Ce qui suit est un très bref extrait de ma dernière communication, présentée à Londres le 14 novembre dernier, à l’occasion de la conférence annuelle de la Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies. Intitulée « Politics from Abroad: the Case of the Senegalese Diaspora« , cette communication s’inscrivait au sein d’un panel consacré aux diasporas africaines au sens large. Avant une publication de cet article dans son intégralité, vous trouverez sur Academia le support de présentation proposé au public.
According to Benedict Anderson, nations should be comprehended as a peculiar sort of “imagined political communities […] inherently limited and sovereign”, cemented by the feeling of belonging to a larger comradeship. Therefore, nations are not limited by geographical boundaries, and stretches as a spiritual principle to the countries hosting self-aware communities of migrants. The reality of “long-distance nationalism” is especially tangible in the postcolonial francophone world, and raises the issue of political participation from abroad.
This paper will thus try to shed light on the transnational processes of political opposition, through a case study focusing on Senegal and its diaspora in France, to determine the contemporary dynamics of diasporic commitment to political opposition. The presidential campaign of 2012 provides the frame of this study, that focuses specifically on the struggle of the migrants in France for the cause of their clandestine compatriots, on the Senegalese political scene. Through this case study, I argue that post-colonial mobilities are not a sign of the weakening of the idea of nation (or, as expressed yesterday by Justin Izzo, evoking A. A. Waberi’s anxiety in Passage des larmes: the processes of denationalisation the postcolonial state would be enduring). Rather than provoking decay, those mobilities, or scattering, are precisely an adjuvant to the idea of nation, which remains a relevant analytic framework as well as a perennial social reality.