Vernacular memorialization

„The memorialization of border deaths has shown that digital media platforms are central spaces for new, innovative forms of memorialization and for coping with death or disappearance in the EU border zone and the inaccessibility of dead bodies and gravesites. Social media platforms and mobile technologies have allowed families and mourning communities to connect over long distances and difficult-to-cross borders. For example, people in the diasporic community have created digital mediated memorials on YouTube and Facebook to console friends and family. The memorials may combine music, digitized photographs, news images and verses from the Bible or the Qur’an. These online memorials are accessible across borders and in some ways stand in for the victims’ unknown or inaccessible graves. Digitally mediated memorials blur the boundaries of public and private, local and global, planned and spontaneous, and formal and vernacular memorialization. These media practices are part of the transformation that the emergence of digital technologies has brought about in transnational relationships more broadly“ (Horsti 2019: 672-673).



Horsti, Karina. 2019. „Digital Materialities in the Diasporic Mourning of Migrant death“. European Journal of Communication 34/6: 671-681.