[-empyre-] the mouth of Duck river

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Wed Feb 17 10:39:02 AEDT 2016

I tried to be hands on today, but now realize within the space of a day the debate has moved on
in new directions; so backtracking is possibly in the way, but I had promised a reference to
a violently moving border, across the united states empire in older times, as that mapping
was evoked to me by Christina's painting, and I did not question the painting or the analyses
here, or the activism, naturally. But I sensed Irina was right when she mentions what 
>>would seem to be the limits of the conversation too....>> 

And maybe Ana this is what you meant, the limits of "posing" (clearly a strange
action by Wei Wei, as Murat, Babak and you notice) but you have stretched the canvas
so very wide, in the preface to " Across borders and networks: migrants, asylum seekers, or refugees?"
(from Roman empire to the poles) and I merely worried about the stretch, and what we can possibly pose in response. 

My question yesterday actually was for Ricardo, and his idea of the "taking back gesture" -
and I inquired about what the preface meant by 'networked existence' and how/whether the transborder tool worked for migrants/asylum seekers/refugees coming across
borders,seas, rivers, and getting stranded in deserts. 

I also think, again, the crisis is a crisis of the from, not the to.  Tomorrow I am hosting a workshop with a Greek ethnographer who will address this topic, and I'll report back to you all
(Maria Kastrinou: '“Either we'll survive the sea or we'll die:” From Syria to War':
Her proposal for examination was:

>>“Either we’ll survive the sea or we’ll die” is a phrase I heard often, too often in Lesbos, Greece, uttered by people who had just crossed the sea in perilous conditions, often, too often, with little children and newborns, women, men, old and young. In this talk, I do not ask what ‘drives’ these people to risk everything, including their lives, in order to reach the shores of Europe. Instead, I recount what has made them flee from Syria. To do this, I piece together fragments of Syria in peace and in war, recounted through personal stories and also long-term ethnographic fieldwork. From Syria to war, then, is an exploration and a provocation to re-think and perhaps re-centre where the crisis is…

Christina, the colorful canvas I saw from the historian Claudio Saunt, 


evokes "a time-lapse vision of the transfer of Indian land between 1776 and 1887. As blue “Indian homelands” disappear, small red areas appear, indicating the establishment of reservations.  
The project’s source data is a set of maps produced in 1899 by the Bureau of American Ethnology. The B.A.E. was a research unit of the Smithsonian that published and collected anthropological, archaeological, and linguistic research on the culture of North American Indians, as the nineteenth century drew to a close... The “source map” option (available on the map's site) offers a deep level of detail. By selecting a source map, and then zooming in to the state you’ve selected, you can see details of the map used to generate that section of the interactive. A pop-up box tells you which Native nation was resident on the land, and the date of the treaty or executive order that transferred the area to the government, as well as offering external links to descriptions of the treaty and of the tract of land. In the site’s “About” section, Saunt is careful to point out that the westward-moving boundaries could sometimes be vague. An example, the 1791 treaty with the Cherokee that ceded the land where present-day Knoxville, Tenn. stands. The treaty's language pointed to landmarks like "the mouth of Duck river," a broad approach that left a lot of room for creative implementation. When dealing with semi-nomadic tribes, Saunt added, negotiators sometimes designated a small reservation, "rather than spelling out the boundaries of the cession." 
This vagueness benefited the government’s purposes in crafting treaties and executive orders. “Greater legality and more precision,” Saunt argues, “would have made it impossible to seize so much land in so short a time.”

How does the site operate that you refered us to, Ricardo -  http://bordermonitoring.eu/   ?   is it a similar monitoring of moving borders and what was refered to a hotspots?

Johannes Birringer

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