The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Student Profiles

Robin Finlay

Project title: The ‘Orient’ in the ‘Occident’: The spatial, social and cultural dynamics of the Moroccan diaspora in Granada, Spain

Supervisors: Prof. Alastair Bonnett and Dr Anoop Nayak

Contributing to research on geographies of ‘race’ and diasporas, my PhD project will critically examine the spatial, social and cultural dynamics of the Moroccan diaspora in the urban setting of Granada in the south of Spain. Using the geographical insight that people have intense connections with the places they inhabit and that identities are often spatialized, the research will attempt to explore how these processes function for Moroccan migrants living in Granada. Granada’s mixed Christian and Islamic heritage, its relatively recent transformation from an ethnically homogenous space into a transnational space, and the continued economic crisis in Spain, all herald Granada as a rich arena to explore the sociospatial processes of diasporas and ‘race’.

The project principally aims to explore how the Moroccan diaspora produces and interprets urban space in Granada, and subsequently, how the spatiality of Granada impacts on their social practices, sense of belonging and identity. The research will have a keen interest in how Granada’s diverse cultural landscape, which is marked by Islamic and Christian heritage, impacts on the everyday lived experiences of the Moroccan diaspora. Furthermore, the research will attempt to explore issues of inclusion/exclusion and the racialization of spaces and identities.