All in Refugees & Representation
In our second post commemorating the 1947 Partition of India, writer and critic Sandeep Parmar offers a powerful, personal and critical reflection on the workings of refugee memory. We are used to thinking about how later generations host the memories of the traumas suffered by earlier generations but, Parmar asks, 'in the case of Partition, how does the postmemory generation speak of the trauma of silence, not memory, of a postforgetting?
It has been noted that of the 50,000 migrant deaths in transit recorded (and two thirds are not), for as many as one in five the region (let alone the country) of origin is unknown. That so many deaths literally leave no trace in a world of instant communication and constant surveillance reflects the utter obscurity and marginality of so many migrants today.
How long have immigrants been labelled 'illegal'? The slogan 'no one is illegal' has been taken up by pro-migrant groups, especially those campaigning on behalf of asylum seekers. It is used to highlight the common humanity of those placed beyond the law with regard to their national status.
A poem by Yousif M. Qasmiteh