Remains: Exploring New Frontiers of Fear, Indifference and Love in the Mediterranean

This project examines how contemporary encounters with various remains of undocumented migrants by locals in Lampedusa generate distance or allow for mutuality in the context of forced migration in the Mediterranean. In particular, it focuses on exploring new forms of dissemination going beyond academia, by collaborating with aid workers, artists and activists working at the frontier.

In this Fellowship, Dr Corso will build on his doctoral research on this migratory frontier of separation and reciprocity via a one-year engagement with the local community of Lampedusa. Rather than reinforcing the dominant portrayal of migration evidenced in media and political representations of Lampedusa as a stage of tragedy and death, the project builds upon a phenomenological approach aimed at unveiling the perspectives and interpretations of migrant remains held by members of the local community of Lampedusa.

This focus (on interpretation and exchange) will help analytically to challenge the conventional concept of border as a space of separation and division, while also allowing for exploring innovative forms of ethnographic writing and methodological approaches. This will significantly open up potential pathways to impact and encourage a critical re-evaluation of the legal and ethical challenges of irregular migration in the contemporary world.

Alessandro Corso
ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow
Economic and Social Research Council