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Burying the victims of Europe’s border in a Tunisian coastal town

The Mediterranean Sea has recently become the deadliest of borders for illegalised travellers. The victims of the European Union’s liquid border are also found near North African shores. The question of how and where to bury these unknown persons has recently come to the fore in Zarzis, a coastal town in south-east Tunisia. Everyone involved in these burials – the coastguards, doctors, Red Crescent volunteers, municipality employees – agree that what they are doing is ‘wrong’. It is neither dignified nor respectful to the dead, as the land used as a cemetery is an old waste dump, and customary attitudes towards the dead are difficult to realise. This article will first trace how this situation developed, despite the psychological discomfort of all those affected. It will then explore how the work of care and dignity emerges within this institutional chain, and what this may tell us about what constitutes the concept of the human.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
The status of bodies in the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge genocide

is dug. Glowing lights and apparitions, sometimes associated with malevolent ‘spirits’ known as priey which inhabit certain trees, were frequent in the 1980s, then became more intermittent. As the survivors set about rebuilding their lives, whether in their own former dwellings or in those left vacant by the disappearance of their owners, they would all carry out certain rudimentary rites to allow them to cohabit with the unknown dead who surrounded them: bones would be stacked beneath large trees, cremations would be carried out. At a time when people still had no

in Human remains and mass violence