Sending it home
An economy of corpses finding their way back across bureaucracies, bank drafts, borders.
Globalism, urbanisation and migration have created new economies. One such is the transportation of the body of the deceased back home, to their countries, their homesteads, their families.
This piece tracks this journey. Taking the everyday and ‘scenes from a life’ as a starting point, it moves between fact and fiction, forensics and economics, politics and metaphysics, law and religion, life and death.
This is a story of thresholds anddeal-making, traveling across multiple borders, barriers, obstacles, fixtures and detours; negotiating formal and informal economies, costs and logistics, conflict and co-operation, complicity and duplicity; exhuming memories, unheard prayers and deeply buries histories.
How does a body move? What are the costs and logistics? The challenges and obstacles? What is the value of a body – both real and symbolic? How does culture manifest in this journey? What is forbidden? Can a corpse be illegal? Do the dead have a home?
Full of imaginings, dotted with fantastic characters (senders and receivers, mourners and middlemen), and haunted by ghosts, it combines the everyday with a scifi/ Kafkaesque sensibility.