Mountain solidarity

Projet terminé

As part of the “Questioning the multifaceted link between migration and poverty” seminar in the “International Development Studies” Master’s program at the Institut d’urbanisme et de géographie alpine, the question of how to welcome people in migration situations, and in particular those seeking refuge in a mountain region, will be raised.

© Christine Hoyon
Car la vie n'est pas un spectacle, 2017.

While the accommodation of asylum seekers is an obligation, and therefore a duty, for states, we are today witnessing increasingly restrictive state policies towards them. These policies, based on dissuasion, lead to more precarious migratory trajectories.

Faced with this reality, towns and local authorities are creating networks of refuge towns, and residents are organizing themselves into solidarity groups, often located in mountainous areas. In the Grenoble region, such groups have sprung up in the three mountain ranges surrounding the city. Other collectives have sprung up in other French mountain regions, notably the Briançonnais. Some collectives have received extensive media coverage, such as those formed in the Roya Valley around the figure of farmer-activist Cédric Herrou (see the documentary film Libre by Michel Toesca, 2018).

Still little studied in France, these mountain welcome collectives provide concrete responses to institutional non-welcoming and invent a new type of hospitality. The workshop features a study of the Collectif d’accueil des réfugiés en Matheysine, or CARM.

The ” Mountains in solidarity. Counter-narrative (ethnographic) of the reception of people in migration situations in the Alps “, expects students to reflect on the notions of welcome and hospitality as applied to the mountains, and to critically analyze the concept of the “refuge mountain” through the prism of social innovation and territorial resilience.

To answer the question: “Hospitable mountains”, myth or reality?

As a result of the workshop, the students wrote the fictional story Ça arrivera de toutes façons. Seeking refuge in the Kalim Valley, available in English and French.

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17 January 2024 | Project life

When the mountains get political

On January 17, 2024, Grenoble University’s Pacte human and social sciences laboratory is organizing a seminar on migration, tourism and accommodation: when mountains become political.

Training Matheysine Migration and borders Planning, public policy and governance Populations and territories