Waiting for the future in Lisbon: Borders, migrations, biographies

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Based on a long-term research among Bangladeshis in Lisbon, this article ethnographically explores the perspectives and experiences of my interlocutors about waiting for documents and regularisation in Portugal and how this waiting is frequently perceived as a radical uncertainty about one's own future. As my interlocutors emphasise it creates a feeling of being stuck, of going nowhere, of being tested. These experiences of waiting, and its corresponding dilemmas and anxieties, have to be interpreted in relation to the governmentalities of migrations and its relations with the spatialisation effect of states, namely, the displacement of border making processes through which states continuously produce sovereignty. Such bordering dynamics, this article argues, produce a certain kind of experience that can be interpreted through the concept of border biographies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Pages (from-to)324-338
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Migration and Border Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • borders
  • political economy
  • biographies
  • Bangladeshis
  • Portugal

UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

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