Managing Border Deaths in Southern Italy: Negotiations and Ritual Practices
|Directeur /trice||François Gauthier|
|Co-directeur(s) /trice(s)||Michel Agier|
|Résumé de la thèse||
Every year thousands of deaths are documented on the Central Mediterranean Route, the
irregularized migration route between Libya and Italy/Malta. Italy is hereby confronting
challenges of sepulchral and cultural nature the region has never experienced before. Local and
national agents are facing questions of political, legal, logistical, ethical and, not at last, religious
nature regarding the management of the dead.
The management of the dead is of particular interest for scholars of religious studies: The
unknown identity of the victims on the one hand, and the absence of relatives and friends on the
other hand, lead to confusion and arbitrariness in the measures being undertaken. This
deregulated situation then activates a nexus of different agents engaging in negotiations of how to
proceed with the dead. The output of these negotiations ultimately leads to either a) an increase of
religious and non-religious ritual practice, or b) a total absence of ritual practice.
This dissertation project aims to address the matter on two levels. 1) it explores the negotiationprocesses
by a) identifying the agents being involved and by b) illuminating the measures, norms,
practices, strategies and semantics being activated within the negotiations. 2) it examines the
ritual practices being performed.
Method The research implements the method of the multi-sited ethnography. Semi-structured
interviews and participant observations will be conducted on various sites on Lampedusa, Sicily
and mainland Italy.
|Délai administratif de soutenance de thèse||2022|