Migrations: Opportunities and Challenges | An Interview with Jorge Malheiros

Migrations: Opportunities and Challenges | An Interview with Jorge Malheiros

Migrations: Opportunities and Challenges | An Interview with Jorge Malheiros

“This idea of leaving an area and producing a new space, or the interaction, if you will, in a new location is also an eminently geographical issue, which has to do with the production of the new place or the place where people settle.

The phenomenon of migration is a challenge in terms of the construction of new places. At the same time, it is an opportunity because it is associated with hypotheses of social mobility, new economic activities, the possibility of carrying out different tasks in terms of work training, or even leisure, which are not achieved in the country of origin. It has led me to be interested in the issue of migration.”

Jorge Malheiros, Geographer and Researcher at the Center for Geographic Studies of the Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning of the University of Lisbon, in an interview with AIDGLOBAL, on November 8, 2021.

On November 8, 2011, AIDGLOBAL interviewed Jorge Malheiros: geographer, researcher and associate professor at the Center for Geographical Studies of the Instituto de Geografia e Ordenamento do Território of the University of Lisbon.

The interview was conducted under the heading “(De)Constructing the place of the other”, which assumes as its primary purpose the awareness of Portuguese society about the multiple issues surrounding the phenomenon of migration and the stereotyped myths and visions that still exist concerning migrants.

The conversation started with the beginning of the guest’s journey and, consequently, the relationship between Geography and the migratory issue. It led us on a journey that culminated in reflecting on themes correlated with geography but which were not exhausted in it.

Where are the migrants in Portugal, and how are they organized spatially? Is there social exclusion in the way migrants are distributed, for example, in Lisbon? To what extent can an unequal distribution of migrants lead to disadvantages for migrants? In Portugal, is there availability and openness on the part of municipalities to dialogue with migrants to listen to them and understand how they can be part of the development of their cities? To what extent has the pandemic affected the integration/inclusion processes of migrants?

These and other issues cross-part the interview, in which there is still room for reflection on the concepts of exclusion, segregation, integration and inclusion against the backdrop of the Portuguese reality and the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jorge Malheiros has devoted his time to urban social studies and research on international migration, along with studying the demographic dynamics of gender relations, housing and segregation problems and border and transnational relations. 

This interview can be viewed and heard in its entirety here.

AIDGLOBAL thanks Professor Jorge Malheiros for his readiness to grant us this interview and to share his knowledge and reflections on the subject of migration.

This interview was recorded on the morning of November 8, 2021, under the heading Deconstruct the place of the other, which arises in the context of the “NEAR – NEwly ARrived in a common home”, a European project funded by the European Commission, under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) having as its promoter the ISMU Foundation  and as partner entities Tamat, CARDET, and AIDGLOBAL and the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.

In Portugal, this project is being developed in Lisbon, namely in the Bairro das Galinheiras, located in the Parish of Santa Clara.