SOAS University of London

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Domestic servants in a post-slavery context

Marco Gardini (Università di Milano Bicocca)

Date: 12 March 2014Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 12 March 2014Time: 6:30 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: FG01

Type of Event: Seminar

This paper presents the life histories of two Togolese men who worked as unpaid domestic servants ('boys') for rich Togolese families throughout the 80s and 90s. Their shared experience of servitude sheds light on the changes and the continuities between old and new forms of exploitation in a ‘post-slavery’ context. On the one hand their biographies show how relations of personal dependence are activated in order to face economic crises, on the other how these same relations can become a trap that reproduce forms of exploitation which have strong resemblances with past forms of unfree labour.

Organiser: Dr Marie Rodet

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