Postmortem itinerary

A postmortem itinerary or postmortal migrant journey are the practices of notifying, identifying, burying, mourning, commemorating and representing various material and immaterial dimensions of border deaths (cf. Kobelinsky 2020).  Following postmortem itinerary of Ouacil, Maroccan boy who died in one of his attempts to cross to Melilla in 2015,  Carolin Kobelinsky concludes that „unaccompanied minor migrants in Melilla are clearly not ‘grievable’, to use philosopher Judith Butler’s terms. Their lives are subjected to a form of perpetual precarity. Alive, border crossers are considered dispensable beings, whose lives are not worth saving nor valuing. Dead, they are still considered and treated as undervalued, marginal individuals, whose very existence is neglected and silenced.“ Based on multiple conversations and interviews with the activists and with friends of Ouacil, Kobelinsky points to the rudimentary nature of contemporary “border deaths management”. According to  Kobelinsky, it is  “a process that depends more on makeshift solutions put together by individuals rather than on any institutionalized protocol aimed at identifying bodies, contacting relatives, and following their wishes concerning the fate of the remains.“

from Carolina Kobelinsky article: On Border Deaths Management and Ungrievability


Kobelinsky, Carolina 2020. „On border deaths Management and Ungrievability“. Available at: