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Synopsis About this title Migration Memories is a non-fiction piece that examines the last high school year of the main character, Dennis. This presentation explains the context of migrant deaths and disappearances in this region; the mobilization of families and other civil society groups in relation to these issues; and the challenges related to the identification of remains including the creation of DNA databases linking the vast region from Central America to the United States. Unidentified bodies, memory, and belonging at the US-Mexico border.
This paper addresses the intended and unintended politicization of bodies of undocumented migrants beyond their death, specifically of those who died while crossing the US-Mexican border. We start from the premise that borders are produced and legitimated through the symbolic practices surrounding them, and we examine the symbolic-material landscape in US border regions with regard to the unidentified dead bodies, their accompanying objects, and the graveyards where they are buried in California, Arizona, and Texas.
Beyond recording and documenting the deaths in the border regions, activists have engaged in public events such as marches, projections, visualizations through crosses, and collective acts of mourning to publicize the issue of undocumented migrants dying in their attempt to cross the desert. We propose to view these practices as acts of memory citizenship, in the sense that they are performances of memory that question existing understandings of political belonging and collective responsibility.
The politics behind those performances are inevitably representative in the sense that those who are marching see themselves as speaking for the dead. This, we claim, raises important questions about the relationship between public mourning and our political imaginaries and about the dead as subjects of justice.
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The body as a weapon for Jihad raises many questions with regard to its burial. The dead body of a Jihadi is not officially at stake anywhere, neither in juridical nor in political terms. The same is true for its burial. My paper will focus on the symbolic and material meaning of the burial of suicide bombers with regard to the processes of nation-building and the drawing of community boundaries.
The treatment of missingness and its memory exposes certain contested forms and practices of personhood specific to contemporary politics. In this paper, I explore examples of each of these sites, and examine whether and how memorializing missing, disappeared or displaced people—names without bodies and bodies without names—might be distinct from memorials to the documented dead. What do such memorials tell us about the form of personhood that inhabits contemporary politics and how notions of personhood are challenged? Might memorials to missing people, and those doubly missing in particular, be locations for different forms of politics?
However, recent theories have moved the focus to the process of memory which, in any present moment, allows the past, collective or individual, to emerge as a construction that works as a strong driving force of identity formation.
In this perspective the memory process selects features of the past and turns them into more or less coherent structures, which then will have to be checked out with others in order for them to exercise their role as valid interpretations of the past and building blocks of present and future identity.
Memories are therefore dialogical phenomena shaped by discussion, or more broadly by exchanges in various media, concerning the selected features, their configuration and the identities they promote. Today, the globalized flows of migration open up a new set of problems for the understanding of memories and their functions. When migration becomes a dominant experience across the globe, the concepts of locality and of local experiences changes and raise a new question: can we imagine and attach any meaning to globalized memories?
Memory, Migration and Literature
Today, a huge amount of literatures from all corners of the world takes issue with this question, the so-called literatures of migration, where the literary imagination suggests answers to the open question of what memory might mean in a globalized world. Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection. This data will be updated every 24 hours. Login Alert. Log in. Aa Aa.
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WORKSHOP: MEMORY, MIGRATION, AND MATERIALITY, The New School, May , | NON-LIEUX DE L'EXIL
Walkowitz , R. Contemporary Literature , 47 4 : Immigrant Literature , pp. Gelder Proximate reading: Australian literature in transnational reading frameworks.
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