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Friday 7 June 2024,  3.00-5.00pm BST

This is a hybrid event.

To join us on Zoom, register here:

To join us in Person at the RAI (50 Fitzroy Street, London W1T5BT), register here:


Urban Displacement and Trade
in a Senegalese Market:
An anthropology of endings


(Honorary Research Associate in Sociology at the Open University;
Senior Research Officer at the Department for Business and Trade)


The Malian market at the railway terminus in Dakar was bulldozed in 2009 and, following privatisation of the railway, passenger services in Senegal soon ceased altogether. The consequences were felt especially by women traders who had travelled the line since its inauguration, making the terminus in Dakar the centre of a thriving network of traders and migrants. To examine the fates of those whose livelihoods were destroyed or disrupted, Gunvor Jónsson spent a year with the women evicted from the terminus.

Urban Displacement and Trade in a Senegalese Market explores what happens at ‘the end’ of urban displacement, when it is all over, so to speak – when the dust has settled and people find themselves scattered in sometimes unfamiliar surroundings, trying to pick up the pieces and create something meaningful.

This book argues that rupture and ensuing displacement do not produce a clean slate where identities, networks and histories must be produced from scratch. Traders and their markets do not simply vanish into thin air when they are evicted. The book examines not only what is lost but what emerges when a dense node, such as the terminus, is dissolved and fragmented. The ethnography of the traders reveals that the aftermath of eviction in cities may lead to diasporic forms of consciousness and identity formations. Displacement, whether on a local or global scale, demands difficult adjustments and people’s capacities to adapt to new circumstances and environments vary. This book uncovers some of these different capacities and variations in traders’ reactions to displacement.



The book will be published by University College London Press at the beginning of March 2024, at which point there will also be a free open access version available.
More info here: https://www.uclpress.co.uk/products/233296
It is the first title in a new series called Urban Africa, edited by Jennifer Robinson.