Julien Lafontaine Carboni
Alice, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Suisse

Juan Carlos Gimeno Martín
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, España


The nomadic/sedentary polarities are today questioned as Western constructions. Its deconstruction is necessary for contexts where nomadic populations become refugees for climatic, political, and/or economic reasons. This is the case with Sahrawis’ exile in Algeria after Maroq was invaded in 1975 and Western Sahara was occupied until the present day. Sahrawi refugee camps near Tindouf have been often studied in their relations to prior nomadic encampments. Examining Sahrawi’s most exceptional motions and their settlement forms throughout the 20th century, we want to pose the hypothesis of Sahrawi immobile nomadism. We support the urgency to consider multiple dimensions of time and motion when analyzing nomadism, from the instant to the longue durée of population movements. Thus, we can understand sedentarization in Sahrawi camps as a temporary survival strategy.

Keywords: Sahrawi Refugee camps, motions and spatialities, immobile nomadism, protracted refugeehood.