How topsy-turvy can the world of mobility become? Th e London cab has recently been revived by a Chinese automotive group,1 General Motors had to be rescued by the American taxpayer, and BMW is converting its cars to electricity. In Delhi, after a rape and murder of a woman in a bus, rickshaw pullers introduced “safe for women” rickshaws.2 In Brazil riots against corruption and poverty started in a bus, out of outrage at increased ticket prices.3 In Rio de Janeiro there are three bus accidents per day, in part caused by drivers racing against each other.4 How can we understand the plethora of confusing messages from a world of mobility that seems to spin out of control, more so with every new decade? New Mobility Studies tries to make sense of this turbulence and as editors of Transfers we seek fresh approaches that are not afraid of transgressing boundaries. Th is issue, in which we present scholarship beyond the immediate reach of Western mainstream mobility studies, is an example of such boundary crossing.
Gijs Mom and Nanny Kim
By what incredible foresight did the most significant intellectual quarrel of the twentieth century anticipate the major issue of the twenty-first? When Camus and Sartre parted ways in 1952, the main question dividing them was political violence—specifically, that of communism. And as they continued to jibe at each other during the next decade, especially during the war in Algeria, one of the major issues between them became terrorism. The 1957 and 1964 Nobel Laureates were divided sharply over which violence most urgently demanded to be addressed and attacked—the humiliations and oppressions, often masked, that Sartre described as systematically built into daily life under capitalism and colonialism, or the brutal and abstract calculus of murder seen by Camus as built into some of the movements that claimed to liberate people from capitalist and colonial oppression.
The Sartre-Camus conflict remains, fifty years later, philosophically unresolved. And I would argue—against today's conventional wisdom so persistently asserted by Tony Judt—it is also historically unresolved, despite today.
In 1997, Hinrich Seeba offered a graduate seminar on Berlin at the University of California, Berkeley. He called it: "Cityscape: Berlin as Cultural Artifact in Literature, Art, Architecture, Academia." It was a true German studies course in its interdisciplinary and cultural anthropological approach to the topic: Berlin, to be analyzed as a "scape," a "view or picture of a scene," subject to the predilections of visual perception in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This course inspired my research on contemporary German history as represented in Berlin's Holocaust memorials. The number and diversity of these memorials has made this city into a laboratory of collective memory. Since the unification of East and West Germany in 1990, memorials in Berlin have become means to shape a new national identity via the history shared by both Germanys. In this article, I explore two particular memorials to show the tension between creating a collective, national identity, and representing the cultural and historical diversity of today's Germany. I compare the Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas (Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe, or "national Holocaust memorial") which opened in central Berlin on May 10, 2005, to the lesser known, privately sponsored, decentralized "stumbling stone" project by artist Gunter Demnig.
On 22 October 2003, Michael Khodorkovsky, the richest man in Russia and the director of Yukos, one of the largest Russian companies, was arrested at gunpoint in Novosibirsk airport and transferred to Moscow. A few months earlier, one of his deputies, Platon Lebedev, had been arrested on 3 July 2003. In the months that followed the arrest of Lebedev, the general prosecutor raided the offices of Yukos and Menatep, a major shareholder of Yukos. On 17 October 2003, Vasily Shakhnovsky, a Yukos shareholder, was detained for tax evasion. Another major shareholder, Leonid Nevzlin, was accused of conspiracy to commit murder and fled to Israel. One of Yukos’s security guards was also accused as a culprit in this conspiracy and was imprisoned. The general prosecutor subjected the company to a series of raids and restrictions that led to the decline of the value of its shares and brought it to the verge of bankruptcy by the middle of August 2004. Officially, all of these actions occurred because of Yukos’s illegal economic dealings and tax frauds, but the real reasons were that Khodorkovsky had dared to criticize publicly the president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin; that he had funded rival political parties; and that he had also toyed with the idea of entering politics himself and becoming a presidential candidate. Since the conflict between Yukos and the state is a good illustration of the contradictory relation between state and capital in Russia, let me give a brief description of Yukos’s history.
From Haute-Frêne to Hautefaye
Alain Corbin is a historian of astonishing range.1 Two of his works, The Life of an Unknown and The Village of Cannibals, exemplify the breadth of his historical vision. The latter reconstructs a murder that takes place in the village of Hautefaye in 1870, while the former recovers the lost world of a forgotten man who, as it happens, died within a few years of that event. The Village is thus a study of what Corbin calls, in the preface to The Life, “a fortuitous event” that casts “a brief and lurid light on the myriads of the disappeared.” But such events were, as Corbin reminds us, “exceptional, products of a paroxysm offering momentary access to an underlying reality without telling us much about the torpor of ordinary existences.” The torpor of ordinary existences: the phrase is striking, and it is not only an apt description of the life of Louis-François Pinagot but also an important clue to what Corbin believed was missing from the reigning schools of French historiography.
Patricia Ravelo Blancas and May-ek Querales Mendoza
[Full article is in Spanish]
English: Femicide has become a serious problem in Mexico. The recorded number of murders of girls and women increased by 68% in 2007 alone; between 2008 and 2015, more than 1,000 such murders took place in Ciudad Juárez. This article examines femicide in Mexico through a discussion of the protest groups that have organized around this problem. The article is divided into four sections. Following the introduction, part two conceptually discusses femicide and examines its different characteristics. Part three then presents the situation in Ciudad Juárez. This is followed in part four by a description of three important protest groups against femicide in Ciudad Juárez and a discussion of how they have affected public debates on this subject, particularly by bringing the debate on femicide in Ciudad Juárez to the attention of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal.
Spanish: El feminicidio se ha convertido en un problema grave en México. Sólo en el 2007 los asesinatos de niñas y mujeres aumentaron en un 68% de los registros anteriores; y entre 2008 y 2015, más de un millar de tales asesinatos tuvieron lugar en Ciudad Juárez. Este artículo examina el feminicidio en México a través de un análisis de los grupos de protesta que se han organizado en torno a este problema. El artículo se divide en cuatro secciones. Después de la introducción, la segunda parte se analiza conceptualmente el feminicidio y examina sus diferentes características. La tercera parte presenta la situación en Ciudad Juárez, seguida de una cuarta parte donde se describen tres importantes grupos de protesta contra el feminicidio en Ciudad Juárez, así como una discusión de cómo dichos movimientos han afectado los debates públicos sobre este tema. En particular el debate sobre el feminicidio en Ciudad Juárez para la atención del Tribunal Permanente de los Pueblos.
French: Au Mexique, le féminicide s’est converti en un problème de plus en plus grave si on considère uniquement qu’en 2007 les assassinats de filles et de femmes ont augmenté de 68% et qu’entre 2008 et 2015 à Ciudad Juárez ont été commis plus de mille assassinats. Cett e extrême violence vis-à-vis des femmes n’a pas pu être éradiquée dans aucune région du Mexique et au contraire, elle a augmenté de manière exponentielle malgré l’organisation depuis 1993 de groupes de la société civile et de mères des femmes et filles assassinées pour exiger justice et sécurité, ce qui a donné lieu à un débat public qui a cherché à transformer la conscience collective sur le féminicide et a fait l’objet d’une audience au Tribunal Permanent des Peuples comme un de ses évènements notables. Ce travail prétend décrire et analyser ces actions protestataires, en se centrant sur la participation des mères et des jeunes dans cett e lutt e.
Building on a long-term, multi-sited ethnographic research project, this article illustrates and interprets the transformation processes and empowerment strategies pursued by an originally Zazaki-speaking, multigenerational Alevi family in the Turkish-German transnational context. The family, which includes a number of Alevi priests (seyyid or dede), hails from the Dersim4 region of eastern Anatolia, and their family biography is closely bound up with a traumatic mass murder and crime against humanity that local people call “Dersim 38“ or “Tertele.“ Against the background of this tragedy, the family experienced internal migration (through forced remigration and settlement) thirty years before its labor migration to Germany. This family case study accordingly examines migration as a multi-faceted process with plural roots and routes. The migration of people from Turkey neither begins nor ends with labor migration to Germany. Instead, it involves the continuous, nonlinear, and multidirectional movement of human beings, despite national border regimes and politics. As a result, we can speak of migration processes that are at once voluntary and forced, internal and external, national and transnational. 5 In this particular case, the family members, even the pioneer generation labor migrants who have since become shuttle migrants, maintain close relationships with Dersim even as they spend most of their lives in a metropolitan German city. At the same time, they confront moments of everyday in- and exclusion in this transnational migration space that define them as both insiders and out- siders. Keeping these asymmetrical attributions in mind, I examine the family's sociocultural, religious, and political practices and resources from a transna- tional perspective, paying close attention to their conceptualization of identity and belonging as well as their empowerment strategies.
The Mediterranean Basin, Africans on the Move, and the Politics of Policing
P. Khalil Saucier and Tryon P. Woods
Within the annals of black studies, analyses of state power begin with a well-trod premise that policing is not a response to criminal behaviour; nor is it an extension of a criminal justice apparatus whose operations can be accounted for by political economy alone. Rather, the police power is foremost a cultural phenomenon irreducible to materialist conceptions of social control in a capitalist world system. More to the point, policing is a methodology for social organisation premised on antiblack sexual violence. We consider several recent events of state power in the Mediterranean basin – as in the Lampedusa boat victims – in order to ascertain the erotic authority governing the police power of state and civil society. By using the Lampedusa case and others, we highlight that police power in the Mediterranean is more than the interpersonal and the event, but instead manifests as a methodology of violence by the state and its regimes, as history, as legacy. The policing and murder of hundreds of Africans in the Mediterranean we contend are not single and episodic events or moments in time, but are situated in the accumulated violence against black people globally. Without an analysis of antiblackness in relation to policing as methodology, events such as Lampedusa can be seen and understood as moments of exception (i.e. bad FRONTEX policy) rather than a practice that fully follows racial slavery. Without understanding policing from this standpoint, the political reaction to Lampedusa and other events has the danger of promoting 'reform' and 'revision' rather than a more radical vision: a future where black lives matter.
Linda Woodhead, James T. Richardson, Martyn Percy, Catherine Wessinger and Eileen Barker
committed suicide or were murdered in the Guyana forest ( Moore 2009 ). Again, I found the trajectory of my career undergoing a slight twist. I was meeting people who had undergone deprogramming, which could be a terrifying experience, even according to the