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Migration by Boat

Migration by Boat

Lynda Mannik


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At a time when thousands of refugees risk their lives undertaking perilous journeys by boat across the Mediterranean, this multidisciplinary volume could not be more pertinent. It offers various contemporary case studies of boat migrations undertaken by asylum seekers and refugees around the globe and shows that boats not only move people and cultural capital between places, but also fuel cultural fantasies, dreams of adventure and hope, along with fears of invasion and terrorism. The ambiguous nature of memories, media representations and popular culture productions are highlighted throughout in order to address negative stereotypes and conversely, humanize the individuals involved.

Lynda Mannik is a Lecturer in Cultural Anthropology at York University. She is the author of Photography, Memory and Refugee Identity: the voyage of the S.S. Walnut, 1948 (UBC Press 2012); Reclaiming Canadian Bodies: Representation and Visual Media (Wilfrid Laurier Press, 2015); and Canadian Indian Cowboys: Rodeo, Representation and the RCMP at the Royal Easter Show, 1939 (University of Calgary Press, 2006).

"Migration by Boat offers its readers a diverse and rich collection of essays, centred on migration, borders, identities, and humanitarian ideals, pushing its readers to see transnational flows of people away from the clear-cut juxtapositions of citizen/stranger, land/water and victim/threat. This makes the book an important and interesting read for a broad audience." · Border Criminologies 

"This impressive collection of essays, centred on migration, borders, identities, and humanitarian ideals is both theoretically astute and ethnographically rich. Each contribution is solid and together they challenge readers to rethink the politics of migration." · Refuge

“This book is highly original in its emphasis on representations of enforced sea journeys and their memorialisations. Many, including myself, would like it on their shelf for teaching and reference.” · Michael Pugh, University of Bradford

Migration by Boat is an excellent example of engaged social science… With its inter-disciplinary perspective, geographical diversity and historical sensitivity, it succeeds in presenting in-depth insights into this highly sensitive phenomenon.” · Joris Schapendonk, Radboud University

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Contents 5
List of Illustrations 7
Acknowledgments 9
Introduction 11
Section I — Embedded Memories for Public Consumption 35
Chapter 1 — Children's Literature and Memory Activism: British Child Labor Migrants' Passage to Canada 37
Chapter 2 — Representing Migration by Boat at the Australian National Maritime Museum 59
Chapter 3 — Nuóc/Water: Oceanic Spatiality and the Vietnamese Diaspora 75
Section II — The Artist and the Illegal Migrant 91
Chapter 4 — Imagining Europe's Borders: Commemorative Art on Migrant Tragedies 93
Chapter 5 — “Washed Clean”: The Forgotten Journeys of “Irregular Maritime Arrivals” in J. M. Coetzee's Estralia 111
Chapter 6 — Unstable Vessels: Small Boats as Emblems of Deaths Foretold and as Harbingers of Better Futures in Figurations of Irregular Migration across the Strait of Gibraltar 126
Section III — Media, Politics, and Representation 143
Chapter 7 — Memorializing Boat Tragedies in the Mediterranean: The Case of the Katër i Radës 145
Chapter 8 — “Where Are Our Sons?”: Tunisian Families and the Repoliticization of Deadly Migration across the Mediterranean Sea 164
Chapter 9 — Mysterious Refugees: Social Drama Ensues 188
Chapter 10 — Islands and Images of Flight around Europe's Southern Rim: Trouble in Heterotopia 207
Section IV — Stories of Smuggling, Trauma, and Rescue 227
Chapter 11 — “If We Die, We Die Together”: Risking Death at Sea in Search of Safety 229
Chapter 12 — En Route to Hell: Dreams of Adventure and Traumatic Experiences among West African 'Boat People' to Europe 245
Chapter 13 — Re-living Janga: Survivor Narratives 263
Afterword 279
Index 281