Over the last decades, the dramatic deaths in the attempt to cross international borders have become more and more frequent and evident. According to optimistic estimates, at least 70,000 people have lost their lives in the last thirty years. The route from Libya-Tunisia to Lampedusa island, in Italy, and to Malta – the central Mediterranean route – is literally a submerged cemetery. Scientific literature has identified several factors which made death a probable event in migration routes. Nevertheless, little attention has been paid to victims’ experience (those who have survived and/or testimonies), as so as to the one of “liminal communities”, peripheric places which found themselves at the core of social, political and humanitarian events in a global dimension. The research we present shows preliminary results of an analysis on memorialization and commemoration practices about victims of migration which took place in Lampedusa, on the occasion of the sixth anniversary of the sinking in the 3rd October 2013. That day has become symbol of an unending series of tragedies, since the impressive number of victims – 368 –, and the short distance to the island in which the shipwreck happened. Using ethnography and interviews, it emerges a conflictual and divided memory landscape, in which three different kinds of elaboration contemporarily coexist in the space-time of commemoration: the institutional, the generative and the antagonistic one. Yet, each of those reflects a “suspension” in the memorialization process carried on by their members, in which memory work is constantly urged by everyday reports documenting new tragedies to empathize with.

Memorializing migrants’ deaths in the Mediterranean Sea between division and reports. The case of Lampedusa

Ciro De Vincenzo
;
Adriano Zamperini;Ines Testoni
2021

Abstract

Over the last decades, the dramatic deaths in the attempt to cross international borders have become more and more frequent and evident. According to optimistic estimates, at least 70,000 people have lost their lives in the last thirty years. The route from Libya-Tunisia to Lampedusa island, in Italy, and to Malta – the central Mediterranean route – is literally a submerged cemetery. Scientific literature has identified several factors which made death a probable event in migration routes. Nevertheless, little attention has been paid to victims’ experience (those who have survived and/or testimonies), as so as to the one of “liminal communities”, peripheric places which found themselves at the core of social, political and humanitarian events in a global dimension. The research we present shows preliminary results of an analysis on memorialization and commemoration practices about victims of migration which took place in Lampedusa, on the occasion of the sixth anniversary of the sinking in the 3rd October 2013. That day has become symbol of an unending series of tragedies, since the impressive number of victims – 368 –, and the short distance to the island in which the shipwreck happened. Using ethnography and interviews, it emerges a conflictual and divided memory landscape, in which three different kinds of elaboration contemporarily coexist in the space-time of commemoration: the institutional, the generative and the antagonistic one. Yet, each of those reflects a “suspension” in the memorialization process carried on by their members, in which memory work is constantly urged by everyday reports documenting new tragedies to empathize with.
Association of European Qualitative Researchers in Psychology (EQuiP)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3398497
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