The New Nomadic Age - Archaeologies of Forced and Undocumented Migration - Yannis Hamilakis

The New Nomadic Age - Archaeologies of Forced and Undocumented Migration - Yannis Hamilakis

The Garden of Refugees

The New Nomadic Age - Archaeologies of Forced and Undocumented Migration - Yannis Hamilakis

Rui Gomes Coelho [+-]
Durham University
Rui Gomes Coelho is an archaeologist interested in historical archaeology, archaeology of the contemporary, critical heritage and photography. His current interests are driven by a fascination with the sensorial constitution of alternative modernities, and for marginal communities who mobilize material culture against traditional, nationalist-oriented approaches to heritage. He has been collaborating with archaeological projects based in the U.S., Portugal, Brazil, Germany, Spain, and Croatia. Recent publications include the essay “The Garden of Refugees” in the volume The New Nomadic Age: Archaeologies of Forced and Undocumented Migration, edited by Yannis Hamilakis, 2018 and the article “An Archaeology of Decolonization: Imperial Intimacies in Contemporary Lisbon”, published by the Journal of Social Archaeology, 2019. Between 2017-2019, he was a Postdoctoral Associate in the Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies program at the Department of Art History, Rutgers University. He is also a Junior Researcher at UNIARQ—Center for Archaeology, University of Lisbon. As a photographer, Dr. Coelho participated in several individual and collective shows in the U.S., U.K. and Portugal.


It can be suggested that today we live in a new nomadic age, an age of global movement and migration. For the majority of people on earth, however, especially from the global south, crossing national borders and moving from the global south to the global north is risky, perilous, often lethal. Many are forced or compelled to migrate due to war, persecution, or the structural violence of poverty and deprivation. The phenomenon of forced and undocumented migration is one of the defining features of our era. And while the topic is at the centre of attention and study in many scholarly fields, the materiality of the phenomenon and its sensorial and mnemonic dimensions are barely understood and analysed. In this regard, contemporary archaeology can make an immense contribution. This book, the first archaeological anthology on the topic, takes up the challenge and explores the diverse intellectual, methodological, ethical, and political frameworks for an archaeology of forced and undocumented migration in the present. Matters of historical depth, theory, method, ethics and politics as well as heritage value and public representation are investigated and analysed, adopting a variety of perspectives. The book contains both short reflections and more substantive treatments and case studies from around the world, from the Mexico-USA border to Australia, and utilizes a diversity of narrative formats, including several photographic essays.

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Gomes Coelho, Rui. The Garden of Refugees. The New Nomadic Age - Archaeologies of Forced and Undocumented Migration. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 156-166 Nov 2018. ISBN 9781781797112. Date accessed: 27 Oct 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.34650. Nov 2018

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