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Weaponizing Nature and Possibilities for Solidarity: An Ecocritical Approach to Javier Zamora’s Border Crossing Poetry

Julia Faisst

Seiten 473 - 489

DOI https://doi.org/10.33675/AMST/2023/4/7


This publication is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives 4.0.

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This essay draws on the “Prevention through Deterrence” federal border enforcement policy, through which the United States Border Patrol weaponizes nature in order to deter migrants from moving north, to analyze the depiction of child migration in Javier Zamora’s bilingual border poetry collection Unaccompanied (2017). I hone in on the Sonoran desert as a politicized landscape in order to demonstrate how Zamora re-claims the natural environment usurped by the Border Patrol in his quest for greater immigration justice, equality, and visibility of underage refugees. Using an ecocritical approach to reading Zamora’s transcultural border crossing poetry, I argue that the poet recovers the environment and its nonhuman actants as agents of solidarity in the battle for both human rights—the right to migrate—as well as nature’s right to not be utilized in terms of deterrence, that is to be made an ally in the attempt to forestall migratory movement. Understanding the precarity of both the human and the natural world as a shared ground, Zamora’s poetry hereby draws on feelings of connection and participation between the animate and the inanimate world, as it seeks out possibilities for more global forms of solidarity across borders as well as natural and infrastructural divisions.

Key Words: ecocriticism; poetry; child migration; solidarity; borders

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