Vite di frontiera. Riflessioni sulla produzione di soggettività degli esiliati, tra violenza e cosmopolitismo

Autore: Giacomo Mantovan
In: Meridiana. 89
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Abstract

This article provides a reflection on the production of subjectivity on the part of exiles in a «cosmopolitan condition» (Agier 2013): the experience of creating a new life and identity created in a liminal space. It tells the story of two Sri Lankan men, Suresh and his son, who lived in a marginal condition because they belonged to a dalit caste within the Tamil minority. They spent their whole lives fighting for social justice: in the 1980s, Suresh was a leading figure in a Marxist revolutionary movement and, after having fled to Paris in the 1990s, he and his son were active in the nationalist organisation of the Tamil Tigers. Their life story is an interesting case study because it correlates marginality with the appropriation of political doctrines (Marxism, nationalism) and values (equality, secularism, social justice) that circulate on a global scale as a means to struggle against oppression on a local scale. This paper highlights the fact that boundaries are spaces of individual and collective social change. Indeed, new identities and «modes of existence» (Deleuze 1990) are produced through the combined influence of living on the margins, experiencing the violence of the Tamil caste system and repression from the Sri Lankan government, appropriating global values and political doctrines, and engaging in an armed movement.

Keywords: Subjectivity; Revolution; Boundaries; Exile.