(Un)Rest in Peace: The (Local) Burial of Foreign Migrants as a Contested Process of Place Making

  • Khangelani Moyo
  • Lorena Núñez
  • Tsepang Leuta
Part of the Global Diversities book series (GLODIV)


This chapter explores the relationship between mobility, belonging and places of burial. The focus is on foreign migrants who die in Johannesburg and are buried on foreign land, away from their hometowns and countries of origin. Questions about where in the City of Johannesburg foreign migrants are buried and how decisions around burial place are made are of interest. These questions are informed by historical patterns of burials in South Africa, as they are a reflection of broader societal orders and past racial hierarchies. We take an historical perspective on the evolving spatial regimes of cemeteries to illustrate this point. In our efforts to understand the choices (or lack of thereof) the living make around the burial place for deceased foreign migrants, we engage with the concept of place making and challenge its traditional deployment in the literature in light of our focus on the current burials in a foreign land. In engaging this concept, we use data gathered through interviews with key informants, namely, public servants, representatives of funeral parlours and different foreign migrant groups residing in Johannesburg.


Dead Body South African Woman Foreign Land Funeral Undertaker Spatial Regime 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Khangelani Moyo
    • 1
  • Lorena Núñez
    • 2
  • Tsepang Leuta
    • 3
  1. 1.African Centre for Migration & SocietyUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  3. 3.School of Architecture and PlanningUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

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