Stigmatization, connections and remembrances: mediation and Romani mobilities across the Atlantic
Esteban Acuña C. (Freiburg University)
Paper short abstract:
The paper analyzes how trans-Atlantic movements of Romani groups are presented in media and how their members cope with these representations. In this context, it proposes theoretical exchanges between mediation and mobilities as a way to avoid generalizations that mask their diverse realities.
Paper long abstract:
Recently, the labels 'Gypsy' and 'Nomad' have resurfaced in an avalanche of mediatic attention centered on human trafficking, poverty migration, deportation and criminality. This paper's argument focuses first on how the movements of Romani groups are presented in 'mass' media. It subsequently elaborates on how their members cope with these representations. Here 'new' media allow for experiences of contact, longing and remembering, now crucial both for mobilities themselves and for research on these dispersions. They have become a way to build connections and extend network ties in contexts of stigmatization. These reflections arise from quotidian contexts where discourses are reproduced, negotiated, ignored, or subverted; privileged sites to rethink the dialectic of mediation. The paper has been divided in two parts. The first one deals with the 'Racialization of (Gypsy) Nomadism' as a 'universal project'. The section revises the crucial role of media and its political implications on flows of Romani groups from Europe to Canada. The second part presents an excerpt of the author's multi-sited fieldwork that concentrates on family dispersions and personal journeys. Descriptions are based on ethnographic tracing using documentary evidence, participant-observation, 'go-along's' and biographical interviews. Through this 'mobile' methodology, reveal processes of mediation in kinship, religious, business, political, academic and other exchanges intertwined in daily life. Finally, the conclusion argues for perspectives beyond a sedentary/mobile simplification. The text proposes theoretical exchanges between mediation and mobilities that nourish analyses of the complex and diverse mobile practices, connections, exchanges, and displacements of Romani groups.
Between the mediation of diversity and the diversity of mediations: considerations on contemporary world circulations, belongings and contours