Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality, and to see the links to virtual rooms.

Accepted Paper:

Ambiguous loss in Tunisia: how presence practices commemorate missing migrants and involve transformation.  
Sofia Stimmatini (Université Libre de Bruxelles)

Paper short abstract:

Absent bodies produce an ambiguous loss, which can assume a political texture. By analysing a sit-in organised by the missing migrant families in Tunisia, we will show that political practices of presence commemorate the missing and involve the transformation of the relationship with them.

Paper long abstract:

This proposal abstract would like to address the issue of disappearances by migration, from the point of view of the families who must deal with the absent bodies of the disappeared and the consequent lack of funerals. When people are missing, death cannot be established. The lifeless body brings up feelings and practices associated with death (Panizo, 2017), which allows the transformation of the relationship to the deceased (Hertz 1905-06). Instead, the absent body produces a state that Pauline Boss calls “ambiguous loss” (2004). Based on fieldwork conducted in Tunisia in 2018-2019 with relatives of missing harragas (people who left from the Maghreb without having the Schengen C visa), this contribution wants to explore the political texture of ambiguous loss in the Mediterranean migratory context from Tunisia. Here, families consider states responsible for the disappearance of their relatives who tried to reach Europe. By analysing a sit-in organized by the missing migrants’ relatives associations in Tunisia (4th July 2018), we will show how families expose themselves and the missing in the public space. In our sense, these practices of presence address the political demand to know the truth about the circumstances of the disappearances and commemorate and give the disappeared a social and political place, reintegrating them into Tunisian society. Indeed, practices of presence entail a transformation of the families’ relationship with the missing and with themselves and the rest of the world.

Panel P179a
Afterlife counts: the economics and materiality of funerals and dealing with death [AGENET]
  Session 1 Tuesday 26 July, 2022, -