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Writing the City Space: Migration, Precariousness and Affilial Relationships

Yunusy C. Ng’umbi

Abstract

Since independence, Africa as a geo-political space has been experiencing a number of instabilities. One among them is continued civil wars and the accompanied mayhems such as migration, exile, refugeeism and the fragmentation of the institution of the family. Through such underlying forces, the post-colonial subject is subjected to various intersecting dilemmas in terms of socio-cultural identity. Using a post-colonial framework, this paper attempts to explore how literature enters such socio-cultural spaces by interrogating the ‗failure‘ of the post-colonial state. It specifically examines how the selected narrative interrogates rural-urban and diaspora migration in relation to the ‗failure‘ of the post-colonial state, how it represents the precariousness of the city that results in the marginalisation of some social groups such as prostitutes, and it reconfigures the institution of the family by creating an affilial relationship to supress the loss of familial bond. The paper argues that the precariousness of urban spaces provides an opportunity to explore the dynamics of marginalised groups and voices from the fringes, and ways in which they negotiate affilial relationships amongst themselves as relegated or displaced characters.

Keywords

city; precariousness; migration; affilial relationships; migration

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