In manifold ways African societies are the source and destination of flows of goods, capital, information, or people. These circulations involve more or less complex social and political structures and arrangements, some of them rooted in historical relationships, others young and still evolving. As flows they are channelled, blocked, split and bundled, slowed down or accelerated.
Migration is such a field that is characterised by flows, food security is another. As in migration, where sedentariness is taken as the norm, most approaches on flows start from a static point of view, seeing movements as exception, as extra effort, as sometimes exaggerated or spoiled energy. If we take a different, more agile, stance, we might come to a better understanding of the social forces that channel flows, try to tax or block them, and can see local strategies dealing with these forces, the different actors involved and the effects of their operations on society.
For this panel we invite contributions that deal with these flows, offer views about their developments, structures, interferences, effects and side effects. We want to stimulate discussions about how these flows can be analysed and compared, and how we can handle these forms of movements in a more than metaphorical way.