‘Wasting mbeng’: adventure and trust amongst sub-Saharan migrants in Morocco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article examines how irregular migrants from Central and Western Africa stranded in Morocco forged tenuous but essential relationships in the face of hostile and violent border politics constraining their mobility and resulting in systematic infringement of their rights. I examine the basis of trust amongst migrants in Morocco, who called themselves ‘adventurers’ on a quest for the ‘objective’ (e.g. ‘finding their lives’, usually through getting into Europe). Although most of them had embarked on individual journeys, they regularly needed to cooperate in order to face arduous living conditions and attempt crossing the border into Spain. The article demonstrates how trust was entangled not only with hostile migration politics but with regular moral conundrums as migrants needed to manage a balance between collaborating with other migrants and reaching their own ‘objective’.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Early online date10 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018