Neoliberal globalization in Britain has produced new forms of slavery, exploiting the labour of thousands of legal and illegal migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers through the use of violence or the threat of it – a situation exacerbated by the criminalizing attitude of British immigration policies. This chapter examines the psychological and physical violence of this dehumanization in Kay Adshead’s play The Bogus Woman (2001) through the ideas of “utopian” and “abject” bodies, formulated by the political philosopher Simona Forti. In terms of the “abjectification” of the migrant’s body, the play points to an outrageous continuity between African dictatorships and British democracy. The play can also be seen as reconfiguring the oeuvre of some representative figures of African literatures. Wole Soyinka’s reflections on political power prefigure the forms of dehumanization in the Bogus Woman. The same goes for Dambudzo Marechera’s vision of Africa as a refugee continent strangled by international institutions. The final part of this chapter focuses on Soyinka’s discussion of the limitations of pacifism and on the emphasis he places on movement as a form of resistance to neocolonial fascism: both reflections are considered as contributions to the debate on civil disobedience against the contemporary criminalization of migrants.
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