„Reinventing and Multiplying ‘Comorian Diaspora’ within Popular Culture: Marseilles as ‘Diaspora Space’.”

is the titel of our first co-authored article in the framework of our research project!

Here are all the details:

Englert, Birgit und Katharina Fritsch: „Reinventing and Multiplying ‘Comorian Diaspora’ within Popular Culture: Marseilles as ‘Diaspora Space’.” Crossings: Journal of Migration and Culture 6.2 (2015), S. 247-265.

Presentation at the Conference “Beyond the Master’s Tools”

Katharina Fritsch will present a paper at the conference

“Beyond the Master’s Tools. Post- and Decolonial Approaches to Research Methodology and Methods in the Social Sciences” which takes place at the University of Kassel, Germany on January 14-15, 2016.

January 14, 3:45:

Panel: “Me and the Others – the Researching Subject in Postcolonial Research (Panel Chair: Anke Ortlepp)

For More Feelings of Unease within White Research Practice! A Critical Whiteness Perspective on Postcolonial Research Encounters”
Katharina Fritsch, University of Vienna

“‘Committing Epistemicide?’ On the Impossibility of Doing Ethnography”
Luisa Hoffmann, Goethe University Frankfurt

The Conditions that Make a Difference: Decolonial Historical Realism, the Researcher and the Process of Decolonization” 

Julia Suárez-Krabbe, Roskilde University

See here for the full programm!



Vortrag im Afrikakolloquium der Humboldt Universität zu Berlin: “Translokale Narrative in franko-komorischem HipHop in Marseille”

Am 18. November 2015 präsentiert Birgit Englert Teile ihrer Forschung in einem Vortrag im Rahmen des Afrikakolloquium am Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin:

“Translokale Narrative in franko-komorischem HipHop in Marseille”

Wann: 18.11.2015 von 18:00 bis 19:30

Wo: Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften, Invalidenstr. 118, 4. Etage, R. 410


In diesem Vortrag geht es um HipHop in einem diasporischen Kontext, konkret um Franko-komorische Künstler in Marseille. In der zweitgrößten französischen Metropole im Süden des Landes hat ein hoher Anteil der Bevölkerung Bezug zu den Komoren, der Inselgruppe im Indischen Ozean. Im Zentrum der Analyse, die eine Mobilitätsperspektive einnimmt, stehen Soprano, einer der gegenwärtig populärsten Rapper in Frankreich, und Ahamada Smis, der als Slam-Künstler eher in einer “Weltmusikszene” verortet ist.

Die aktuellen Alben beider Künstler tragen bereits Dimensionen von Mobilität in ihren Titeln: “Cosmopolitanie” (2014) von Soprano und “Origines” (2013) von Ahamada Smis. Beide schaffen – auf sehr unterschiedliche Art – in ihrem Werk translokale Narrative, welche die Dichotomie zwischen „Komorisch“ und „Französisch“ herausfordern und neue Perspektiven auf die Stadt Marseille und die vermeintliche „Komorische Gemeinschaft“ werfen. Aber auch die Verortung der Komoren und nicht zuletzt auch die Verortung des Genre Rap selbst wird verschoben.

Presentation at the Conference “Postcolonial Mobilities in the Francophone World”

This weekend Katharina Fritsch will present a paper based on her research within the POCUTRAS project at a conference organised by the

Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies
In association with Liverpool University Press

Postcolonial Mobilities in the Francophone World

Friday 13 & Saturday 14 November 2015

Institute of Modern Languages Research, University of London,
Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

–> Panel 5b: Mobility and the Diaspora (Torrington Room)

    Chair: Claire Launchbury (IMLR/IHR, University of London)

Katharina Fritsch (University of Vienna), ‘Mobilizing ‘Comorian diaspora’ in Marseilles – Twarab and Marseilles’ biopolitics of communitarization

Sheila Petty (University of Regina), ‘Relational Histories in African Cinema’

Clément Cayla-Giraudeau (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne), ‘Politics from Abroad: the Case of the Senegalese and Djiboutian Diasporas’

Talk: Postcolonial and intersectional im-/mobilities – Economic and artistic activities among migrants from the Comoros in Marseille

In the context of the series “Afrika Kolloquium” at the Department of African Studies at the University of Vienna, the following talk will take place. You are all cordially invited to attend!

Postcolonial and intersectional im-/mobilities – Economic and artistic activities among migrants from the Comoros in Marseille

Ahmad Abdoul-Malik (Aix Marseille University) and Katharina Fritsch (University of Vienna)

Monday, 30th of November, 2015, 5 p.m.

Seminar room 1, Department of African Studies, UniCampus AAKH, Hof 5, Spitalgasse 2, 1090 Vienna

This talk presents first analyses of two different PhD projects, which share as much difference as well as points of encounter.

Ahmad Abdoul-Malik analyzes informalized trading activities among migrant women from the Comoros in Marseille. Situating these activities within a transnational space, he argues that the respective economic activities have been shaped by what Hirai (2009) describes as a ‘market of nostalgia’. Further, he analyzes these transnational activities as forms of resistance towards gendered power relations, located in the women’s family spaces in France as well as on the Comoros.

Katharina Fritsch focuses on the popular culture practice of Twarab, a cultural market embedded within socio-cultural, political and economic practices of Franco-Comorian communities in Marseille. She argues that the place of Twarab in Marseille has been shaped by a biopolitics of communitarization. It is then against the backdrop of such a biopolitics that she will analyze Twarab events and artists’ positionalities, letting appear the intrinsic relation of ethnicity/’race’, class and gender, with processes of im-/mobilization.

Ahmad Abdoul-Malik is a PhD student at Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, LEST UMR 7317, 13626, Aix en Provence, France.

Katharina Fritsch is a  PhD student at the Department of Political Science, and researcher in the FWF-funded research project ‘Popular culture in translocal spaces’ at the Department of African Studies, University of Vienna.

The talk is organized in cooperation with the research project ‘Popular Culture in Translocal Spaces’ which runs at the Department of African Studies, University of Vienna from 2014-2018.

International Graduate Conference: Move On! Mobility Meets (Little) Resistances

We would like to invite you to an international graduate conference organised by a team of pre-doc researchers of the research platform “Mobile Cultures and Societies” of which our project is part. Please see below for all details:

International Graduate Conference:
Move On!
Mobility Meets (Little) Resistances
26-28 November 2015

venues: magdas Hotel (Laufbergergasse 12, 1020 Vienna),
Alte Kapelle (Spitalgasse 2-4, Court 2.8, 1090 Vienna)

Sudeep Dasgupta (Universiteit van Amsterdam)
Jennifer Ann Wenzel (Columbia University, New York)
Bilgin Ayata (Universität Basel)
Anna Lipphardt (Universität Freiburg)


Thursday, 26th November 2015

magdas Hotel

14.30: Opening

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Heinz Faßmann (Vice-Rector for Research and International Affairs, University of Vienna)

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ulrike Felt (Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Vienna)

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Matthias Meyer (Dean of the Faculty of Philological and Cultural Studies, University of Vienna)

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Annegret Pelz (Deputy Head of the Research Platform Mobile Cultures and Societies, University of Vienna)

Team of magdas Hotel

15.00-17.30: Panel 1 – Political Mobilisation in Transnational Spaces (Senior-Discussant: Bilgin Ayata, Junior-Discussant: Felix Bergmeister)

Deniz Coşan-Eke (University of Munich, Germany): “Alevism. Boundaries and Identity”

Alev Çakır (University of Vienna, Austria): “The construction of transnational (political) spaces by Alevi and Kurdish Migrant Organizations in Austria” (Mediated Mobilities and Political Mobilization Processes: Negotiating Identity)

Carsten Schäfer (University of Vienna, Austria): “De-territorializing the Chinese nation state – China’s Overseas Chinese policy and its implications for Chinese in Austria: The case of the Austrian-Chinese webpage outuo.net during the 2008 Tibetan Unrest”

Coffee Break

Alte Kapelle:

19.00-20.30: Keynote Lecture by Sudeep Dasgupta: “Re-imagining Europe: Alternative Trajectories toward Plotting Mobility Otherwise”


Friday, 27th November 2015

magdas Hotel

09.00-11.30: Panel 2 & 3 (parallel sessions)

Panel 2 – Sites of Resistance (Senior-Discussant: Sudeep Dasgupta, Junior-Discussant: Thomas Assinger)

Aila Spathopoulou (King’s College London, UK): “Degrees of Liquidity on the Aegean: Ships, migrants and Turkish tourists around Lesvos”

Tom Ullrich (University of Weimar, Germany): “Schere Stein Paris. A Visual Archaeology of Revolutionary Paris“

Zohar Elmakias (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel): „End of the line. The Ceasing of Movement at the Jaffa Train Station, 1892-2010”

Panel 3 – Performing Movements, Tracing Borders (Senior-Discussant: Alexandra Ganser, Junior-Discussant: Marianne Windsperger)

Cengiz Haksöz (University of Pittsburgh, USA): “Immobilizing the Violence. Yeryüzü Iftarlari as a Performance during the Istanbul Gezi Park Protest”

Iris Fraueneder (University of Vienna, Austria): “Mobilizing Images: Militancy and Anabasis”

Roman Kabelik (University of Vienna, Austria): “Looking Afar, Staying Nearby. Tracing the Mobility-Dispositif in Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther

Coffee break

12.00-13.30: Panel 4 – Cultural Markets (Senior-Discussant: Tomi Adeaga, Junior-Discussant: Philipp Wagner)

Katharina Fritsch (University of Vienna, Austria): “The Place of Twarab in Marseille – between being fixed and resisting”

Celena Monteiro (University of Chichester, UK): “Mobile Hips, Mobile Identities. Dancehall Queen Performance as Resistance”

13.30-15.00: Lunch Break

15.00-17.30: Panel 5 – Politics of the State and Resistance (Senior-Discussant: Petra Dannecker, Junior-Discussant: Fanny Müller-Uri)

Raffael Beier (University of Bochum, Germany): “Urban Mobility, Resistance and the State. The Urbanism of Urgency in North Africa”

Eva Freudenthaler (University of Vienna, Austria): “Refugee Camps as bases of resistance. The case of Goma 1994-1996”

Anja Joos (University of Freiburg, Germany): “The fight of Yeniche minority for their mobile rights. The occupation of the Kleine Allmend in Bern, Switzerland”

Alte Kapelle:

18.30-20.00: Keynote Lecture by Jennifer Ann Wenzel: “Towards an Oil Inventory”

20.30: Joint dinner at Café Ansari


Saturday, 28th November 2015

magdas Hotel

09.15-11.45: Workshop with Bilgin Ayata

parallel: Visit to the Project Workstation Stop & Go – Nodes of Transformation and Transition by Michael Hieslmair and Michael Zinganel

Coffee break

12.15-13.45: Panel 6 – Positioning through Social Networks (Senior-Discussant: Birgit Englert, Junior-Discussant: Viktoria Metschl)

Abdoul-Malik Ahmad (Université d’Aix-Marseille, France): “Quand la mobilité constitue une forme de résistance aux mécanismes familiaux de domination“

Syntia Hasenöhrl (University of Vienna, Austria): “Mobilised narratives in a transnational space. New media as a political space for negotiating Malian-diasporic identifications”

13.45-14.45: Lunch Break

14.45-16.00: Endnote Lecture by Anna Lipphardt: “Tracing the Mobile Trajectories of Artists and Scholars in the 21st Century. A Reality Check“ andClosing Discussion


Organizing Committee: Alev Çakır, Katharina Fritsch, Syntia Hasenöhrl, Roman Kabelik, Barbara Maly, Viktoria Metschl, Carsten Schäfer, Joachim Schätz, Marianne Windsperger

New members of the POCUTRAS-team!

We are happy to welcome new members of the POCUTRAS-team:

On October 1, 2015 Hanna Stepanik has taken up her pre-doc position within the project. She has registered as PhD student at the Department of Development Studies at the University of Vienna and currently prepares her research that will take place in Lisbon starting from spring 2016.

Further, over the last couple of months, Mounir Hamada Hamza and Ahmad Abdoul-Malik have both come to work for the project on a contractual basis.

Mounir Hamada Hamza  is an artist in the domains of comedy and music. He is based in Marseille and currently works together with Andres and Katharina on a research film project on Twarab music.

Ahmad Abdoul-Malik is a PhD student at the Laboratoire d’Economie et de Sociologie du travail, Aix Marseille Université and contributes to the film project on Twarab by transcribing/translating the interviews on which it is based.

Schnittpunkt Afrika Tag “Dimensionen von Mobilität”

Herzliche Einladung zum Schnittpunkt Afrika Tag

“Dimensionen von Mobilität”

am 9. Oktober 2015

ab 16 Uhr

Institut für Afrikawissenschaften, Universität Wien



16:00             Begrüßung und Einführung (Kirsten Rüther, Birgit Englert)

16:15             Vorstellung des Projekts (Carolin Knoop, Andreas Lampl)

16:30              “Mobilität/Immobilität– im Leben des tansanischen Künstlers Atakalo Soko”,

                        Kurzfilm von und mit Marion Haberl (A 2015, 18 Min., Englisch)

17:00              Podiumsdiskussion zum Thema

                       “Migration and Media – contemporary and historical perspectives“

unter anderem mit Lara Hagen (Der Standard), Liza Ulitzka (Puls4), Kalim Mugga (FDC – Forum for                                       Democratic Change), Walter Sauer (Uni Wien und SADOCC),  und Immanuel Harisch (Studierender der                               Afrikawissenschaften)

Moderation: Rosa Liebe (Studierende der Afrikawissenschaften)

18:30              „Das Entstehen einer Ausstellung – und eines Plakats“ (Isabelle Segur-Cabanac) gefolgt von einem                                       Ausstellungsrundgang mit den GestalterInnen

Ab 19:15        Buffet und gemütlicher Ausklang des Abends mit Musik – plaudern, kennenlernen, austauschen…

Hintergrund zur Veranstaltung:

Diese Veranstaltung wurde von Studierenden aus unterschiedlichen Studiengängen im Rahmen von zwei Lehrveranstaltungen am Institut für Afrikawissenschaften der Universität Wien unter der Leitung von Kirsten Rüther und Birgit Englert kuratiert.

Im Laufe eines Semesters wurde eine Ausstellung gestaltet, in der die transdisziplinäre Auseinandersetzung mit Begriffen und Konzeptionen wie Mobilität, Zirkulation, Austausch, Verbindungen/Vernetzungen, Wege/Routen und Diaspora mit Bezug auf Afrika visuell dargestellt wird. Die Breite, Vielfalt und Komplexität dieser Phänomene wird anhand von historischen und gegenwärtigen Prozessen beispielhaft sicht- und erfahrbar gemacht. Wege von Menschen, Waren, Ideen und Objekten innerhalb Afrikas und darüber hinaus werden in einer multimedialen Darstellung nachgezeichnet. Neben einer globalhistorischen Betrachtung wird die Dichotomie sowie Beziehung zwischen Mobilität und Immobilität aufgezeigt.

Die Ausstellung wird im Studienjahr 2015/16 in den Räumlichkeiten des Instituts für Afrikawissenschaften zu sehen sein.

Wir freuen uns auf Ihr/Euer Kommen!

Das Veranstaltungsteam “Schnittpunkt Afrika 2015”

Marion Haberl, Immanuel Harisch, Carolin Knoop, Andreas Lampl, Corinna Leitgeb, Rosa Liebe,

Sonja Nechansky, Isabelle Segur-Cabanac, Sonja Steinbauer, mit Birgit Englert und Kirsten Rüther

Mehr Infos zur Veranstaltung auf


Eine Veranstaltung des Instituts für Afrikawissenschaften (http://afrika.univie.ac.at/)

in Kooperation mit der Forschungsplattform “Mobile Kulturen und Gesellschaften“ (http://mobilecultures.univie.ac.at/)


Institut für Afrikawissenschaften,

Seminarraum 1, 1. Stock, rechter Gang,

UniCampus Hof 5, Spitalgasse 2,

1090 Wien

FWF-Research project at the Department of African Studies, University of Vienna: “Popular Culture in Translocal Spaces: Processes of Diasporisation among Comorians in Marseilles and Cape Verdeans in Lisbon”