SOAS University of London

Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

Mediterranea. Border Struggles, Migration and Freedom of Movement

Professor Sandro Mezzadra, University of Bologna

Date: 9 December 2020Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 9 December 2020Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Virtual Event

We are confronting today in many global borderscapes (including the US/Mexico borderlands and the Mediterranean Sea) a criminalization of humanitarian intervention in support of people in transit. This raises important questions with respect to the critique of the governmental turn of the ‘humanitarian reason’ articulated in recent years by critical border and migration scholars. The talk will discuss such questions through an engagement with the issue of the ‘human’ inspired by black abolitionist thinkers. Taking as a point of reference the migrant rescue operation Mediterranea, that was launched in Italy in 2008, it will also dwell on the transformations of the maritime border regime in the Mediterranean, emphasizing the relevance of the stubbornness of migrants challenging that regime and examining emerging forms of border activism and the practices of solidarity they embody. A discussion of freedom of movement as a political project will conclude the talk.

About the speaker

Sandro Mezzadra is Professor of Political theory at the University of Bologna (Department of Arts) and is adjunct research fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society of Western Sydney University. He has been visiting professor and research fellow in several places, including the New School for Social Research (New York), Humboldt Universität (Berlin), Duke University, Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme (Paris), University of Ljubljana, FLACSO Ecuador, and UNSAM (Buenos Aires).

In the last decade his work has particularly centered on the relations between globalization, migration and political processes, on contemporary capitalism, as well as on postcolonial theory and criticism. He is an active participant in the ‘post-workerist’ debates and one of the founders of the website Euronomade (

Among his books: Diritto di fuga. Migrazioni, cittadinanza, globalizzazione (“The right to escape: Migration, citizenship, globalization”, ombre corte, 2006), La condizione postcoloniale. Storia e politica nel presente globale (“The postcolonial condition: History and politics in the global present”, ombre corte, 2008), Un mondo da guadagnare. Per una teoria politica del presente (“A World to Win. Toward a Political Theory of the Present”, Meltemi, 2020) and In the Marxian Workshops. Producing Subjects, London, Rowman & Littlefield, 2018. With Brett Neilson he is the author of Border as Method, or, the Multiplication of Labor (Duke University Press, 2013) and of The Politics of Operations. Excavating Contemporary Capitalism (Duke University Press, 2019).

He is currently coordinating the Horizon 2020 project PLUS (“Platforms, Labor, Urban Spaces”).

Register for this free event via Eventbrite.

Organiser: Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

Contact email: