Intimate witnessing: Volunteer testimonies of everyday border violence

Ramakrishnan, Kavita and Stavinoha, Luděk (2024) Intimate witnessing: Volunteer testimonies of everyday border violence. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space. ISSN 2399-6544

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In this paper, we center the witnessing repertoires of grassroots volunteers and explore the ways in which they bear witness to and condemn the border violence experienced by illegalized migrants across Europe. Drawing on long-term research of volunteer solidarity structures across Greece and in Paris, our analysis of witnessing uses the ‘intimate’ as a conceptual framing across three intersections of analysis. First, we locate the ‘intimate’ in volunteers’ embodied presence in migrant spaces, where important relations of care between volunteers and migrants emerge based on physical and emotional proximity. Second, we unpack how intimate mourning over migrant incarceration and death are publicly evoked, in the affective and emotive authorship of events to which volunteers bear witness. Finally, we reflect on the multiple political potentialities of intimate witnessing, not only as an alternative to traditional modalities of humanitarian witnessing, but as a radical confrontation against racialized logics that underpin Europe’s bordering apparatus. Bringing together literature on feminist geopolitics, humanitarian witnessing, and volunteer-refugee solidarities, we argue that the distinct repertoires of ‘intimate witnessing’ are paramount to solidarity, whereby volunteers render visible the mundane violence and indignities illegalized migrants face across Europe.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This article draws on empirical material from research conducted in Paris for the project titled ‘Temporary Migrants or New European Citizens? Geographies of Integration and Response Between “Camps” and the City’, funded by a British Academy Tackling the UK’s International Challenges Award (Award number: IC160341) and internal funding from the School of International Development, University of East Anglia.
Uncontrolled Keywords: sdg 16 - peace, justice and strong institutions ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/peace_justice_and_strong_institutions
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Global Development (formerly School of International Development)
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Migration Research Network
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2024 18:33
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 18:33
DOI: 10.1177/23996544241236095


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