Am I a migrant?

This question can in no way be answered for you or for anyone else. And that is precisely the challenge that Josefa has attempted to take on in the last few years.

To stop thinking on behalf of others is a massive "political" challenge; but, at the same time, it is not so difficult if we first think about our own identity as "migrants" before judging others and placing that label on them. "Migrant", "refugee, "asylum seeker"; what about me, am I a migrant? Identities, affiliations, categories, any of these can be targeted.

In fact, the question is revolutionarily simple: "am I not, as well, a part of this migration that everyone is called to experience?" Thus, "migrant" is no longer an attribute, to migrate is no longer a right; but, much more radically, the term "migrant" is connected to my human condition: to migrate constitutes my "humanity".

Of course, we have to be careful not to mix everything up and create a disrespectful confusion. There are (spatial, temporal, intellectual, spiritual) migrations which appear or are experienced under duress; others seem voluntary; but most migrations are genuinely a manifestation of our vulnerabilities.

Nevertheless, for Josefa, we cannot be satisfied with watching the train of history and its exiles go by, but, forced or free, we need to be on that train, because, inevitably, I am a part of it, in a unique way, or, simply, in a human way.

Am I a migrant? We all have to be bold enough to ask that question.


To accept the meaning, the entire meaning, all the meanings of our migrations, even those that do not come to mind or that we cannot yet conceptualise.

What meaning remains of our "home", when it is no longer visible, when the distance, sometimes irreversible, is too great? When our memory of it has been affected by mutations, exile, fighting...

Admittedly, we do not follow just one path or move in one direction; our life journey includes return trips and even no-return trips.

But embracing the meaning of our migrations is to allow ourselves, to some extent, to be overwhelmed in our own identity by an unexpected, subversive, even dramatic innovation, to the point where sometimes freedom even seems to no longer be exercised.

Migration can be more than just choosing a direction, precipitating the journey, or taking the plunge; it can also be a celebration, an inspiration, across generations or in one’s personal life, which can lead to a new meaning, a renewal of the traditional meaning, perhaps even result in a society that is less and less closed.

So that the other, human or human experience, becomes potentially meaningful, at any time or place, as if we were, would be and remained migrants in every sense of the word, whatever happens: migration in every sense, in the ultimate sense of an eternal dwelling that would reveal its meaning. Migration and our home would be the two sides of the same humanity, ours, for us, adventurers in every sense, in search of an ark still a little veiled in our eyes blinded by a meaning too often only human, too human.


How can we even dare to talk about, reflect upon or oppose "migration" and "exile"? We can certainly attempt to examine or scrutinize our own "migration", but can we do more than that?

In fact, how does one approach the migration of another person, the exiled, the foreigner, who is banished from himself, from you, from his homeland, from your family?

Would I allow you or someone else to interfere with my own migration, or my exile, even for noble reasons such as empathy? When can we interfere? In what political, social or religious circumstances?

Most of the time, we don’t even have any control over our own migrations, especially a forced one; so who gives others the "right" to make claims on it, consider its economic impact, examine it, make a case study out of it, or use it for statistical purposes?

For sure, our migrations inter-act, view each other and are reviewed, but always in a unique way, and on a one-to-one basis only.

I am not a statistic, no more than you, and my migration remains personal, even among a group of "migrants".

"All of us, migrants", together, according to our own unique and/or particular, but always personally "human", migrations.

With migration, nothing is ever too human. So which one is it? It’s up to each person, in his or her own migration or exile, to decide, freely or not, what to think!



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