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In 2015, an artistic initiative brought the bodies of dead refugees from the border of ‘Europe’ to be buried in Berlin. This article analyses ‘The Dead Are Coming’ and examines its politics and aesthetics of mourning strangers within a context in which imaginaries of kinship define public responses to suffering and death. The campaign blurred the distinctions between life and death, kin and stranger, art and politics, to problematize the differential distribution of grievability and established practices of human rights work. And yet, the initiative problematically replicates a fantasy of kinship in the form of a vulnerable humanity.