‘They Treat Us Like Dogs’ : Demographic Claustrophobia and the Zimbabwean Struggle for Space on the Streets of Gaborone, Botswana

‘They Treat Us Like Dogs’ : Demographic Claustrophobia and the Zimbabwean Struggle for Space on the Streets of Gaborone, Botswana

Publication Type:
article-journal
Date Issued:
2012
Authors:
Stephen Marr
Publisher:
Routledge
Language:
eng
Page:
80-108
DOI:
10.1080/17532523.2012.714161
Abstract:

Over the course of the past decade the outflow of Zimbabwean migrants into neighbouring Southern African countries has prompted widespread attention in academic circles and international media. Narratives of xenophobia, violence and conflicts over access to jobs and resources have been widely disseminated, especially in South Africa. This essay, however, places the emphasis on Botswana. The text emphasises the everyday experiences and encounters of Zimbabweans and Batswana on the streets of Gaborone. First, I historicise the tensions between Batswana and other immigrants and explore the current contours of the conflict from the Batswana perspective. Second, I present a depiction of the daily life of Zimbabwean job seekers who frequent the street corners of the White City neighbourhood. Through the use of ethnographic data and interviews, I offer a means to explore broader theoretical issues of biopolitics, securitisation and citizenship.

Keywords:
Botswana Zimbabwe biopolitics autochthony citizenship policing politics of the everyday