Zeitschriftenartikel (Wiss.)

Graves beyond the waves: enforced strandedness and the impossibility of place-making in the Andaman Sea

Hoffstaedter, Gerhard
Erschienen in: 
Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies , Online first, Online first, 1-15
Kurze Beschreibung / Abstract: 
Since 2017, more than one million Rohingya have been forcibly displaced from their country of birth, Myanmar. While most of the displaced Rohingya are currently living in refugee camps along the Myanmar–Bangladesh border, thousands have continued their journeys in search of safety across the Andaman Sea, especially to Malaysia, but also Thailand and Indonesia. During these journeys, many endured prolonged stays at sea. Smugglers who organised these passages tried to extort higher payments from their clients’ families before proceeding with the passage. More importantly, governments of potential destination countries prevented the boats from disembarking leading to prolonged periods of strandedness at sea. While land transit situations have received substantial academic attention, interest in maritime transit settings has lagged behind. This article relates progressive ideas of place-making found in the refugees studies literature to scenarios of prolonged and forced stuckedness at sea and puts forward the argument that those Rohingya kept on boats inhabit a ‘non-place’, a space that denies them the opportunity to live in and maintain any sort of organic community. This article shows how Southeast Asian transit and destination countries have exploited the sea for its anti-place-making potential for maritime refugees such as the Rohingya and created carceral seascapes for the boats they travel on. This recent development entails dangerous precedents that can be exploited in exercising (extra-territorial) exclusions.
Erscheinungsdatum Online: 
Mittwoch, 12. Oktober 2022
Erscheinungsdatum Print: 
Mittwoch, 12. Oktober 2022
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