The Production of Illicit Lives: Racial Governmentality and Colonial Legacies Across the Strait of Gibraltar

Perl, Gerhild (2020). The Production of Illicit Lives: Racial Governmentality and Colonial Legacies Across the Strait of Gibraltar. Zeitschrift füt Ethnologie, 145(2), pp. 255-274. Dietrich Reimer Verlag

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For centuries, the Strait of Gibraltar has been a crossroads between Africa and Europe. Since the 1980s, however, it has increasingly become a “zone of illegality” (Hannoum 2020) where racial governmentality produces illicit lives and creates an apartheid-like hierarchy of humanity. By exploring how colonial legacies and EU policies play out in the Strait of Gibraltar, I show how categories of diffe- rence are made and remade across time and space. Through a genealogical and ethnographic approach, I study the historically produced particularities that make racialised “Others” emerge and explore how human differences are created in terms of race, gender, and class. Migrants are historical actors that shape and are shaped by the social fabric of a border region. I thus argue that categories of difference are not fixed entities, but instead they are simultaneously reworked, reinforced, contested, and subverted.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Social Anthropology

UniBE Contributor:

Perl, Gerhild


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology




Dietrich Reimer Verlag




Gerhild Perl

Date Deposited:

27 Oct 2021 14:55

Last Modified:

28 Oct 2021 18:36

Uncontrolled Keywords:

al-hogra, border regime, colonial history, global apartheid, Morocco, race, Spain, whiteness




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