CDATA[The birth of a concept]]>Wed, 22 Apr 2020 09:07:56 GMThttp://valueddifference.info/unvalued/april-22nd-2020The book Comparing Conviviality takes the claim to a better knowledge and practice of how to live with difference foreward that Senegalese migrants in Catalonia made. Pursuing such non-hegemonic knowledge during 18-month of multi-sited, ethnographic fieldwork in Casamance, Senegal, and Catalonia, Spain, this quest has led to the formulation of an unstable concept: conviviality.
Impressions from the presentation and debate of Comparing Conviviality at the Núcleo Interdisciplinar de Estudos Migratórios (NIEM), IPPUR, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, in March 2020.

The sound at the beginning and end are from ZigFest in 2010 in Ziguinchor, Senegal which I discuss in Chapter 4: Staged and sensous.

If ever you do not have access to the book through your institution, please get in touch.
<![CDATA[CfP: Emerging Urban Political Subjectivities: Synergies, Tensions, Contradictions, and Transformations in Pluralizing Cities (Panel 88)]]>Mon, 20 Apr 2020 22:00:00 GMThttp://valueddifference.info/unvalued/cfp-emerging-urban-political-subjectivities-synergies-tensions-contradictions-and-transformations-in-pluralizing-cities-panel-88We invite you to submit a proposal to our panel

Application deadline extended: 1st of June 2020

Abstract: Cities are cross-roads where the numerous effects of neoliberal capitalism and (post)modern biopolitics converge with scores of counter-movements challenging them and proposing alternatives. In this context we ask how urban dwellers and traversers who strive for change of the terms of urban life become involved in the political. This panel aims to understand such emerging urban political subjectivities. We invite papers that observe such changes either regarding a specific subset of urban populations (e.g. activists, migrants, believers, students, homeless), specific causes (e.g. mobility, housing, security), or in overall urban governance schemes (e.g. private-public partnerships, participatory processes). The panel is particularly interested in innovative takes on the political that study the entanglements of materialities, people, and acts. We invite critical engagements with the - in our view - problematic conceptual distinctions between the political, the ethical, and the emotional. A key concern of ours is: How do non-hegemonic cosmovisions shape urban political subjectivities and how do their proponents re-define both the content and form of the political. Not only urban assemblages are plural, but also their styles and forms of addressing the political, fluently re-entangling materialities, actors, and acts. This fluidity challenges simple concepts of the political and signals urban becoming in multiplicity. Urban political subjectivities hence may go through rapid changes. Through increased analytical ethnographic attention into such emerging configurations and their synergies, tensions, and contradictions, the panel aims to make a valuable contribution to understanding and shaping more sustainable and resilient urban futures.

Conference: IUAES Congress 2020 Coming of Age on Earth: Legacies and Next Generation Anthropology

When: 07-11 October 2020
Where: Convention Centre, Šibenik, Croatia

Conveners: Tilmann Heil (KU Leuven), Raúl Acosta (LMU Munich)

Guidelines: https://iuaes2020.conventuscredo.hr/abstract-submission-guidelines/
Submission system: https://iuaes2020.conventuscredo.hr/abstract-submission/

We are looking forward to receiving your abstracts.
<![CDATA[Changing the debate on migration]]>Thu, 16 Apr 2020 09:26:48 GMThttp://valueddifference.info/unvalued/changing-the-debate-on-migrationMy work on migration accross one of the most unequal geographies in the world, the Mediterranean, was driven by the dissatisfaction with how the people were mainly framed: victims, criminals, or undeserving 'bogus' refugees. These debates are often driven by the problem of Europeans to deal with those who are different at their doorstep. My book Comparing Conviviality shifts this debate, engaging with the knowledge of mobile Africans and how they live with difference.
Impressions from the presentation and debate of Comparing Conviviality at the Núcleo Interdisciplinar de Estudos Migratórios (NIEM), IPPUR, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, in March 2020.

The sound at the beginning and end are from ZigFest in 2010 in Ziguinchor, Senegal which I discuss in Chapter 4: Staged and sensous.

If ever you do not have access to the book through your institution, please get in touch.
<![CDATA[Interweaving the fabric of urban infrastructure. The emergence of a Senegalese presence in Rio de Janeiro]]>Tue, 07 Apr 2020 15:27:16 GMThttp://valueddifference.info/unvalued/interweaving-the-fabric-of-urban-infrastructurein International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (IJURR)

This article reveals how newcomers weave their own threads into the fabric of urban infrastructure. Entangling their own assemblages with other urban assemblages, newcomers generate multi-layered dynamics situationally to render possible the lives to which they aspire. They forge openings where there seemed none before and keep negative potentialities in check. To offer an ethnography of how the Senegalese presence in Rio de Janeiro has grown dynamically between 2014 and 2019, I draw analytical strength from the double meaning of agencement: assemblage and agencer—the action of interweaving varied socio-material components so that they work together well. Two case studies act as a starting point: how Senegalese came to inhabit an urban architectural landmark and how they regularise their residence status. The necessary transformative power is generated through (1) the mutual intertwining of a dahira, a religious group of Senegalese migrants, and a diasporic Senegalese association and (2) the Senegalese’ ways of interweaving themselves and their institutionalised collective forms with ever more socio-material components of the urban space. Beyond the better-known transnational embeddedness of the Senegalese, their complex infrastructuring practices upon arrival become constitutive of new urban realities, moulding the city fabric of which they are becoming part.
<![CDATA[Post/colonial reconfigurations. The disregarded, renewed arrival of Spaniards in Rio de Janeiro]]>Mon, 06 Apr 2020 22:00:00 GMThttp://valueddifference.info/unvalued/postcolonial-reconfigurationsin International Journal of Immigration and Refugee Studies

Given the renewed arrival of Spanish migrants in Brazil since 2008, I analyse how post/colonial power relations are re/configured and contradictions produced when legal and economic precarity question status hierarchies based on origin, race, and class. Brazil currently hosts the largest number of illegalised Spaniards worldwide. Illegality and precarity contest the favourable effects of nearly unconditional whiteness in Brazil and globally racialised, colonial power hierarchies. Derived from 2.5 years of ethnographic fieldwork in Rio de Janeiro since 2014, my interlocutors’ trajectories show how they struggle with and embrace the urban fabric and its structural post/colonial configuration.

Brazil, postcolonial, whiteness, Europeanness, precarity, coloniality, status, hierarchy

<![CDATA[Discussing Southern knowledge of conviviality in Rio de Janeiro]]>Wed, 25 Mar 2020 14:37:24 GMThttp://valueddifference.info/unvalued/discussing-southern-knowledge-of-conviviality-in-rio-de-janeiroNúcleo Interdisciplinar de Estudos Migratórios, IPPUR, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
During the second discussion of my monograph Comparing Conviviality during the first meeting of the Interdisciplinary Group on Migration Studies at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, I conveyed a long story in a nutshell: how my thinking on conviviality is grounded in representations and practices of neigbhourliness and cohabitation that make it necessary and possible to arrive at a concept of living with difference that frames forms of minimal sociality in unstable, uncertain, and changing urban contexts. This contrasts to Stuart Hall's characterisation of most of our concepts, which social sciences came up with to give us the impression of a stability that in actual fact never existed. Conviviality instead is meant to be a simple tool to speak of such complex and challenging situations and describe how human sociality unfolds in them.
I thank my colleagues from the Research Group and other participants for their interest and appreciation, especially Prof. Miriam da Silveira Santos who kicked off her comments with: 'I have accompanied Tilmann's work for some years now; no I finally understood what he does. He goes back to a key dimension of anthropology: that of comparison.' It resonated with Prof. Joana Bahia observation how I pay attention the fact that our interlocutors in the field - in my case transnational Senegalese from the Casamance region - are the true masters of comparison.
<![CDATA[APRESENTAÇÃO E DEBATE DO LIVRO EM LANÇAMENTO]]>Fri, 06 Mar 2020 20:25:24 GMThttp://valueddifference.info/unvalued/apresentacao-e-debate-do-livro-em-lancamento
Três debates do meu livro em lançamento

I: Museu Nacional, Horto Botânico, Quinta da Boa Vista, s/n - São Cristóvão, Rio de Janeiro
12 de março 2020, 9:30 horas
com os debatedores
Joana Bahia, Professora titular, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro
El Hadji Diallo, Jornalista e tradutor independente
Charles P. Gomes, Pesquisador, Fundação Casa de Rui Barbosa
II: Núcleo interdisciplinar de Estudos Migratórios, IPPUR, UFRJ, Rua da Lapa 120 / 204
13 de março 2020, 17:00 horas
com a debatedora
Miriam de Oliveira Santos, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro

III. Centro de Estudos Africanos, Universidade de São Paulo, USP
Sala 08, Avenida Luciano Gualberto 315
16 de março 2020, 15:00 horas
com os debatedores
Alexander Yao Cobbinah, USP
Luciane Scarato, Universidade de Colônia e Mecila/Cebrap

Sumário do livro
Em um mundo onde a diferença é muitas vezes vista como uma ameaça ou desafio, o livro explora como as pessoas realmente vivem em sociedades diversas. Baseado numa etnografia a longo prazo de africanos ocidentais, tanto no Senegal como na Espanha, este livro propõe que a convivialidade é um compromisso com a diferença entre etnias, línguas, religiões e práticas.

Tilmann Heil reúne histórias de longa data, projetos políticos e práticas cotidianas de viver com a diferença. Com foco na vida de bairros em Casamança, Senegal e Catalunha, Espanha - duas regiões igualmente complexas - o livro mostra como os senegaleses negociam e traduzem com habilidade os meandros da diferença e do poder. Nestes mundos africanos e europeus vividos, a convivialidade é sempre temporária e em transformação.

Este livro oferece uma leitura texturizada, realista, porém esperançosa, da diferença, da mudança social, do poder e do respeito.
<![CDATA[Deromanticising integration. On the importance of convivial disintegration]]>Thu, 19 Dec 2019 18:08:36 GMThttp://valueddifference.info/unvalued/deromanticising-integration-on-the-importance-of-convivial-disintegrationin Migration Studies [Open Access]
with Fran Meissner

In light of current experiences with migration-driven diversification, is it still conducive to think about the effects of international migration by advocating for immigrant integration? This article argues that there are key problems with European uses of immigrant integration logics that cannot be resolved through redefinitions or reappropriations of the term. Even highly refined notions of immigrant integration misconstrue the role and relevance of differences in diversity dynamics. Immigrant integration further risks concealing and perpetuating power dynamics and (colonial) hierarchies. These continue to shape the social relevance of differences. Analytically thinking about superdiversity directs us to paying more attention to disintegration, a notion that cannot be reduced and measured by way of individual or group performance. To be able to usefully engage with disintegration, we argue that it needs to be divorced from ideas about social fragmentation and social collapse. To do this, we draw on recent developments in the literature on conviviality to emphasise the relational practices, power asymmetries, and materialities that enter into negotiations of difference. Convivial disintegration aptly addresses continuously reconfiguring and uncertain social environments. Our article thus provides a deromanticised and enabling provocation for easing integration anxieties.
<![CDATA[Conviviality as diasporic knowledge]]>Tue, 10 Dec 2019 23:00:00 GMThttp://valueddifference.info/unvalued/conviviality-as-diasporic-knowledgein African Diaspora 11 (1-2): 53-70

​Based on my time with im/mobile West Africans in Senegal and Spain since 2007, I propose conviviality to conceptualise the complexity of my interlocutors’ local and diasporic tactics and views of living with difference. Simple everyday encounters such as greeting and dwelling in urban spaces serve to disentangle their various levels of reflection, habitual expectations and tactical action. They had local to global reference frameworks at their disposal. Not pretending to represent their knowledge, I discuss the inspirations I received from trying to understand what they shared with me non/verbally regarding living with difference. To start from this decentred set of premises challenges established Western/Northern politics of living with difference. Through conviviality, I show a distinct way of engaging multiple and overlapping ways of differentiating and homogenising practices and raise awareness for the importance and feasibility of minimal socialities in diasporic configurations, transnational migrations and the respective local urban contexts.

<![CDATA[Comparing Conviviality - in print]]>Thu, 14 Nov 2019 23:00:00 GMThttp://valueddifference.info/unvalued/comparing-conviviality-in-print
In the evening, neighbours of different ethnic and religious affiliations celebrate a baptism on a public street in Lindiane, Ziguinchor in 2009.
In a world where difference is often seen as a threat or challenge, Comparing Conviviality explores how people actually live in diverse societies. Based on a long-term ethnography of West Africans in both Senegal and Spain, the book proposes that conviviality is a commitment to difference, across ethnicities, languages, religions, and practices.
Heil brings together longstanding histories, political projects, and everyday practices of living with difference. With a focus on neighbourhood life in Casamance, Senegal, and Catalonia, Spain - two equally complex regions - Comparing Conviviality depicts how Senegalese people skillfully negotiate and translate the intricacies of difference and power. In these lived African and European worlds, conviviality is ever temporary and changing. 
This book offers a textured, realist, yet hopeful understanding of difference, social change, power, and respect. It will be invaluable to students and scholars of African, migration, and diversity studies across anthropology, sociology, geography, political sciences, and law.
<![CDATA[Conviviality on the brink]]>Thu, 16 May 2019 11:14:53 GMThttp://valueddifference.info/unvalued/conviviality-on-the-brinkin Mecila Working Paper 14 (full text)


​Current academic usages of the notion of conviviality often carry a normative connotation in which it is opposed to tension and conflict. Instead, I propose to use conviviality as an analytical term; This everyday living together is characterized by tensions, contradictions, and inconsistencies that complicate abstract theorization and the use of clearly defined concepts whose role is, as Stuart Hall once suggested, to give us a good night’s rest by feigning a stability we long for. If conviviality is, as I suggest, understood as a notion that embraces the inconsistencies, multiplicities, and complexities of new urban ways, I inquire into the emerging relationalities between recently-arrived Senegalese and their social context in Rio de Janeiro under the impact of multiple hierarchical orders, including race, origin, education, and class.
<![CDATA[​Muslim – Queer encounters in Rio de Janeiro. Making sense of relative positionalities]]>Thu, 16 May 2019 11:03:20 GMThttp://valueddifference.info/unvalued/muslim-queer-encounters-in-rio-de-janeiro-making-sense-of-relative-positionalitiesin Ethnography (full text)

For recently arrived West African migrants in the metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro, the virtual and street encounters with travesti sex workers and queer beach goers provoked questions of relative power and status as experienced from a social margin of local Brazilian society. Based on ethnographic fieldwork since 2014, I address the question of how my Muslim interlocutors’ encounter with queers facilitate a particular and partial reading of Brazilian social relations, their legal mediation and their individual and social valuations. Moving between queer, postcolonial, queer of color and Muslim queer scholarship, I situate the local encounters of Muslim West Africans and queer subjects to differentiate and transcend the global framework of homonationalism and queer necropolitics. Situational positionalities result from the interplay of multiple geographical and social locations that, in their contradictions and interdependencies, are characteristic of contemporary urban configurations.

inequality; hierarchy; margin; queer; homonationalism; Muslim; Brazil; West Africa; Murids; Rio de Janeiro
<![CDATA[Problematizing Morality]]>Wed, 20 Feb 2019 12:42:17 GMThttp://valueddifference.info/unvalued/problematizingmoralityConsider to apply to discuss and problematize conviviality and morality together at University of Tuebingen. Details below.
Ethnographic Approaches to the Normative Dimensions of Everyday Life
September 24 - 27, 2019 – Tübingen, Germany

In recent years, the social sciences have both undergone and propelled a “moral turn”, synchronized to an advancing moralization of public and political discourse and practice. Two main lines of argument infuse this turn: The location of morality and its relation to power. Morality should neither be conceived of as individual predispositions nor as discrete spheres of sociality. Instead, everyday life can be comprehend as imbued with moral valuation and reasoning: The social is ultimately the arena of the ethical. Considering the broad interest in researching morality and the normative dimensions of everyday life, this Summer School aims to provide a platform for early career researchers to contribute to these debates, facilitating international and interdisciplinary dialogue, and highlighting the dimension of morality as objects of study. By emphasizing the articulation of the moral to power and by refining conceptual differentiations (such as the inherent relation between morality and religion), the Summer School aims to sound out and deepen the understanding of the moral dimensions of social life by analyzing their “problematization”. In such problematizations morality comes into being as an object of reflection that can be contested and claimed. At their heart lies the nexus between morality and emotions. Morals are part of and informed by “emotional ideologies” resulting in perceptions which differ significantly and are prone for conflict.
We want to open a space for inquiring into the processes in which moral and ethical claims acquire normative power and how this normativity is contested; the ways actors practice and relate to these claims; how they navigate through moral conflicts; and finally how they envision, strive for and live a life that matters, conceived of as ‘good’ and ‘right’.
To this end, we welcome applications from ethnographers working on questions of morality from different disciplines and at different career stages (PhD students, postdocs and early-career scholars). Combining lectures, workshops, and master classes conducted by renowned scholars in the field, the Summer School offers profound theoretical input and different formats for exchange. These include the presentation of participants’ research, theoretical discussion, and time for reflecting methodological matters and research ethics.

More details see pdf file.
Call for Applicants
File Size: 231 kb
File Type: pdf
Download File

<![CDATA[Un/ValueD in politics.]]>Sat, 01 Sep 2018 22:00:00 GMThttp://valueddifference.info/unvalued/unvalued-in-politics

Science and Culture in current-day Brazil

I wake up to the news that the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro is burned down. One of the most important collections gone, one of the best libraries for Social and Cultural Anthropology gone, the archives of various former professors gone, the space where people researched, learned, discussed, tried to understand the former, present and future lives of people in Brazil and beyond gone, a historical monument marking key points of the Brazilian history gone, and most importantly one more place gone in which everybody could learn about the past and present of this country, become informed citizens, engage with the current devastating, worrying, sincerely frightening political, economic and social situation of Brazil - GONE. I came to Rio de Janeiro first hosted by the Universidade Estadual do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) and then the National Museum of the Universidade Federal of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). Even the world heard in the past news on the castigation that the UERJ went through as the first place that offered evening classes for students who had to work and quotas to combat structural discrimination. But even one of the most elite places, which has become more democratic in recent years with a more diversified student and professorial body, had fallen into neglect over the past years having to stay closed at various points because of the lack of funding even for the most basic services, let alone a much needed reform. Now the flames had it. What can be recovered won't be much. It is a devastating and frightening coincidence - if you believe it is - that all of this happens at a time when there does not seem much interest in public education, or rather, where the interest much rather seems to be to keep the masses ignorant again to even better exploit them. This is how it feels in Brazil these days. Being far, I cannot follow the call of my colleague Maria Elvira Díaz Benítez to go there in the morning to rescue what is left, nor can I stand by my adviser Luiz Fernando Dias Duarte who has found very clear words identifying the root causes of this desaster (https://www.theguardian.com/…/fire-engulfs-brazil-national-…), nor join the efforts of the amazing stuff of the Biblioteca Francisca Keller - PPGAS, nor take to the streets with my fellows of the PPGAS. As I did when the Rectoria of the Federal University burned down a couple of years ago, where the library of the Interdisciplinary Nucleus of Migration Studies was housed and of which I am a member (NIEM), I can only be as supportive as possible from far. I hope that Institutions of Education worldwide will do the same in rebuilding a unreplaceable loss instead of accepting a void soon to be taken by the destructive forces of our time.