The Many Registers of Migration
I’ve been pondering migration as images and stories fill our newspapers and newscasts and I’ve noticed that the meaningfulness of migration is both deeply personal, limbic and sensuous, and also objective, exteriorized, and manipulable by my thoughts and words. And then I realized that the deeply internal and sensuous experience of meaningfulness, as well as the exteriorizing of meaningfulness to manipulable objectivity, are both productive processes, with production – sometimes co-production – in many registers.
So I’ve come up with some registers of migration to consider:
· Epic – migration as the expressive frame for quest, tragedy, loss, transformation
· Political economy – migration as a process of social reproduction of socioeconomic classes or categories
· Population genetics – migration as the mixing of genes, starting with our ancestors leaving Africa
· Narrative – migration as a library of stories
· Survival – migration as Darwinian species activity
· Bureaucratic – migration as the impurifier of citizenship(s)
· Love – migration as the thing I do for the survival of particular persons I love
· Physical – migration as movements of mass and energy on a planet
· Geopolitical – migration as the bedraggled march of history into post-nationalisms
· Corporeal – migration as weariness, hunger, insomnia, blisters, diarrhea, dehydration, cramps, death
· Renewal – migration as the renewal of deserted villages and anomic cities
… and so on
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