The New Nomadic Age
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It can be suggested that today we live in a new nomadic age, an age of global movement and migration. For the majority of people on earth, however, especially from the global south, crossing national borders and moving from the global south to the global north is risky, perilous, often lethal. Many are forced or compelled to migrate due to war, persecution, or the structural violence of poverty and deprivation. The phenomenon of forced and undocumented migration is one of the defining features of our era. And while the topic is at the centre of attention and study in many scholarly fields, the materiality of the phenomenon and its sensorial and mnemonic dimensions are barely understood and analysed. In this regard, contemporary archaeology can make an immense contribution. This book, the first archaeological anthology on the topic, takes up the challenge and explores the diverse intellectual, methodological, ethical, and political frameworks for an archaeology of forced and undocumented migration in the present. Matters of historical depth, theory, method, ethics and politics as well as heritage value and public representation are investigated and analysed, adopting a variety of perspectives. The book contains both short reflections and more substantive treatments and case studies from around the world, from the Mexico-USA border to Australia, and utilizes a diversity of narrative formats, including several photographic essays.
Chapter 17 is freely available under Creative Commons License BY 4.0here
Published: Nov 14, 2018
Moving is a keyword for this timely collection of papers: The authors focus on people and their things moving through landscapes and material culture as symbols of movement and barriers. Some of the papers also emphasize a need to move the discourse of forced migration. Furthermore, the papers in this book contribute to move the scope of archaeology by documenting how archaeological methodology is highly favourable to the
study of ongoing processes in addition to past phenomena. Lastly, these papers are also moving in a different sense; it is emotional to read about migrant deaths, a child drawing floating bodies, orange lifejackets spread along the shore, and people searching for a permanent situation. The New Nomadic Age provides detailed and diverse perspectives on moving in all these senses of the word and is a highly recommended read.
An incredible transdisciplinary and transcultural study of the global phenomenon of migration, the collected texts cover a wide range of political, cultural, and geographical sites and subjects, bringing together essays, documents, and photographs from such places as Mexico, the US, Finland, Palestine, Syria, India and Pakistan, and Australia. The contributors tackle complex topics such as “surveilling surveillance,” the drawings and gardens of refugees, the relationship between belonging and belongings, and more. The book also interrogates our complicity in how the migrant is often perceived as either a threat or a figure lacking agency, transforming these toxic misconceptions by foregrounding the migrant-refugee experience—and the inclusion is devastating. Timely, and an interdisciplinary prototype, this text should be necessary reading for curators, editors, and educators.
Artforum (Best Books of 2019)