Being of Transit: Central American and Mexican Migrants’ Experiences of (Dis)Possession

University essay from Malmö högskola/Fakulteten för kultur och samhälle (KS)

Abstract: The thesis is based on the ethnographic fieldwork done during February 2015 in a place where aspects of transitory life are configured in an effort to (re)humanize those migrants that have been exposed to harm and (dis)possession, and thus entangled within an undesirable physical reality. Empirical attention is dedicated to the ways and means in which a particular migrant shelter located in the border region of Mexico-US operates and fulfills its purpose. The theoretical framework relates to being of transit as the composition of the migrants’ emergent state of uncertainty and instability within their continuous transitory experience. This is juxtaposed with Karen Barad’s (2007) posthumanist performativity analysis of how discourse and the material markers that make up transitory Mexico-US are a composition of assembled actions of (dis)possession processes of social, political, and historical power relations constantly becoming in practice. Additionally, the focus expands on how more-than-human elements and material possessions are intra-acting with the migrants that became part of the study. Therefore, through the politics of mobility and violence, the thesis explores how the people, places and things that assemble transitory Mexico-US evidence such undesirable physical reality. That is to say, a ceaseless diffracting ebb and flow of co-constituted intra- acting humans and non-humans in constant momentum and positionality conceptualizing the phenomenon of being a migrant, thing, or place of transit.

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