Migrants have their hospitals, kindergartens and discos. But the Russians do not see them
Over the last couple of decades, the Russians used to labour migrants from Central Asian countries. Used to — but no more.
We don’t know anything about where and how they live. According to some experts, we don’t even know the number in the country of migrants. Meanwhile, it is a complex parallel world with its hospitals, kindergartens and even discos that are still open. Catherine Dementeva, head of the Centre of qualitative research for social policy Institute for social policy at the HSE, read at the Cultural center ZIL the lecture in which I presented the results of a five-year study of the lives of migrants. “Ribbon.ru” publishes the most important of this speech.
Where a migrant settles, according to Western researchers, not only affects the cost of housing, but its location, in some cases, the ethnic origins of migrant, religious affiliation, social status and the presence or absence of social ties in the city. This means that some migrants arriving in American or European city, to settle there, where their acquaintances, friends and relatives.
Why American and European cities is that people live in certain areas? This is due to several factors. What is the American ghetto? It is very closely connected with the history of cities, history of American segregation, a history of American life. It was the area for blacks. Ghetto that once existed in St. Louis, which was built specifically for poor black people as social housing eventually had to be demolished. Really this area has become a ghetto, no matter where I went the police could not figure out who lives where, where were crime, drug addiction and where it was scary to enter.
The following example is immigrant Paris suburbs, and in General social areas of the European countries. These are areas in which to build social housing for the workers who lived in the vicinity of big cities and came to work.
This house, built in 60-ies gradually became housing for the poor. These are just poor migrants.
So there we are in a situation socially homogeneous areas, and they are just ethnically diverse, because they have immigrants from different countries and people from a migrant background. There lives a second, third and fourth generation migrants.
These houses do not differ from the houses of our suburban areas. But there is one very important feature: in all of these houses [in Europe] are living very poor people who provide specific documentation that they were given social housing. Now there is a new displacement, the displacement of migrants active creative young educated people, who have no money to rent housing in wealthy areas, and they enjoy life in this ethnic environment.
There are many stereotypes. When I ask, do you think, where migrants live, I immediately begin to call Biryulyovo Center, Giulianova (remote districts of Moscow — “Tape.ru”).
But we have huge blocks of housing that was built during the Soviet years, and we hardly can call social, because in fact, in the Soviet years it was all social housing apartments were issued by various businesses, institutions, and so on.
[In Soviet times] was the idea that it will be a city of social mixing, that is, in the same house to live academics, taxi drivers, shop assistants, teachers and so on. When Moscow approached the 90-2000 years, it was very socially mixed city. Yes, there was some kind of prestige [in some areas], but all the houses and all the districts were socially mixed. It is also a city built of neighborhoods with housing model, where you can live in absolutely different categories of people.
Geographers write that, actually, in Moscow, and indeed in the post-Soviet cities, we observe very small mobility of the population. Why would a man who lives in the same area, to change it to a different [the same] district? If you were born on the Water stadium, why do you need to move to Perovo? You have roughly the same infrastructure, the same accessibility, you have friends and some environment, and houses the same. If you need to change the housing, you can even in your area to find good housing from the point of building.
When coming Malian in Paris, he approaches the driver and says, take me to the Malians. And it will take in Montreuil (East Paris suburb of — “Tape.ru”), because everyone knows that there’s a lot of Malians live, historically.
If the native of Tajikistan out of Sheremetyevo and say “take me there, where live the Tajiks,” I think that the cab driver will be surprised and will not know where to take this man.
We chose four different area — closer to the center, further away, more prestigious and less prestigious — and looked at how they live migrants. In each area we did a questionnaire survey to understand the geography of migrants. Questions were asked this way: where do you go to buy food, where you live, your closest three friends? And what was our surprise, when almost three quarters of the questionnaires it turned out that friends live far away, in completely different parts of the city. This shows the high mobility of people.
What else are all these “getuserbyname” neighborhoods and suburbs in Western countries? They draw migrants, there is formed its own infrastructure, has its own school, their leisure centres, their associations, friends live mainly in these areas, relatives. We don’t see in Moscow. We see that all the friends, relatives, acquaintances live everywhere.
We are talking about certain categories [of people] and labor migrants from Central Asia. We have only four mosques in Moscow, but there are a huge number of prayer halls, about which we unfortunately know little. Colleagues are now doing research on this topic.
But there is no reference to “I live near the praying-hall”. This does not exist. “I’d rather go there in the day”.
There are several markets. We called a few to which migrants go. We are actively advised to go on a Warm Mill to buy spices.
But there is no binding migrants to particular places ethnically. All I’m saying is that the markets, shopping centres are places that are used just as the residents of our city. Market Warm Mill is also used in the Prague “Electronic Paradise” and so on. These are the same places that go the other locals. But most of the seats in the economy class.
Very frequent entertainment of migrants is large shopping centers. The first time I hit the “Afimall” (shopping center in the district of skyscrapers “Moscow-city” — “Tape.ru”) as times when doing research on migrant workers. He was constantly called, with all four districts. “Come in Afimoll”. What are you doing there? “Walk, take pictures”.