Kiripi Katembo, Subir, from the series Un Regard, 2011. Copyright: Kiripi Katembo. Courtesy Fondation Kiripi Katembo Siku et galerie MAGNIN-A. 

Sometimes a given economic, political, or social conjuncture will lay bare in no uncertain terms the insurmountable contradictions inherent in certain ideas. For instance, it is nearly impossible to disregard the context of the Covid-19 pandemic when thinking about the contours of the idea of “diaspora,” or more precisely the (geo)politics that it delineates. The borders of nation-states were closed, putting a stop to the ongoing cycle of trips back and forth that shape diasporic lives. The pandemic slowed down, when it did not actually block, the transfer of funds to their countries of origin from diasporas—especially African—in Northern countries facing an economic crisis. A whole economy of exchanges and movement came brutally undone.

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