Some of the more interesting and useful work on diasporic and transnational identities has emanated from scholars working in cultural studies and contemporary anthropology. However, with a few notable exceptions, little attention has been paid to the specific experiences of refugee diasporas, and in particular, to the role of trauma and embodiment in the creation of these ‘moral communities.’ Based on research with the East Timorese diaspora in Australia, this article looks at the performative dimensions (protests, church rituals, singing, and dancing) of the diaspora’s political campaign for East Timor’s independence. I consider how the bodily dimensions of this protest movement contributed to certain formations of identity, belonging, and exile, within the Timorese community. In particular, I explore how these performative strategies have created a context for ‘retraumatizing’ bodies and memories, channeling them into a political ‘community of suffering,’ in turn contributing to a heightened sense of the morality of an exilic identity among many Timorese.
Trauma and Collective Identities among East Timorese Refugees in Australia
Geographical Imagination, Anthropology, and Political Exiles
Photographers of Siberia in Late Imperial Russia
Chekhov, Vlas Doroshevich, and Vladimir Korolenko were instrumental in creating this image. Political exiles, notably Populists (Narodniks) and Social Democrats, also made a contribution to shaping the image of Siberia, dedicating to it substantial space
“Like Alice through the Looking Glass”
Claude Lévi-Strauss in New York
What were the significance and the impact, for Claude Lévi-Strauss, of his experience as a refugee in New York between May 1941 and December 1944? If one follows Lévi-Strauss's late reconstructions, his exile appears surprisingly as an almost enchanted experience, marked by various encounters (Roman Jakobson, André Breton, Franz Boas), the first contact with North-West Coast Amerindian art, and the discovery of New York, an almost surrealistic city “where anything seemed possible.” Without contesting such an a posteriori reading, this article shows how such a reconstruction has been made possible through a complex reorganization of a traumatizing past. It then appears that the exile, and its remembrance in later texts, played a pivotal role in the development of Lévi-Strauss's anthropological work to come: his experience as a refugee was at the root of his reinvention of symbolism as well as of his reflections on humanity as a whole.
Les structures d'une pensée d'exil
La formation du structuralisme de Claude Lévi-Strauss
Lévi-Strauss considered that the birth of structuralism was mainly caused by his chance encounter with Roman Jakobson: the experience of war and exile had nothing to do with it. This article contends the opposite. It analyzes, from a sociological perspective, the articles Lévi-Strauss produced in New York in the 1940s. Focusing on political and cultural anthropology through the prism of primitive societies, these texts express in sociological terms Lévi-Strauss's self-representation, his hopes and strategies. He regards war as a moment in a cycle of reciprocal exchanges between groups. He sees power as the product of an ability to serve as an intermediary between groups and group members, and anthropological knowledge as the product of the social distance to groups necessary to compare their cultural models. Levi-Strauss's theories in exile are in affinity with his social position of a broker and intermediary between distant social groups among the French émigrés and between them and the Americans. Between the lines, all these formative texts show the efforts of Lévi-Strauss's consciousness to reverse the negative signs of his condition of exile. They played a role in the birth of structuralism even as they represent Lévi-Strauss's first auto-analysis (before Tristes Tropiques).
Visual Storytelling about Genocide, Displacement, and Exile
Encounters with Rithy Panh
took the entrance exam and passed it … For me cinema means freedom par excellence, the freedom that I chose. (Rithy Panh, quoted in Norindr 2010: 183 ) Since about 2012, I have been following Rithy Panh, a renown contemporary Cambodian exile
Multilocality and the Politics of Space in Protracted Exile
The Case of a Palestinian Refugee Camp in the West Bank
The condition of protracted exile and encampment fundamentally challenges the binary logic of mobility and stasis. The camp, a spatial tool to manage forced migration, becomes a physical embodiment of the inability or refusal to move. For camp
Out of Exile
Some Thoughts on Exile as a Dynamic Condition
Exile is a strong marker of identity for a writer, but to keep it forever as part of one's self-image surely involves a kind of mis-description, or at least over-simplification. Maintaining the position of being in exile also has its dangers: the posture of detachment can turn into a kind of wilful separation. Moreover migration, dislocation, various kinds of nomadism are becoming the norm, but this extreme mobility relativises even the most stable identities. What styles, or stories, or genres will be invented to describe a world which is no longer divided between peripheries and centres?
The Exile of Speech
Re-reading Genesis 6–9 in the Light of Lockdown
on our own situation. The submergence of humankind by the ‘dumb waters’, according to the rabbis, was a consequence of their ‘exile of speech’ – a kabbalistic phrase denoting a certain sort of pathology which Noah shared with his generation ( Sefat
Towards a Demography of Children in the Tsarist Siberian Exile System
Andrew A. Gentes
This article presents a first step towards creation of a demographic analysis of Siberia's exilic population during the nineteenth century. The article makes the argument that traditional Russian attitudes towards children were reflected on a macroscopic scale in the state's treatment of the children of criminals and other deviants deported and exiled to Siberia and the Russian Far East. The article uses a statistical approach as well as anecdotal materials to suggest some of the possible impacts the deportation of tens of thousands of children had on the later history of Russia.
"The Best Avenue of Escape"
The French Caribbean Route as Expulsion, Rescue, Trial, and Encounter
Eric T. Jennings
Can exclusion and rescue constitute the two faces of a same coin? How did the door slam shut on maritime rescue schemes in 1941? How precisely did Varian Fry and HICEM spirit refugees stranded in Southern France to the new world? In answering these questions, this article delineates and analyzes the sinuous routes that led to the emigration of thousands of refugees from Marseille to the French Caribbean in 1940-1941. It exposes some of the ambiguities of this project—including the comparable conditions of refugee internment in Vichy France and in Martinique—and its ultimate undoing. It delves into the encounters and synergies that the exodus engendered, and explores the perspectives of some of the refugees and Martiniquais whose paths crossed.