#LostInMigration could be the syntagm of our times for millions of people across the globe who have been forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change and war. As Human Flow , an epic film journey directed by Ai Weiwei shows, the contemporary moment may be the greatest human displacement since World War II. The recent European Forum Lo Straniero (The Stranger) organized by La Movida Zadig in Rome this past February 2018 explored this question revealing that it concerns all the domains of our democracies in their social, political, economic and humanitarian aspects.
From the psychoanalytic point of view, we are concerned with the singular drama of each case history more than by the epidemic dimension of the massive and globalized displacements.
#LostInMigration came to mind while thinking about those subjects, who in the process of migration, lose themselves for many personal and contingent reasons. They find themselves in a foreign country, whose language they do not speak, whose culture and values they do not share, and are disconnected from their homes, families and social links.
The reasons a subject decides to leave his/her home, family and country and embark on the long, uncertain and often dangerous journey towards “a better land” are multiple. They can be by force or by choice, by love or by fear, by need or by dream. But the costs in time, money, health and emotional sacrifice are tremendous.
Working in a public hospital in one of the most ethnically diverse area of the US, I often encounter these stories, where the American dream turns to an American nightmare. Sometimes. Others, sometimes, are a success story and contribute to the myth of the “American Dream” and the promises of the “self-made man.”
What is lost in migration? Aren’t we all migrating? Why the stigma? Today, to be an “illegal immigrant” in the US is source of fear: “they came in the middle of the night!”; “they knocked on all the doors!”; “they took him, her, them away!” Millions of dollars are spent on immigration lawyers. How many marriages are celebrated for papers? How many children are left behind in the country of origin with the promise to return soon or to bring them over?
These human dramas make us forget the essential truth developed by Lacan that we are all foreigners, strangers to ourselves due to our condition as speaking beings and speaking bodies, moving through the flow of migrations. Therefore it is important to understand that what we #LoseInMigration, is lost forever, for all, because it was always lost. It is the real that confronts us. The clinic of the one-all-alone as developed by Jacques-Alain Miller, should help direct us in our contemporary voyages.