Accepted Paper:

Beach encounters: narrating the refugee crisis and its material traces  
Amade M'charek (University of Amsterdam)

Paper short abstract:

Following the trail of worn out shoes and slippers, clothing and life vests, rubber and wood, our paths crossed, right there on the beach. In our contribution, inspired by Anna Tsing, we want to narrate the "world-making" capacity of movements, and attend to tragic material traces of meeting.

Paper long abstract:

As I started to follow the traces of bodies that in recent years went missing in the Mediterranean Sea, I had to move away from Europe, its soil, politics and ways of knowing the dead. This movement was not necessarily with forward facing eyes. There were twists, switching of courses, fast-forwards as well as occasional meanderings. Eventually I arrived at the beaches of Zarzis, a town in the south of Tunisia. And there was Mohsen.

Following the trail of worn out shoes and slippers, clothing and life vests, rubber and wood, our paths crossed, right there.

Mohsin, a retired postman, was drawn to the sea in a radical move away from his everyday modes of being and doing. He was then 40 years old, and had started to walk the beach and collect traces of movements. Initially his artwork grew to become what he calls an "ecological action movement", but confronted with dead bodies already in the early nineties, he had started to collect the traces of migrants that did not make it to Europe.

So here are different paths that come together on the beaches of Tunisia. One could even claim that Europe and Africa meet, not in the Mediterranean Sea, but on such beaches. In our contribution, inspired by Anna Tsing (2000), we want to narrate the "world-making" capacity of movements, speculate the "channels they recarve", and remap the possible geographies they bring about.

Panel A13
Of other landscapes