Turbulent stillness: The politics of uncertainty and the undocumented migrant

Craig Martin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

In reflecting on the diverse registers of stillness the anthropologist Kathleen Stewart offers some important signals as to the relational imbrication of stillness and movement. For Stewart ‘a still life is a static filled with vibratory motion, or resonance. A quivering in the stability of a category or a trajectory, it gives the ordinary the charge of an unfolding.'3 We can garner from this that stillness cannot be disentangled from movement - they are always immanent to one another, twinned as it were. The static image, be it a ‘still life’ in aesthetic terms or a stilled moment in phenomenological terms is always replete with becoming-movement, a latent potential or perhaps precarity. Stewart’s work on ordinary, everyday affects highlights the quotidian moments where the body weaves a narrative of shock, repulsion, joy, quietude, movement. The body in this case is a rejoinder that maps the variegated events of stillness and rapidity. Such observations are central to this text: for although there are clear divergences between the embodied notions of stillness and movement it is the conjoined forces4 of stillness and movement that exemplify mobility. Most revealingly this is seen with the fraught corporeal mobilities of undocumented migrants.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStillness in a Mobile World
PublisherTaylor and Francis Group
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781135146351
ISBN (Print)9780415572620
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


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