Migrant workers in Spain’s Agri-Food Industry and the Ceuta ‘March for Dignity’

Text and photos Merissa Gavin

Re-negotiating precarity: Migrant fruit pickers in southern Spain
For my ongoing thesis research, I am interested in how migrant workers in Spain’s agri-food industry navigate politically induced precarity. Precarity, within the scope of this research, refers to the instability of immigrants’ status in society as they embody the paradox of being essential for the economy yet ostracised from socio-political life and unprotected by the state. To deepen my understanding of this phenomenon, I have come to Huelva, Andalusia, in the south of Spain to meet the people harvesting the fruit supply of Europe, from oranges and lemons, to strawberries and blueberries. An industry kept afloat by the work of undocumented migrants, the seasonal fruit harvest attracts thousands of migrant workers to rural Andalusia every year, with parts of the region largely populated by migrants of African descent living in makeshift roadside settlements, las chabolas. My research focuses on the lived experience of these workers as they struggle for the conditions of a dignified life.

“Tenemos derecho a tener derechos” (We have the right to have rights). Photo taken at the March for Dignity.
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Migration – sixth post RUW-RSO studytrip to Poland

RUW Foundation and the Rural Sociology Group organized a studytrip to Poland. In a 10 day intensive program different cities and rural areas in Poland were visited, interesting people and organizations met and farm work is done. The theme of the trip is “Glocalise”. Students are asked to prepare themselves well on different themes in groups before leaving and to write a concluding reflexive paper on their impressions and findings, and to write a blog. This sixth blog is about migration by:

Diand Laarman

wooffing groupIn the morning and afternoon, we were WWOOFing at Ekozagroda farm again. Today, we were divided into 4 groups for 4 tasks including weeding in the field, making spiral garden, repairing the fence and rebuilding the old house at the farm. Everybody had their hands dirty. At 1 pm., it was a lunch time. In Poland, lunch was the most important meal and polish people liked to have a warm meal. We were served with a typical Polish dish including potato dumpling, meat and salad. Then, at 4 pm., it was the time to say good bye to WWOOFing with a cheerful group picture.

The discussion evening started with a presentation of Dr. Malchar-Michalska lecturer at the University of Opole. Dr. Malchar-Michalska explained how the region of Opole suffers from Continue reading