Between Socio-spatial Exclusion and New Solidarity Networks: The Lebou People of Thiaroye sur Mer, Senegal.
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The Lebou from Thiaroye sur Mer in Senegal’s capital Dakar have been represented as problematic people throughout history and, thus, have repeatedly experienced structural exclusion in spatial, economic, and social terms. Concepts of land ownership, for instance, were previously unknown to the Lebou, they conceived land as collective or familial ground to be used collectively, owned by nobody, and inherited from generation to generation. French colonisers, the Senegalese government, as well as external, international stakeholders took this as a reason to formalize Lebou land and to expropriate what was not considered property before. Through the lens of the Lebou people in Thiaroye sur Mer, this article illustrates how a historically marginalized people moves from traditional concepts of collectivity towards more individual and commoditised lifestyles while finding ways of reconciling both in today’s world when women are placed at the centre of traditionally male practices as many Lebou men migrate to Europe in the face of unemployment. With that, a shift of gender roles as well as a relocation of public practices into the domestic, private realm occurs, restructuring social life within the Lebou community and concurrently highlighting the value and importance of collectivity and solidarity among the Lebou people.
Trialog - A Journal for Planning and Building in a Global Context #138 “Cultural Space”. Volume editors: Elettra Griesi, Rebekka Keuss and Kosta Mathéy
- Journal Article