The words we use, most often unconsciously, are not harmless: they can carry a lot of psycho-socio-emotional weight that we are not aware of in our daily exchanges and everyday life...

From the beginning, humans have always been curious about themselves, as well as the world which surrounds them...

The answers which fill philosophical works are innumerable and have evolved throughout the history of mankind: "political animal", Aristotle; reasoning animal, Descartes; "thinking reed", Pascal; God’s image, the Bible; broken image, Saint Augustine; self-awareness, awareness of others, awareness of death; emergence of the "I"; freedom and responsibility; talking animal; endowed with laughter… And, to be fair, we must also mention the wisdoms and religions of the entire planet that have also wondered about human nature and have brought their own answers.

To this wide array of approaches and definitions of the human being, the Josefa Foundation has added a new one, one that is undoubtedly unexpected, but that it proposes nevertheless, with a certain boldness, as the foundation upon which all the others rest: "we are all migrants"; the human being defined as a migrant animal/being. What are the arguments for this?

Firstly, human history and even prehistory indisputably provide evidence of uncountable movements of populations throughout the ages: from the first peoples who ceaselessly moved about searching or hunting for their daily food, the nomadic shepherds following their herds, to the big migrations and invasions that came about due to various factors, which swept whole territories and caused further migrations. So, migration is first defined by its most obvious trait: movement in space.

But migration is not limited to the realm of geography: it is also practiced in time. The word "evolution", for example, connotes modifications which can take place in various domains. Everybody has heard about Darwin’s theory of evolution of the species, which shows the genesis of humans among animals, of which they are a member, which comes about at the end of a long process – that is, of a movement – called the struggle for existence.

The word "evolution" can also apply to one’s personal life as well as to the life of societies: throughout our existence, we go through various phases, from birth to old age, via youth and adulthood. It's a whole life journey which gets modified year by year, affecting our body as well as our spirit and our emotions. Freud taught us to descend (another movement) beyond consciousness, into the depths of the subconscious.

Our societies also change, and in a more and more accelerated way, under the combined effect of scientific progress and the techniques which follow it, markets and media as well as currents of thoughts. Trends come and go, with respect to clothes, ideas, behaviours or ways of living. Even institutions, a hallmark of permanence, evolve.

Our interpersonal relations are also evolving: we meet, separate, meet again, unite…: it is a constant movement. Dialogue and debate also develop our behaviour, as well as our thoughts or our ways of seeing things.

International relations between countries are constantly moving: some treaties are signed, others are broken; conflicts or natural disasters occur, causing populations to move and the discriminatory creation of this "migrant" category, for whom media, politics or socioeconomic actors mobilise their attention for variably justifiable purposes.

But why is the Josefa Foundation proposing a new definition? By considering every human being, whether a man, woman or child, fundamentally as a "migrant being", the reasons for which have been shown briefly above, the Josefa Foundation prevents people from being confined to more or less discriminatory categories: "migrants", just like we used to identify Jews, Blacks, slaves, women, immigrants… in order to treat them as different beings, and, most of the time, with a lower rank, in society… Calling a human being a migrant being directly leads us to another way of looking at our journeys: going beyond our hesitations or our fears, it’s about thinking, freely, about welcoming each other as a sister, a brother, in humanity where we bring our uniqueness, our stories, our languages, our cultures, and trying to share together, in a perfect horizontality, our mutual resources. Without underestimating the concrete challenges of this "cohabitation", which involves planning and organisation, this radical behaviour leads us migrant beings to a new way of making society and of building together our common destiny.

Migrants. Who isn’t partaking in this phenomenon: from the media, governments, universities, businesses, social or humanitarian organisations, faith-based organisations, up to the United Nations? Who is still refraining from the idea of ​​co-constructing this category of "migrants"?

You are here: Home Josefa News Migration in Europe

I follow Josefa's news

I subscribe to the newsletter

Newsletter EN

Veuillez renseigner une adresse e-mail valide


Donnée invalide

We use cookies and other identifiers to help improve your online experience. By using our website you are agreeing to this. Read our privacy policy to find out what cookies are used for and how to change your settings.