University of Leicester
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Articulating an Indian diaspora in South Africa : The Consulate General of India, diaspora associations and practices of collaboration

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-06-24, 08:42 authored by Jen Dickinson
Engagements between sending states and their diasporas have come under increasing critical scrutiny. Whilst political geographers have driven critical analysis of national level policies, debates have largely overlooked the broader range of actors, transactions and practices involved in implementing national policies in a geohistorically diverse array of diasporic contexts and settings. Over the last decade, the Indian government has invested significant resources in overseas diplomatic missions, consulates and high commissions to administer its diaspora outreach strategies. This paper examines the role of the Consulate General of India (CGI) in Durban, South Africa, focusing in particular on the networks of agents, associations, groups and political actors involved in collaborating with the CGI Durban in diaspora outreach practices. This paper draws on two periods of fieldwork in Durban between 2004 and 2005 and was supplemented by ongoing visual and textual analysis of news articles, promotional material, reports and websites. Using the concept of articulation, the paper highlights the discursive and performative practices involved in bringing together the agendas of the GOI with those of South African Indian diaspora associations through the outreach practices of the CGI in Durban. It argues that articulatory practices are essential to resolving some of the subjective and embodied dilemmas and contestations of belonging inherent in South African Indians’ participation in diaspora outreach initiatives. Investigating how articulation contributes to drawing diverse and even competing agendas together makes room for further understanding the ways in which diaspora outreach practices can travel across a wide network, and the diverse agencies that can become catalysed in the process.



Geoforum, 2015, 61, pp. 79-89

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/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/Department of Geography/Human Geography


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