Abstract

Abstract:

Folklorists have long studied how lives are grieved, and these efforts can adapt to changing forms of vernacular commemoration in current contexts of global precarity. This article explores two case studies with surprising resonance, post-Katrina New Orleans and postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina. In each instance, survivors of disaster or genocide mark their losses despite ongoing instabilities and even displacement, with absence emerging as both a condition and a feature of memorialization. Two important forms of commemoration materialize in these contexts, counting and mattering. Katrina survivors and genocide survivors employ the multiple meanings of each word through their performances of commemoration: they emphasize the numerical toll of victims, mark those victims' lives and deaths as important, engage with the material presence of death, and demand recognition of their own enduring significance.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-0413
Print ISSN
0737-7037
Pages
pp. 29-51
Launched on MUSE
2021-11-19
Open Access
No
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