Zivile Adulcikaite (The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, England) “African Migrants in India: Racial Logic and Racial Boundaries in Post-colonial Context”


The scope of this presentation is to look at contemporary African migrants in India and to examine how racial logics and racial boundaries are articulated and applied, and with what consequences. The paper uses football as a particular cultural practice to question how are the boundaries between and within racial communities being constructed in the subcontinent. It aims to look at the complexity and nuances of the role and status of African football players in a society where skin colour stratification and racism are significant issues. On one hand, this paper seeks to look at how the participation of African footballers in the game in India reflects, affirms and reinforces the multiple systems of colour domination, and particularly how it extends the ideological hegemony imposed by colonialists and carried over to the post-colonial world. On the other, it aims to draw attention to how football becomes a site of identity contestations, and how the African football players have used available resources to shape their lives and adapt to the new environment, based on their agency, skills, and interests.