Photo of Xolani Tshabalala

Xolani Tshabalala


It is tempting to see state borders only as visible barriers – like the barbed wire or Trump’s “tall, beautiful wall”. Borders can also be imagined as mobile, perceptive entities – always barring, filtering, and reshaping human mobility everywhere.

Borders that shift shape 

I do research on Southern African cross-border informality from the perspective of critical border studies. I am also interested in African migrant solidarity movements in the context of a retreating post-colonial state.

I joined the Institute for Research on Migration Ethnicity and Society – REMESO, at Linköping University, in 2012 as a PhD candidate. Prior to joining REMESO, I worked at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in Pretoria, South Africa, as a Researcher and Project Manager.  

My skills and experience are in research project management, MSM sexual health and counterculture, migrant resistance movements and solidarities, and undocumented cross-border mobility and livelihood strategies.

As a Riksbankens Jubileumsfond postdoctoral fellow, I am currently working on the governance of cross-border mobility in Southern Africa in the context of the corona global pandemic. 


Research environment