A1 Journal article (refereed)
Digital materialities in the diasporic mourning of migrant death (2019)

Horsti, K. (2019). Digital materialities in the diasporic mourning of migrant death. European Journal of Communication, 34(6), 671-681. https://doi.org/10.1177/0267323119886169

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Horsti, Karina

Journal or series: European Journal of Communication

ISSN: 0267-3231

eISSN: 1460-3705

Publication year: 2019

Volume: 34

Issue number: 6

Pages range: 671-681

Publisher: Sage Publications

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0267323119886169

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/67242


This article examines memorialization among the family and friends of those who have died at the world’s deadliest border in the Mediterranean Sea. Digital media platforms are central spaces for new, innovative forms of coping with ambiguous loss or the inability to mourn over a dead body. The analysis focuses on the role of digital media technologies and the relationship between digital and material elements in memorialization. I examine the creation and circulation of digital objects of memorialization: visual assemblages in which the material and digital intertwine. The analysis demonstrates that digital media practices are not separate from the material world, nor do they make mourning and memorializing less human or less authentic. On the contrary, in transnational and mobile circumstances, digital technologies facilitate human, ethical engagement with complicated grief. Memorializing is crucial for both the private and the public lives of diasporic communities. In Europe, public recognition of the memorialization of refugee deaths would increase understanding of the human consequences of the border, allowing the dead to be seen as individuals with human relationships rather than as numbers.

Keywords: immigration; refugeedom; diaspora; death; grief work; remembrance; digital culture; social media

Free keywords: digital media; migration; borders; memory; materiality; death

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2019

JUFO rating: 3

Last updated on 2023-10-01 at 12:19