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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Eritrean asylum seekers' lament ceremonies in Israel as contested sites of identity formation
Authors:Sabar, GaliaISNI
Rotbard, Adam
Year:2015
Periodical:African Diaspora: a Journal of Transnational Africa in a Global World (ISSN 1872-5457)
Volume:8
Issue:2
Pages:147-173
Language:English
Geographic terms:Eritrea
Israel
Subjects:Eritreans
refugees
mourning
national identity
diasporas
Link:https://doi.org/10.1163/18725465-00802004
Abstract:Based on extensive qualitative research, this paper focuses on lament ceremonies Eritrean asylum seekers in Israel performed in public parks in 2008-2014. Specifically, the authors expose social and political structures of this diaspora, including mechanisms of survival in a context of harsh living conditions, a fragile legal status and a hostile environment. Following Werbner's analysis of diasporas as chaordic entities, having no single representation and fostering multiple identities, the authors show how chaordicness underlies this diaspora's ability to survive and thrive in Israel, and to embrace the unique Eritrean trans-local nationalism. They highlight how these public religious rituals were transformed into contested sites of identity formation following Israeli struggles against them. Finally, they shed light on the role that such ceremonies play in shaping transnational identities, as well as how disenfranchised communities of asylum seekers aim for visibility and recognition in the public sphere. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]
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