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Memorializing mass deaths at the border: two cases from Canberra (Australia) and Lampedusa (Italy)

journal contribution
posted on 2019-01-01, 00:00 authored by Klaus NeumannKlaus Neumann, K Horsti
In this paper, we compare two seemingly very similar instances in which individuals and organizations within the borders of the global North have memorialized the deaths of irregular migrants at sea: the SIEV X memorial in Australia’s national capital Canberra, and the Giardino della memoria (Garden of Remembrance) on the Italian island of Lampedusa. Unlike ephemeral manifestations of grief, potentially these memorials have effects that reach well beyond their creation. We relate the differences between the memorials to the contexts within which they were created: an immediate local response involving people directly affected by the disaster’s aftermath, on the one hand, and a delayed nation-wide response involving people removed from the deaths at sea, on the other. We also discuss the difference between a memorial that names and thereby individualizes victims, and one that does not, and between one that celebrates an alternative, hospitable society, and one that does not.

History

Journal

Ethnic and racial studies

Volume

42

Pagination

141-158

Location

Abingdon, Eng.

ISSN

0141-9870

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2017, The Authors

Issue

2

Publisher

Routledge