• Sonia Silva deposited Mobility and Immobility in the Life of an Amputee in the group Group logo of Performance StudiesPerformance Studies on Humanities Commons 1 year ago

    Samuzala lived through colonialism in Angola, the liberation war, the civil war that followed independence, forced displacement to Zambia, and a landmine accident resulting in amputation. At different points in his life, Samuzala was a trader, a migrant, a refugee, and an amputee. In engaging with Samuzala’s life story, a narrative of movement, we learn that mobility and immobility are relative to one another; mobility and immobility are not absolute conditions, with complete immobility being the flip side of pure, unimpeded mobility. In everyday existence, mobile individuals experience stillness, and physically immobilized individuals experience movement. As humans, we exist in a universe created by the possibilities of stasis and mobility, a universe that sets limits to our existence but also opens up new horizons. By adopting an existential stance we are more likely to avoid stereotyping and reification. We are also more likely to privilege the lifeworld over concepts such as migration and forced displacement, and more open to giving voice to new understandings of collective phenomena from the perspective of those individuals whose lives and movements generate them.