Our project entails long-term ethnographic fieldwork in the territories of four EU member states, France, Greece, Italy, and Spain – territories vastly diverse in their relationship to their national states, as well in their historical and current experiences with alterity, marginalization, and human mobility; yet similar in their capacity as sociocultural, legal (political), and physical EU borderlands, where processes of care and control in the context of undocumented maternity hinge on and reflect various relations and hierarchies, born of distinct but also shared social, cultural, historical, political, and economic factors.
We have conducted research at various locations where undocumented migrant expecting or recent mothers seek or receive antenatal and postnatal care, and deliver their babies. This has included hospital maternity wards, regional health centers, the premises of health NGOs, refugee camps, and various others less or more open “hospitality” spaces.
Fieldwork started in late July 2016 and its first and major phase was completed in late August 2016. Additional, shorter research missions are planned for the early months of 2018.
Fieldwork in Italy has been conducted by our project’s principal investigator, Vanessa Grotti, and by research associate Chiara Quagliariello. Vanessa investigated undocumented maternity in Syracuse, Sicily from July 2016 to July 2017. Chiara conducted research in the island of Lampedusa, from July 2016 to January 2017.
Research associate Cynthia Malakasis has conducted fieldwork in Greece, in the capital city of Athens.
Research associate Nina Sahraoui has been in charge of research in Spain’s Northern Africa enclaves, Ceuta and Melilla.
Fieldwork in the Overseas French Department of Guiana, in Saint-Laurent du Maroni was also conducted by Nina Sahraoui.
Fieldwork in the Overseas French Department of Mayotte, in the capital city of Mamoudzou will be conducted in early 2018.
* We use the term “migration” (as well as “”migrant,” “migratory,” etc.) to denote cross-border mobility in general – NOT to imply a distinction between people with or without claims to international protection.