Senegal began its “Large Infrastructure Projects” in early 2000. Through this economic development plan, the State sought to build a modern nation capable of attracting foreign investment and tourists. In the process, it brutally displaced many informal workers. In this talk, I trace the trajectories of some of these informal workers from Senegal to Brazil, a lesser-known destination for French-speaking West African migrants. Drawing on twenty-one months of archival research and participant observation, I offer an ethnographic exploration of everyday life among young Senegalese followers of the Muridiyya Sufi order (the Murids) in three Brazilian state capitals: Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, and São Paulo. I show how these African Sufi Muslim migrants adjust their professional skills and religious rituals to strategically bring Islam into the Brazilian public sphere amidst a global climate of Islamophobia and the rise of right-wing politicians. I also highlight the dilemmas these young Black Muslims grapple with as they seek to live an ethical life under capitalism and against Brazil’s racial politics.
Lunch will be provided for the first 30 that place their orders and attend the event. Please order your food via the group order link by 11 am, Jan 29, Monday. https://drd.sh/cart/V7jc45Trkk79W7sS/