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Life in a Nepali Workers’ Labour Camp in Qatar

22 March 2013

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South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal, 6, 2012

What Kind of Place is this?
Daily Life, Privacy and the Inmate Metaphor in a Nepalese Workers’ Labour Camp (Qatar)

by Tristan Bruslé

Abstract

The lives of nearly one million migrants in Qatar are in a ‘state of exception’ (Agamben). Distanced from mainstream society, they live in labour camps situated in desolate areas. In a space designed to render low qualified migrants invisible, Nepalese people are among those who try to make theirs a temporary place. Spatial strategies of appropriation, from the camp to the bed in the room, are nevertheless limited by the structures of domination that migrants live in. Through the study of the everyday routine and spatial practices, I show that the camp does indeed bear ambivalent values, associated with jail, with village-like feelings or with the achievements made possible by migration.

Keywords :
Qatar, Nepalese, migration, accommodation, place-making, segregation

Outline
Industrial area and the labour camp: spaces of exclusion as norms
Migrations in Qatar
Enclosure, industrial areas and the camp: relegation as a policy
The pace of life, circulation in the camp and rooms: making the camp a place through daily routine
New life in a camp
Daily rhythms pace in the camp
Daily routine and killing time: conditions of camp life
Privacy, beds and the inmate metaphor
Rooms as places
The bed as the last refuge: the new quest for privacy
‘Qatar is like a jail’
The camp as a hybrid place for a subaltern life

Daily Life, Privacy and the Inmate Metaphor in a Nepalese Workers’ Labour Camp (Qatar)
by by Tristan Bruslé
in South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal, 6, 2012
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