Etched into Place: Racialized Landscapes, Embodied Movements and Communities of Knowledge along Mexico’s Arterial Border and Beyond
Through a metaphor of etchings, this talk explores the linkages between movement, connection knowledge and place within the often violent and racialized landscapes of migrant transit journeys. Traveling to various sites along Mexico’s arterial border — shelters, mountain roads, caravan routes — it examines how the places that migrants move through are not only embedded within historical forms of exclusion, but are also constantly being remade — or etched — in relation to changing contexts of violence, securitization, humanitarianism and capitalism. Etchings can take the form of border walls cutting through natural landscapes, names carved into the wall at a migrant shelters or scars left on people’s bodies. Yet beyond physical markings, it is the social connections and encounters between and among mobile and immobile actors, and the stories they create, that also become etched into particular places, as repositories of knowledge, forms of resistance and beacons for potential futures. Finally, the talk considers the ethical dimensions of the ways we, as migration scholars, may also create etchings as we witness and accompany migrants, produce knowledge and commit to embodied forms of solidarity.