When one thinks of the fight against irregular immigration, it is images of border guards, patrols at sea or walls that spontaneously come to mind. Around the world, migratory flows are seen as security issues and consequently governed in a way that is part of the maintenance of order, even war: deployment of troops, barbed wire, drones, camps, confinement, expulsions, etc. The immigration solicitors in london can point out the
It is to forget that any policy is also a matter of ideologies and that, to use an expression frequently associated with the Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci, the use of force is accompanied by a battle of ideas, the purpose of which is not only to justify the political objectives pursued by the States, but also to obtain the consent of the governed. Migration policies are no exception.
The double message of Youssou N’Dour
Thus in 2007, the Spanish government broadcast a video in Senegal to convince potential migrants not to leave. In the mid-2000s, well before the current crisis in the central Mediterranean, migrants boarded the West African coast by pirogue and tried to reach the Canary Islands, some 100 km away.
The video shows Fatou, the mother of a young man missing in the Atlantic Ocean. Filmed in close-up, she mourns the death of her son. Then appears Youssou N’Dour, the famous Senegalese singer. He himself sits on a canoe, he turns his back to the ocean; the symbol is clear, and the message to his young compatriots is just as important: do not risk your life, your place is in Africa.
The message is twofold. It begins with a warning: beware, migration is dangerous. Those who leave risk their lives. The argument is obviously in bad faith: the danger of irregular immigration is the consequence of migration policies, which force migrants to take devious and perilous routes; if they could just fly, they would not be in danger.
More moralistic, the second argument calls for the patriotism of migrants and encourages them to stay at home to contribute to the development of their country and too bad if Youssou N’Dour, global artist if any, is not necessarily best placed to convince Senegalese youth of the benefits of local roots.
“Do not risk your life”
Ten years later, in 2017, Senegalese singer Goumba Gawlo is embarking on a concert tour organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The goal is always to “sensitize” youth to the issue of irregular immigration. One of the songs is entitled “Bul Sank Sa Bakane bi”, that is to say “Do not risk your life”.
Interspersed with images of boats of migrants rescued in the Mediterranean, the clip brings together several singers from all over West Africa and advises candidates for migration to invest in education. If they really want to leave, the song recommends them to migrate legally.
Here again, the money comes from Europe, from Italy in particular, which finances an ambitious IOM project entitled “Aware Migrants”. The reasoning is as follows: Africans are trying to reach Europe because they are ignorant. They are not aware of the risks, they do not know the fate of their fellow creatures, and they naively believe the promises of a better life than vicious smugglers make them shine. It is therefore necessary to carry out “awareness” or “awareness” campaigns, which will give them the necessary information.