Haitian migrant borderwork in a Dominican coastal town

Haitian migrant borderwork in a Dominican coastal town Abstract Haitians, who are labeled perpetually ‘in-transit’ by the Dominican state, are the most spatially incarcerated subjects in Dominican tourist space. Dominicans and Haitians live together as ‘awkward, unequal, unstable, and creative’ neighbors and yet remain divided along lines of class, race, and citizenship (Tsing 2005: 4). This paper examines the Dominican Republic’s historical strategies around nation-building and accessing cheap labor that cast Haitians as racialized others. It then tracks how contemporary Haitian informal workers including market women enlarge their social space through magical practices, which are both effective and stigmatizing. The everyday lived and imagined experience of Haitians in a coastal village where the Dominican state is limited in its ability to order space with legal or bureaucratic disciplinary tactics, illustrates the dialectical nature of the global processes currently at play in much of our world. Magical thinking and practice provides an ideoscape upon which all villagers project their visions of modernity in a climate of heightened competitive pressure and increased securitization that criminalizes the landless poor and non-citizen migrant alike. 1. Introduction Las Ballenas (a pseudonym), a town of 38,000 inhabitants on a coastal peninsula where Columbus allegedly had his first ‘skirmish’ with the native Taino, represents a borderland space where local villagers are experiencing the sweeping consequences of their home being mapped as a major Caribbean tourist destination, dense with transnational circuits and flows (Figure 1).1 European expats arrive with the desire to maximize material and social privileges and are seduced by the prospect of a simpler life amidst a tropical, ‘primitive’ paradise. And tourists, as temporary sojourners—whether lying on the beaches of all-inclusive resorts patrolled by armed guards, touring the Caribbean by cruise ship, or checking into a high-end boutique hotel—seek a more sheltered kind of leisure experience to rejuvenate their world-weary souls. Figure 1. View largeDownload slide [Map of Las Ballenas]. Figure 1. View largeDownload slide [Map of Las Ballenas]. At the same time, migration motivated by economic need rather than the desire for leisure or pleasure continues to motivate other forms of travel for Dominicans and Haitians. Haitians migrate across the island’s border or off isolated Dominican sugar plantations and are an increasingly visible and precarious presence as they physically construct tourism’s paradise as laborers in the burgeoning local construction industry. Young Dominican, Haitian and Dominican-Haitian women are also traveling from rural to urban areas, many motivated by dreams of a more affluent life married to foreigners abroad. When different social groups such as these interact, and traditions and cultures overlap, borderland spaces are created (Figure 2). Figure 2. View largeDownload slide (a) Haitian vendor striding past Dominican policeman and schoolgirls. (b) Dominican concho drivers and German tourists. Figure 2. View largeDownload slide (a) Haitian vendor striding past Dominican policeman and schoolgirls. (b) Dominican concho drivers and German tourists. The borderland refers to those spaces on the frontiers of adjoining categories (identities, countries, etc.) where rigid differences sometimes blur or ‘creolize’ into hybrid forms. As such, they are spaces of transition and experimentation. We can view the in between, liminal borderland that villagers inhabit as a kind of microfrontier, interstice or parallel modernity (Rosaldo 1988; Kearney 1995; Alvarez 1995; Larkin 1997).2 However the borderlands are imagined, and in their material and ideological forms, borders are threshold spaces that play an important part in spatial and social ordering as they quarantine power differentials and cast certain individuals as ‘other.’ In Las Ballenas Haitians have historically been constructed as the Dominican national ‘other’ and are estimated to number around 4,000. An estimated 600,000 Haitians live in the country at large, though the Dominican press often quotes a figure of 1 million. Historically, Haitians have endured intense spatial incarceration on the batey (sugar plantation), a site of labor Dominicans have shunned due to its associations with slavery (Figure 3). Figure 3. View largeDownload slide Postcard of batey. Figure 3. View largeDownload slide Postcard of batey. But even as construction workers or motorcycle taxi drivers, Haitians’ mobility is still precarious due to their illegal status. Many Haitians live without electricity or water in the shells of the buildings they construct or, sometimes, up in the lomas (hills). It is not unusual for Haitians to be deported a few days before payday, escorted by police, who sell their belongings and charge them for the bus ride home. In popular national discourse Haitians are commonly accused of stealing jobs; trafficking in contraband, bodies, and drugs, thereby threatening the social order; practicing voodoo and carrying disease. Subsumed in this ‘discourse of danger’ that constructs them as pollutants, they are regularly stigmatized as untrustworthy, carriers of HIV, cannibalistic and criminal (Haddad 2007) (Figure 4).3 Figure 4. View largeDownload slide ‘Today we made progress toward preserving what makes the beautiful reputation of Las Ballenas, its great cultural value which comes from its mixing of people from all cultures and races. And we must preserve these values by stabilizing the criminal disorder.’—Dominican moderator to foreign business interests and Comandante, pictured above, at meeting held 14 May 2007 to discuss privatizing security in response to a violent crime wave in which Haitians were identified as a significant criminal element seemingly positioned outside such cultural values of mestizaje. Figure 4. View largeDownload slide ‘Today we made progress toward preserving what makes the beautiful reputation of Las Ballenas, its great cultural value which comes from its mixing of people from all cultures and races. And we must preserve these values by stabilizing the criminal disorder.’—Dominican moderator to foreign business interests and Comandante, pictured above, at meeting held 14 May 2007 to discuss privatizing security in response to a violent crime wave in which Haitians were identified as a significant criminal element seemingly positioned outside such cultural values of mestizaje. As Haitians continue to move back and forth across the border, imparting their market-savvy skills as traders or bringing value as cheap labor, they simultaneously expose ‘the myth of the existence of the sovereign state fully able to control its territory’ (Ceyhan and Tsoukala 2002: 34 in Haddad 2007: 127). In fact the Dominican state has a very limited ability to order space with legal or bureaucratic disciplinary tactics. Instead the state is complicit in extralegal arrangements with those who fall outside of the nation-state legal boundaries and whose only means of connecting with trans-local circuits are via the informal economy. The Caribbean as a region has long been imagined as a kind of transgressive borderland space, both liberating and dangerous, where prohibitions were eased and social norms inverted: ‘a porno tropics for the European imagination—a fantastic magic lantern of the mind onto which Europe projected its forbidden sexual desires and fears’ (McClintock 1995: 21–2). Las Ballenas was produced through its historical representation as a contact zone where freed slaves and French buccaneers lived as vagabonds. Today the borderland representation persists through tourism branding of Las Ballenas as a permeable site where ‘pirate’ traditions and cultures overlap (at least for the space of ‘the trip’) and through its association with extralegal activity such as immigration and smuggling that cannot be controlled by state government. The contentious social contracts that permeate this place today are somewhat disguised by the force of tourism itself which, as an industry, seeks to package and sell leisure experience and thereby obscures the everyday (non-leisure) experience of class struggle. Retired expats and vacationing tourists are not familiar with the class structure of Dominican society outside of the tourist zones where class barriers appear to be relaxed. Dominican elites are well aware and generally disapproving of outsiders who connect socially or intimately with migrants and bring them into what would otherwise be considered middle or upper class spaces (restaurants, hotels, cafes). Guests often therefore muddy the expectations around social contracts that have traditionally kept migrants ‘in their place’ in the broader Dominican society. At the same time, guests, as hedonistic or cosmopolitan sojourners seeking their own kind of freedom from social structures back home, often resist long-term social contracts or binding obligations to migrants that might limit their own fluidity. Tensions arise when the nostalgic EuroAmerican guest who dreams of a ‘pre-modern’ world discovers his ‘ethnic fantasy woman’ wants to become a dynamic consumer of global commodities or when the Haitian migrant worker, socially excluded by his anxious Dominican neighbor, seeks to earn status by capitalizing on the Dominican fear of their perceived African-derived magical money-making abilities. These moments, when the competing claims of identity or representations of bodies, places, or nationalisms surface among various social actors, exacerbating stereotypes and scapegoating practices that reinforce or diminish social inequality, track the perception of vulnerability and empowerment for various social actors. These moments demonstrate how borders around race, nation, gender, and citizenship strengthen and weaken in relation to experienced degrees of friction and flow. In this article I focus on the stigmatization of Haitian migrants who are the most marginalized subjects in the Dominican tourist space, although they occupy a range of lived experiences from ambiguous belonging at its most benign to exclusion from full participation in social life and forced dependency in its extreme (Brodwin 2003). I discuss the association Dominicans make between Haitians and their money-making magic as well as examine the precarious ‘in-transit’ spaces that Haitians occupy as illegal subjects. After outlining state strategies and magical narratives that seek to immobilize and stigmatize Haitians, I close with a strong reminder of the porousness of all borders and the existence of ‘micro-moments’ in which a subjective worldview may expand an otherwise alienating and even hostile social world. 2. Producing social space French sociologist Henri Lefebvre’s (1991) work on the production of ‘space’ is useful in theorizing the dynamics of place-making in Las Ballenas.4 His ideas of the dialectical conflict between abstract space (how space is conceived through practices and forms that tend to fragment, homogenize, and create hierarchies following the hegemony of capitalism based on its grids of labor, market, bureaucracy, and private property) and differential space (how space is lived and experienced) structure this ethnographic material. In a related vein, philosophers Giles Deleuze and Felix Guattari (1972) describe the production of social space and life as the constant dialectical tension between territorialization and de-territorialization; tensions that involve the imposing of rules and concepts of maintenance, control, surveillance, and tracking, and the dissipation or loosening of such concepts and rules.5 In spatial terms then, borderwork describes this dialectical imposing and dissolution of systems of structure and surveillance around various borders resulting in the social spatialization of difference. For example, even as tourist police seek to create (abstract) spatial order that divides the criminal from the legitimate, they simultaneously subvert (differentialize) the law as they extort Haitian vendors (Figure 5a). And even as evicted squatters are expelled from (abstract) privatized national park space as trespassers, they easily undermine (differentialize) state legitimacy by returning and planting (re-territorializing) their illegal conucos (subsistence plots) (Figure 5b). Figure 5. View largeDownload slide (a) Politur (tourist police) collecting weekly ‘fee’ from Haitian vendor. (b) Planting crops on private land. Figure 5. View largeDownload slide (a) Politur (tourist police) collecting weekly ‘fee’ from Haitian vendor. (b) Planting crops on private land. This continuous process of spatial ordering and disruption which never leads to synthesis or resolution because of its complexity and contradictions is what makes Las Ballenas such a productive place to analyze in terms of its borderwork. ‘Borderwork’ is this dialectical tension between the creation of abstract and differential space, of de-territorialization and re-territorialization, and of flow and friction woven into a spatial metaphor that speaks to how borders quarantine power differentials. To Lefebvre, leisure spaces which bridge spaces of work and pleasure, and, in particular, the beach, are the ultimate ‘contradictory spaces’ where differential space-time may spill forth from the cracks of abstract space. Leisure spaces are both sites of exuberant potential as well as sites of commodification, spaces in which the body-subject reunites with the body-as-object (2008: 431–2). In moving from work and the quotidian to leisure (the festival) the body resists and ‘will not allow itself to be dismembered without a protest, nor to be divided into fragments, deprived of its rhythms, reduced to its catalogued needs, to images and specialisations’ (1976c: 89). Body-subjects also rebel in the liminal spaces where agency and structure meet, in voodoo rituals or within tigueraje, the clever strategies that contest borders (or race, sex, nation etc.) and pave the way toward social advancement. Lefebvre refers to lived space, which may be embodied or seen, as the most personal spatial production of everyday life because in it we produce who we are. It is a space of pure subjectivity derived from our senses, imaginations, and feelings, and therefore a space of resistance and possibility as much as it is a space of conditioned self-discipline. In this way, Lefebvre finds everyday life both tragic and potentially redeeming, unlike other philosophers such as Kant, Hegel, or Sartre. Beyond providing a base for exploitation as the State and Law impose their regulations and order, the banalities and repetitions of everyday life are also the locus of human spontaneity and creativity. Lefebvre writes: ‘Yes, it is the humble and sordid side, but not only that. Simultaneously it is also the time and the place where the human either fulfills itself or fails’ (2008: 19). To illustrate the micro politics of lived space, as both infused with struggle and potential, I want to introduce Georgie, as both an illegal ‘migrant subject’ bound by sedentary us-and-them logic and as a ‘nomadic subject’ whose identity is not wholly determined by the place he currently occupies ‘in transit’6. 3. Georgie: Profile of a Haitian migrant in the Dominican Republic Georgie tells me he is well-liked in Las Ballenas, Dominican Republic (DR), and that he has no enemies. As with most statements from Georgie, I later learn that this is partially true. Like many young migrants, Georgie stresses the positive and is eager to appear well-connected and positioned for advancement (Figure 6a and b). He recites the cell phone numbers of foreigners he has met as evidence of his popularity: Ray from Miami, who owns a fabric shop, and his Chinese boss at the free trade zone (FTZ), who introduced him to his first eggroll. But these connections were back in Santiago, where Georgie says he made more money—$180 per month or 6 million pesos—driving a forklift at a clothing factory (Grupo M) than he does in Las Ballenas working with tourists. Here he is still struggling to pay off his motorcycle taxi, which costs $1,210 (37,000 pesos). In one year he has only paid off $180 towards his debt. His eyes well up when he speaks of home and family. Figure 6. View largeDownload slide (a) and (b). [Georgie]. Figure 6. View largeDownload slide (a) and (b). [Georgie]. Georgie returns home at least three times a year, crossing and re-crossing the porous border between the DR and Haiti. He tells me the beaches in Haiti are more beautiful than in the DR and that he grew up in the shadow of the magnificent castle of King Henri Christophe (Figure 7)6. There he met a group of North American Baptists who influenced his syncretic cosmology. Figure 7. View largeDownload slide The castle of Henri Christophe. Figure 7. View largeDownload slide The castle of Henri Christophe. ‘Imagine the kind of imagination that could build such a castle where you can see the whole world!’ Georgie would say, eyes shining. He says that while the politics are corrupt in Haiti, the people are united. ‘Is it true in your country “la gente afuera no se pega” [the people don’t “stick,” are not united, connected]?’ ‘Is it true that no one has time to speak to one other?’ he asks, emphasizing value in what Dominicans call confianza, the social ‘glue’ made up of trust and reciprocity that binds neighbors. And yet I wonder to what degree Georgie’s own displacement as a migrant in a Dominican tourist town is one in which cultivating social ‘stickiness’ proves challenging. When asked about cultivating security as a ‘non-citizen’, he just shrugs and says solemnly: ‘Only the Devil has security because he knows there is God.’ Georgie functions as a buscón in the village. Literally derived from the verb buscar, which means ‘to look for,’ buscones are a kind of hustler-trader who deliver the desired goods after circumnavigating the state’s bureaucratic loopholes. Buscones emerge within the competitive environment of Las Ballenas to translate and manipulate local mundane reality into the ‘stuff’ that foreigners desire, brokering the exchange for drugs, children, sex, or beachfront property. Buscones may be used by corrupt police or other resident thieves for information on the routines of the very same foreigners, which may later be used to organize a robbery. Buscones also may be paid to do mundane tasks such as stand in line for hours and then find the right official to bribe in order to hasten the process of securing the papeles that mark citizenship (documents such as passports or national cédulas or birth certificates, land titles, and certificates of good conduct to secure employment). Georgie stares at the road that lines the beach called Playa Rosada, which he trolls daily looking for tourist passengers and delivering packages, and feels discouraged. ‘This can’t be all I will ever know, Delia (my Dominican nickname). This one road, going back and forth, back and forth, all day long. …’ We are watching the 20-something Europeans kite-sail in the distance, enjoying their leisure playground. We wave to Josefin, vending her coconut sweet taffy-like snacks to a German couple under an umbrella. I watch as three Dominican girls are initiated into the art of seduction by Lyla, a veteran sex worker. She carries a green parasol in one hand and pats at her gold and red braided weave with the other, her long, glittery nails sparkling in the sunlight. My eyes linger on the youngest who awkwardly adjusts her thong as Lyla nudges her into a group of Italian men in speedos. I notice Georgie’s eyes trailing over to the cliffside in the distance where I first met him in 2006. Back then, Georgie had noticed me walking to the village center and tried to convince me he knew a shortcut on the beach that required scaling a hill bordering the sea. ‘But there is no path’, I had said, squinting my eyes in that direction. He just smiled and motioned for me to follow. I hesitated, but I was short on time, the sky was darkening with rain and, I reasoned, there were other people present nearby, decreasing the likelihood of some kind of ambush. We bushwhacked our way to the top of the hill and, sure enough, Georgie uncovered an old trail. I noted the remains of a fire and discarded coconut shells and wondered if Georgie might be living up there. Then I looked below, and all I saw was a steep climb down through thorny bush and the crashing waves of the sea below. Despite Georgie’s protestations, I announced I was going back and reversed my direction. He followed me back to the road, muttering all the while that I should have more faith in him. When we reached the beach, I asked him if he could take me on his motorbike to town. He would not accept payment and looked frustrated with me when I set 20 pesos on his seat and waved goodbye. Now, he chides me again for not trusting him that day. I repeat it was the cliff and not his credibility that made me turn back. Then he says, ‘That day I proved to you I was a gentleman. Even when you thought we were lost on that path. Many people would say a man and a woman alone together in the brush … But nothing happened.’ He pauses, then adds, ‘because I didn’t want you to be afraid.’ It is a strange comment, I think, with the hint of a threat of what might have been. Sifting sand through my fingers, I say out loud, ‘I wasn’t afraid of you, Georgie.’ And then his face changes and he seems almost disappointed. ‘When you are in front of a person that you respect, baja tus ojos [you lower your eyes]. Fear is a form of respect.’ I search his face, which slowly breaks into a grin. I shake my head and gaze back out into the sea, reminded yet again of the precariousness of social contracts in this place teeming with competitive actors whose lived relationship to place and land is ever-shifting and contingent upon the daily experience of friction and flow. Yet even within his state-monitored restricted mobility, driving up and down the beach or squatting upon the loma, as a practitioner of voodoo and through his desire for a more expansive social world, Georgie creatively fashions a spatial presence and practice outside of the designs of state power or even the norms of more permanent residents. ‘Such reappropriation of space reveals the potential for the reassertion of use values and creativity over exchange and domination, and allows for the restoration of lived time outside the sphere of work’ (Butler 2012: 101). Georgie waves at Ricardo, a well-known 22-year-old Sanky-Panky (a term for the male host gigolos who trawl the beaches and discos looking to romance foreign females) in the distance and waves with a wide grin. Ricardo is coming out of the surf and waves back. His current 40-something Spanish girlfriend, a Pilates teacher, is at his side, holding a towel out to dry him as he shakes the salty water out of his dreadlocks while she laughs. ‘I should have such luck’, Georgie smiles. Georgie says the life of the sanky is ‘poco linda, poco fea’ [a little beautiful, and a little ugly]: beautiful when the man can share an experience with the woman of his dreams, but ugly when the sanky is only looking to exploit the ‘loose’ woman who likes to dance and party and has addiction problems. ‘The last name of Satan is temptation’, he muses. He tells me that he recently met someone who could be the woman of his dreams. She is from Russia and is in town to rendezvous with an older French man she met online. ‘Amor para negocios [Love for business]?’ I ask, referencing the omnipresent romance/sex/desire economy on the peninsula, and Georgie nods. Apparently the woman is very interested in mysticism and voodoo, but she will leave after tomorrow, another lost opportunity. I am not surprised she wanted to talk with Georgie about voodoo. Despite his Baptist rhetoric he is well-versed in the medicinal and magical properties of plants, which he learned from his grandmother who had the cerebro abierto (open mind) to experience the corriente (current) upon which the seres travel, enabling her work as a healer. Several times when I fell ill with gripe (a flu-like cold), Georgie would leave a little bundle of roots, bark, leaves, and herbs on my porch. I used gin or red wine as a base, as he had instructed, added the plants, and made a tea from it, despite the loud protests of my Dominican neighbors, who were sure I was going to turn into a zombie. Within the hour, I invariably broke a sweat, slept for hours, and then woke up feeling greatly relieved. Through Georgie, I learned to appreciate how a voodoo sensibility could infuse a constricted space with a magical way of dwelling in which one always exists at a crossroads between the soul and the flesh, and in so doing, open up a transcendent pathway to Lefebvrian micro-moments of presence and revelation. Moments, imbued on a human scale of memory and meaning, cannot be easily codified or commodified. They comprise the basis for human fulfillment and emancipation and allow one to assert one’s right to participate and inhabit space in a way that is quite distinct from the right to property. Such micro-moments of imaginative and material appropriation and embodied sociability arise from feelings of collective solidarity and struggle that extend even beyond the human realm, amidst hegemonic patterns of exploitation and control that permeate this Caribbean village subsumed under the logic of tourism development markets and capital accumulation. In many rituals, the crossroads, or threshold between humans and the lwa (spirit)—life and death, materiality and spirit, consciousness and unconsciousness—is symbolized by the surface of a mirror or water. Tree roots are also spaces where the lwa dwell. This unique sense of self constructs the body as expansive, as multidimensional, and as a conduit to experience this liminal space and ‘the invisibles’, or lwa. So on a transcendent plane, even as Haitians are uprooted and displaced, as voudouissants (voodoo specialists), material reality is full of organic connectors to the spirits, such as the lwa racine (tree root spirits), as well as rocks, spiders, waterfalls, and the sky. Still, while Georgie believed in a fecund, spirit-saturated plane of existence, he also knew that Haitian bodies on earth required protection. I once asked him what the most powerful medicine was that he had ingested. He paused and gave me a long look, as if assessing whether I was ready to absorb this new piece of information. Then, he said, ‘A medicine you drink which will protect your life if you are shot at or stabbed with a machete.’ ‘Oh’, I said, and after I’d absorbed this information, asked, ‘So what plants do you use?’ But Georgie shook his head solemnly. ‘No, it’s better you don’t know’, he said, ‘because even though the medicine is powerful, when you are old and in your bed you will suffer a lot, and you will not be able to die peacefully because the spirit which is here [he points to his belly] is still alive and only a bokor [sorcerer] can call in Legba who can remove it.’7 He told me that, despite the risk, he knew Haitians in town who had taken this protective medicine. Others made petro loa (pacts with the devil) in which they pledged ‘blood for money,’ a practice not generally condoned by voodoo practitioners like his grandmother, Georgie added. When I asked why some requests for money were associated with the devil, Georgie said it was because such pacts required stronger blood sacrifices in exchange for the lwa’s gift. Instead of chickens, pigs, or goats, the lwa might demand more. He quickly moved on to another topic. Perhaps the prohibition of this kind of practice served as a social critique on money’s power to neutralize the social obligations that motivated reciprocal exchange and therefore created a society in which the people no se pega (didn’t stick).8 Nonetheless, fear and respect through magic, money-making, reputation, and sometimes even the threat of violence—these qualities expand one’s social space in Las Ballenas even as they stigmatize and immobilize Haitian bodies. Towards the end of my fieldwork, life circumstances seemed to have soured for Georgie. A concho dealer shared that Georgie was behind in his motorcycle payments and his concho would likely be repossessed at the end of the month. Politur (police) had recently jailed Georgie for ‘bothering a gringa,’ though Georgie insisted the woman called him over, and he was only giving her directions to a waterfall, a site he visited often to leave offerings for the lwa. Then, after accusing him of stealing his own motorcycle, police confiscated his passport. Georgie told me he was able to avoid jail by paying a $30 bribe to the police but was upset about losing his documentation. In 2009, I tried to locate Georgie but the Haitian settlement he had last occupied was torn down, new neighbors did not recall him, and he seemed to have vanished. 4. State borderwork Borders always imply the existence of rules and can be located through identifications that map the edges of national, moral, or economic territories. As Mary Douglas explains: Ideas about separating, purifying, demarcating, and punishing transgressions have, as their main function, to impose system on an inherently untidy experience. It is only by exaggerating differences between within and without, above and below, male and female, with and against, that a semblance of order is created. (1966: 4) Borders simultaneously connect and divide various subjects and categories, masking how integrated and mutually defining these identifications really are. In so doing, they construct limits around what is called, in the Caribbean context, ‘wife’ and ‘concubine,’ ‘businessman’ and ‘criminal,’ ‘corruption’ and ‘free market,’ ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ economy, and ‘Dominican’ and ‘Haitian.’ People who strategically challenge these categories of identification are motivated by what material or psychosocial advantages they might gain or lose. Borderwork then, is, in part, the actual work of building up, or tearing down, the walls that protect inequality and preserve established hierarchies and entitlements through advancement strategies that capitalize on fear and respect. Borderwork also refers to the dialectical forces of territorialization and de-territorialization; the unlimited and chaotic world of micro politics nested within the ordered and clearly differentiated world of macro politics that lead to contradictory spaces where global capital confronts localized meanings. Historic borders of difference based on race and economics drive the naturalization process that continues to penalize Haitian-Dominicans or Haitian migrant workers. ‘The fear of the Dominican Republic, of being pulled down to the level of Haiti economically and the ‘blackening’ of the country, has been an obsession of Dominican politicians for well over a century’, says university law professor David Abraham (Coto and Lopez 2013). Indeed, the DR still celebrates its independence day not from Spain, but from the 20-year Haitian ‘invasion.’ The demarcation of the contested border between Haiti and the DR was achieved in 1936, after 250 years of conflict. The following year, President Rafael Trujillo ordered the Haitian massacre known as El Corte (the cutting) as part of a nationalization campaign to fortify the border. An estimated 20,000 Haitian and Dominican-Haitian men, women, and children were killed by Dominican hands (Turits 2003: 161). The massacre was a rare case of ethnic cleansing in which the ideology of hate followed the killing. Unlike other cases of ethnic cleansing in the twentieth century, no prior state policy, local tension, international conflict, official ideology, or escalating attacks has signaled the possibility of such state-directed carnage (Turits 2003: 167). Only following the massacre did the Trujillo regime sponsor virulent anti-Haitian rhetoric decrying supposed Haitian backwardness and savagery; effectively prohibiting Haitian migration through the 500 peso immigration fee (1939); and frequently and bitterly condemning the history of a ‘Pacific invasion’ by Haitian migrants in culturally racist rather than simply territorial and political terms. The regime took traditional elite prejudices against popular Haitian culture, excoriating its ‘African’-ness, Creolized French, and above all, the ‘superstitions’ and ‘fetishism’ of voodoo, and circulated them as official ideology (Turits 2003: 17) What followed was that a ‘white supremacist model of mestizaje [mixed race]’ rhetorically displaced blackness onto Haitians and created a ‘native’ alternative to both foreign whiteness and blackness through the creation of the lo indio (Indian) category (Candelario 2007). Today in the context of ideals such as development, democracy, freedom, and prosperity, which threaten to undermine certain social constructions of difference, boundaries, as forms of localized knowledge, continue to be reworked and acted upon to establish difference anew. The notion of belonging—the social glue that Dominicans term confianza, continues to be threatened when people and ideas cross borders, ‘leaving spaces where they “belong” and entering those where they do not’ (Torpey 2000: 12), creating intermixed spaces of uncertainty. ‘All margins are dangerous … any structure of ideas is vulnerable at its margins’ (Douglas 1966: 121). The Dominican state continues to capitalize upon ‘nativeness,’ a category more flexible than race or gender, to naturalize the nation, criminalize Haitian bodies and impose order.9 In 2013, the DR’s highest court ruled that, starting from 1929, thousands of people born to ‘illegal migrants,’ including those recruited to work on sugarcane plantations, be identified as ‘stateless’ or ‘perpetually in transit’ and stripped of their citizenship. Due to international pressure, however, a law was passed the following year allowing children born to foreign parents to be citizens, provided they could prove they were born in-country, were in the civil registry, and had Dominican government identification documents known as cédulas or birth certificates, criteria disqualifying much of the nation’s underclass (Figure 8). According to a 2012 survey, an estimated 524,000 foreign-born migrant workers in the country were at risk of deportation, 90 percent of them Haitian (Ahmed 2015). By June 2015 the Dominican government claimed only 240,000 foreign migrant workers had started the registration process (Krayewski 2015). Figure 8. View largeDownload slide Dominican-Haitians claiming their right to citizenship. Source: Photo in articles by Marta Florian/efe (2017) and Cristian Cabrera (2014). Figure 8. View largeDownload slide Dominican-Haitians claiming their right to citizenship. Source: Photo in articles by Marta Florian/efe (2017) and Cristian Cabrera (2014). Given the logic of the global neoliberal capitalist economy, then, the DR finds itself in the same predicament as all other nation-states whose prosperity seems to be reliant on, yet threatened by, the friction and flow of borders (Figure 9). On one hand, the state is required to open its borders and deregulate, facilitating the inflow of wealth; on the other hand, it must regulate flows by establishing enclaves of competitive advantage to attract the right kind of transnational capital and the ‘right’ kinds of tourists while deporting the rest. This all points to how the Dominican postcolonial state is caught in a Catch 22 whereby it must mystify its contradictory role and aggressive will to rule amidst neoliberal claims promoting democracy, human rights, and civil society. It attempts to conceal its limited ability to order space using legal or bureaucratic disciplinary tactics, which causes the DR government to be complicit in extralegal arrangements with those who fall outside of the nation-state legal boundaries: squatters, ‘illegal migrants,’ informal workers who occupy temporary autonomous zones where space is returned to the realm of ‘communitas.’ Its politicians deny that the state routinely opens the border to Haitian cheap labor and trade even as its police regularly deport Haitian migrants. The domination of the informal economy on the island itself reveals the failure of neoliberal ideals, such as progress through development schemes, as well as the enduring structural violence embedded and concealed in transnational capitalist flows. Figure 9. View largeDownload slide The thriving border of Dajabon. Source: Photo by Sara A. Fajardo/Catholic Relief Services (photo permission granted by Sara Fajardo (2009) and her CRS editor). Figure 9. View largeDownload slide The thriving border of Dajabon. Source: Photo by Sara A. Fajardo/Catholic Relief Services (photo permission granted by Sara Fajardo (2009) and her CRS editor). 5. Money-making magic and hypercompetition While during the slave trade, narratives around cannibalism and zombies represented the European anxiety around boundaries of consumption, today they seem to reflect contemporary anxieties amongst Dominican villagers around rising living costs and class expectations that accompany conditions of hypercompetition. Motoconcho drivers I interviewed, for example, paid 1,000 pesos a day (US$30) to rent motorcycles (which cost around RD37,000 or US$1,210) meaning that even during high tourism season, few drivers like Georgie earned enough to cover the rent, let alone make a profit. At the same time, the psychosocial benefits of displaying commodities as signs of prestige outweighed this political-economic reality for many villagers. Every week I witnessed the repo man’s circular pilgrimage through the village, kicking up dust as he loaded up furniture, vehicles, and appliances and neighbors chatted with each other, cheerfully plotting how they would secure their possessions once again the following week. In Las Ballenas, Haitian men often worked in construction or as taxi drivers; Haitian women were skilled traders and moneylenders (prestamistas) in the region’s thriving informal economy—albeit another sign to Dominicans of possessing productive magical capacities. In fact, the Haitian woman has long been associated with both money and magic. An early twentieth-century American traveler noted the ‘exception to moral decay of tropicalized whites and black males is the Haitian woman who presides over business, and is the custodian of money. The trade of the interior is almost exclusively in the hands of women’ (Bonsal 1912: 116). More recently, at a 1972 conference among Dominican academics on ‘the black woman,’ speakers acknowledged that Haitian women were continuing to play their historical role as moneylenders, ‘who many times are the intermediaries between the strong capitalist and the workers that take the loaned money’ (Hernandez 1972: 7). The Dominican neighbors in the village I lived in often described Haitian women as tigueres, a term previously reserved for men during the Trujillo dictatorship (1930–61) to describe savvy, clever hustlers but increasingly used to describe ambitious local women—both Dominican and Haitian (Figure 10).10 Figure 10. View largeDownload slide Common painting of Haitian Market Women sold in tourist area. Figure 10. View largeDownload slide Common painting of Haitian Market Women sold in tourist area. Miranda, a Haitian moneylender in her 40s, fitted this description. She told me she had started loaning money to Dominican FTZ workers at Grupo M, who assembled clothing, in exchange for their ATM cards as collateral. Every payday she would go to the ATM machines after employees had been paid by direct deposit and withdraw the weekly pay of each person who had a loan, giving the balance to the employee. Eventually she had up to 40 cards in her hands every payday. One of her Dominican clients asked her for a loan of RD$50,000. Miranda smiled and shook her head as she told me that the woman was still paying 5,000 pesos a month after two years and still owed the original RD$50,000. Miranda became so successful that she was able to buy a concrete house outside the capital and a used sport-utility vehicle. In her manipulation of market dynamics within informal economies, Miranda was viewed by many of her Dominican clients, not without some resentment, as a tiguere with magical gifts. Increasing debt, built on an increased desire for positional goods to acquire status (among the youth, chulo or cool) and worsened by rising costs of living, added to the strain of contentious relationships in Las Ballenas. Traditional mechanisms of kinship or patronage networks based on reciprocity and communal exchange were weakening, and sources of income for landless migrants were limited. Some Dominicans took desperate measures. One week, a Dominican security guard consumed liquid Drano after his North American employers, whom he considered patrons, denied him another loan, ‘to teach him self-sufficiency.’ His neighbors shook their heads and prayed they did not become the victims of such ‘bad luck.’ Amidst these unknown magical forces of the market, female Haitian moneylenders found themselves in a lucrative but delicate role. Other Haitian women worked as vendors, braiding tourists’ hair as they sunbathed on the sand, or sold sweets that mistrustful Dominicans told me not to eat. Rumors and actual incidents of poisoning documented by colonial governors persist today in the form of expat anxiety that island women will poison (and seduce) their men and island thieves will poison their security dogs, which Haitians tell me can ‘smell black skin.’ My first experience with this paranoia occurred when I ran into a Dominican security guard one afternoon whom I thought was coveting my delicious coconut snack. Having learned quickly that sharing is expected in any social situation involving food, I asked if he wanted a taste. He grimaced and told me I should be careful because it was likely poisoned by the Haitian woman who sold it to me. He explained Haitians were ‘like animals’ and you never knew what they were up to. ‘You know,’ he said, ‘they even eat people.’ He pointed to a cow placidly grazing in the distance. ‘Sometimes they even turn the bodies that are not-quite-dead into cows and then eat them.’ However, Dominicans also expressed admiration over the perceived Haitian ability to manipulate the unseen and mysterious powers of love/desire and the market, as was clear in the popularity of the local witch, who was not Haitian but earned her reputation as a witch for her knowledge of Haitian magic (Figure 11). La Bruja learned her craft from Haiti, where she continued to procure her medicines: quassia to expel the intestinal worms, red sage to induce menstrual bleeding, sarsaparilla to purge the liver. Her situation had improved over the years, and she eventually moved out of her sparse wooden hut with its dirt floor and smoky hearth in the center and into a concrete house, sponsored by the local government. But she still slept on the same ash-stained mattress and wore her purple satin skirt and flowered blouse until they were in tatters and reeked of smoke and rum. Her powers involved pretty standard brujeria, mixing love potions to secure foreign attachments and neutralizing the effects of evil eyes, reading coffee grounds in the cup, saying prayers for visas, and laying on hands to cure aches and pains. She did not have a cell phone but, like Georgie, proudly recited the list she had of foreigner’s cell phone numbers to emphasize her status. She also recited from memory lengthy herbal prescriptions in a stream-of-consciousness fashion in rhyming verse. She often drew from the cell phone numbers of foreigners, as well as imagery from her dreams, to play the local lottery and always promised to split the proceeds if you bought the ticket. Figure 11. View largeDownload slide La Bruja, the village witch, who emphasized how her medicines and magic derived from Haiti. Other healers reject the title of bruja and instead describe how they ‘work’ with los seres or misterios (the spirits) as caballos (horses) who are subir (‘mounted’) or possessed by them. Healers may also be parteras (midwives), botanistas (herbalogists) and psychics, reading cups or cards. Figure 11. View largeDownload slide La Bruja, the village witch, who emphasized how her medicines and magic derived from Haiti. Other healers reject the title of bruja and instead describe how they ‘work’ with los seres or misterios (the spirits) as caballos (horses) who are subir (‘mounted’) or possessed by them. Healers may also be parteras (midwives), botanistas (herbalogists) and psychics, reading cups or cards. At the same time, villagers feared Haitians for their supposed uncivilized appetites (cannibalism) and ability to shape-shift and steal the life force of others. A Dominican policeman described how a Haitian coworker fell in love with the policeman’s friend’s wife, but she rejected him. So when the Dominican was away, the Haitian man allegedly broke in, violated the woman, and then brutally hacked her up with a machete so that her husband found her in pieces in a large cooking pot. This last detail is interesting because it copied the colonial ‘eye-witness accounts’ of early travel writers who recorded the ‘aftermath’ of the cannibal scene, which often consisted of merely a few bones in a cooking pot. As in most stories recounting Haitian monstrosity, the Haitian conveniently shape-shifts into a dog and flees. Thus, the practice of shape-shifting, while allowing Haitian bodies to enlarge their social space by escaping containment, also provided a convenient way for Dominicans to stigmatize Haitians by placing them in the criminal scene. Similarly, a Dominican maid explained how the local witch remained recognizable (and thus culpable) even in her animal form. Sometimes she’s up on the house in the form of a dog, or cat, or bird, but I know it is her because I have the goose skin as if I were cold. Other times she’s up in the tree, but if you know the right prayers, the ‘Our Father,’ the tree will shake and a dead bird might fall out. Or maybe you will see her the next day, leaning against the tree, complaining, ‘Oh, I feel sick.’ In a Lefebvrian sense, flying and shape-shifting, through fostering alternative bodily rhythms of mobility and inhabiting space, are spatial strategies that resist linear space/time constructs and exceed bureaucratic controls. As such, flying and shape-shifting are disapproved of by foreign missionaries. When evangelical neighbors expressed concern that the witch was ‘flying’ at night and ‘sucking the breath of children,’ her husband ‘cut her’ with a machete (she showed me the scabby nicks on her scalp) to ‘let the blood’ and the ‘demons’ from her head to immobilize her. Such anxiety around magic creates the justification for the management of Haitian bodies. Youth in particular had to be protected. Babies were immediately anointed with an apodo (nickname) and a charm of a black fist, known as an asabache and attached by a red cord to their wrists, to thwart wayward witches and their ‘evil eyes.’ If young people died suddenly of mysterious complications, witchcraft was suspected. A Dominican pilot told me he believed his cousin’s Haitian boyfriend had ‘sucked’ the life out of her as she was convalescing following a motorcycle taxi accident. She had been on the mend when suddenly, after his visit, she mysteriously died. When I asked what the motive would be for such a crime, the pilot explained, ‘to steal her youth and sell it’ in order to pay off an outstanding debt. The Dominican obsession with stories of Haitian body snatchers, zombies, and bloodsuckers recall old ‘fears that Haitian value and procreative power were sucking the very blood of life from the Dominican nation’ (Derby 1994: 526).11 The broader socioeconomic conditions from which the vampire narrative emerges can be compared to the chupacabra (goat vampire) in Puerto Rico or the vampires of the Andes who feed off of the blood or extract the body fat from sleeping subjects (Derby 2008). In line with Marxists, these narratives interpret industrial capitalism as inherently vampiristic, sustaining itself off the blood of workers and creating commodities out of fetishized, material forms of alienated labor. In an environment where landless Dominicans and Haitians alike compete for informal jobs, including sex work, the zombie narrative in particular can be read as reflecting the anxiety among both parties surrounding the possibility of being transformed into a monstrous ko-kadav (physical body) stripped of agency and degraded by exploitive labor. Whether flying or grounded on earth, in the Haitian cosmology, the body is ‘the fundamental synthesizing agency that weaves the world into meaning and the source of emerging knowledge, value, and signification’ (Bakare-Yusef 2003: 7). 6. Borderwork, space and tigueraje Sovereign power is always a tentative and unstable project whose efficacy and legitimacy depend on repeated performances of violence and a ‘will to rule.’ In the past, colonial powers asserted their sovereign will to rule upon the colonies through what Lefebvre (1991) refers to as the abstract production of space using forms of representation (travel writing), statecraft (miscegenation laws), and technocratic knowledge (Cartesian mapping, surveys, linear time). State systems today continue to produce spatial arrangements of social action and routine. Sites of borderwork conflict in the village occurred at every level from nation-building campaigns to labor contract disputes to the management of intimate sexual relations. Certificates of good conduct are awarded or denied to the professional worker while, as noted earlier, identity papers were, until recently, denied to Haitian immigrants who were deemed perpetually ‘in transit’ to mark spaces of good labor and citizenship. The procurement of these indispensable legitimizing papers continues to require capital and savvy to navigate a tangled web of corrupt bureaucracy. For even as Haitians are denied their papers, counter-hegemonic forces produce a thriving underground black market for forged documents that certify land title, labor permits, and identities for those who cannot gain access to them by ‘legitimate’ means. The practices of those with less power still demarcate edges to block flows. Therefore, to understand and theorize the social construction of boundaries requires recognition of their dual role as power markers that define, legitimate, and symbolize rules as well as recognition of how boundaries act as focal points for resistance to those rules. The concept of borderwork aims to capture the dynamic whereby social agents on different sides of specific boundaries of identity and place simultaneously fortify, undermine, and strategically manipulate those boundaries to their own social advantage. Boundaries mark gradients of power that limit or promote mobility and also invite transgressive strategizing on the part of those they intend to constrain. For example, the solid and arbitrary border with Haiti that marks racialized spaces of citizenship and ‘imagined community’ also dissolves into ‘leaks’ through the informal trade transactions that evade national accounts. Because of leakages from ‘above’ tigueres emerge from ‘below’ as mediators between villagers and authorities, deftly navigating networks of patronage to attain resources, extort various persons over property titles, organize public demonstrations or strikes for local political parties, serve as informers to police or INTERPOL, and bail out local thieves or prostitutes. Because they act as agents of both the state (police) and the subaltern (villagers), they are simultaneously inside and outside the state’s sphere of influence. Tigers are fundamentally ambiguous tricksters and, as such, may subvert or support various hegemonies as se aprovechan de otros (they take advantage of others). Tigueraje provides a rational means for a disenfranchised population to oppose state and transnational development that excludes them. The term tiguere is believed to originate in association with those who resisted state oppression under the dictator Trujillo (Turits 2003); it also is attributed to the dictator himself for his ruthlessness and womanizing. Tigueraje describes the strategies of the Dominican antihero who acquires his reputation through subverting the respectable values and formal structures of the larger hegemonic society. He may do so by acting out lower-class macho ‘street behavior,’ such as fighting, drinking, and womanizing; in addition, the tiger indexes such qualities as selfish opportunism, deception, and greed in a way that is both valorized and condemned. Tigueraje is a good example of how residents in Las Ballenas disrupt space and contribute to the friction of borderwork. In producing counter-hegemonic space, tigueraje describes one way Dominicans seek to reject exploitive relationships with outsiders and advance themselves or their families. In their skillful maneuvering through the contradictory spaces generated by localized meanings confronting the abstract global flows of late capitalism, tigueres attain a kind of magical aura, which, in the case of Haitian brokers, can enlarge social space even as it is stigmatizing. Successful tiguere Haitian brokers, such as Haitian market women and moneylenders or buscones, are both admired and feared for their ‘magical’ ability to negotiate the contradictions around inclusion/exclusion, contamination/ hybridity, and porous/closed borders in a modern, depersonalized global economy. 7. Rupture as the space to dream Migrants became aware of who they are and the hierarchies in which they are ensconced at the intersection of multiple borders that include subjective ‘lived space’. Lefebvre (1991) believed that moments of revelation, arising from a feeling of collective solidarity, could be experienced within the realm of lived space, a kind of sensual and embodied antithesis to the normative every day, life beyond utility. Such an experience may counter the alienation produced under zones of high social and economic control, depending on the degree to which the dominant relations of production have become internalized. When we confront hegemonic forces and disrupt established borders, Lefebvre (1991) terms this affective, lived space differential. This disruption can ‘help forge the ideals and relationships that help reanimate the world’ (Nordstrom 2012: 16) through reinvigorating webs of relationships and moral economies that evoke social justice or even mobilize forces against abusive power. It implicates those of us who carry passports. Every negotiation or encounter, from bargaining over the price of an avocado to the police sweep of a disco to the eviction of Haitians, has the potential to reinforce notions of exclusion or produce new blended or ‘hybrid’ cultural forms of belonging, such as that of the nomadic subject who actively constructs herself in an internally contradictory and complex set of social relations across a landscape without clear borders or exclusive ownership (Braidotti 2011). Some theorists emphasize the local capacity for imagination in such processes of indigenization, such as when squatter settlements or informal labor practices occupy formal spaces whereby foreclosed knowledge enters the public discourse and estranges the basis of authority (Bhabha 1994: 114). Through ‘imagined worlds’ villagers are able to ‘contest and subvert the imagined worlds of the official mind’ (Appadurai 1996: 32). The tearing down of walls that preserve such material and immaterial borders can happen in a moment of rupture, as when a photograph of a dead little boy wearing blue jeans washed up on shore circulates over the Internet and tears at the heart of the world. Ruptures, which mar the picturesque scenery of an aggressively marketed tourist paradise (Figure 12), are inevitable, despite the armed guards stationed at hotels and the tourist arm bands that mark the mobile from the immobile: Figure 12. View largeDownload slide Collage of postcards depicting village life. Figure 12. View largeDownload slide Collage of postcards depicting village life. A legless Dominican man drags himself over the sand to ask for money from a topless sunbathing French woman who covers herself from his gaze. A young Dominican girl with a crack addiction on a date with a German pensioner in an elegant hotel restaurant passes out on the floor in cardiac arrest and is carried out before the stunned clientele. A large, broad shouldered Dominican walks through town with a shovel cast over his shoulder and asks a group of foreign men at a pool hall to buy him a beer. They comply, and he then asks them to buy beer for his amigos, and every man in the place steps forward and look to the foreigners expectantly. A foreigner’s guard dog, a massive Rottweiler rumored to have killed the Dominican servant who was charged with feeding him, is poisoned with Clorox filled salami and washes up on the pristine shore. A single discursive act can differentiate and disturb the abstract construction of space—upsetting the picturesque view of a seascape or even the site of a worthy eco-project that privileges turtles over humans—and makes it more difficult to remain neutral and detached. Consider this example: a Dominican biology professor and a fisherman named El Negro went trolling the beaches one afternoon to count turtle eggs for one of her internationally funded eco-projects. When he noticed her shivering, he dug around in his old duffel bag and offered her a jacket, which she accepted and gratefully zipped up as they continued down the beach. At some point he stopped and asked her how she liked the jacket. ‘It’s nice, really warm’, she said. He nodded, smiled, and after awhile, stopped to ask her again how the jacket felt. ‘Is it too big?’ he asked, staring intently at the jacket. The professor laughed, ‘No, it’s fine, why?’ El Negro looked over the choppy slate-gray Caribbean Sea in the direction of Puerto Rico. ‘Well, I’ve got quite a collection of clothing from walking this beach over the years. I’m glad it fits. You just never know what’s going to wash ashore.’ And that is when she realized the direction of the tide, that the clothing this fisherman carried was the material evidence of unsuccessful flows from local passengers who hoped for a new life and boarded the yola-canoes, and that she was wearing a dead man’s jacket. When islanders overlay their social worlds (territorialize) upon the cliché of what is depicted or desired in the tourist brochure (miles and miles of empty white sand …) there can be jarring, uncanny moments when it suddenly becomes more difficult to glide past the encounter without some lingering trace or reaction. Freud would call it ‘the return of the repressed’ and Lefebvre would point to the structural violence that spawns such rupture, the coercive power of the state and capital including the marginalization of non-capitalist enterprise, the organization of both public and private consumption through advertising and state bureaucracy, and the extension of the rule of profit to non-productive actors within leisure spaces (Martins 1982: 170). Post-rupture one may move toward ‘utopian’ possibility or ‘tragic’ foreclosure; the latter, may haunt one’s consciousness as an unfulfilled possibility, a broken dream, a rejection of an ethical encounter with difference or a return to alienation. Precisely because this type of psychic discomfort is so incompatible with the illusory play world of Caribbean space, particularly with the hedonistic tropes so overused in branding the Caribbean, there are, simultaneously, redoubled efforts, backed with considerable power and resources, to prevent such encounters from happening. In this way, the tragic is always in tension with the banal, actively promoted and reproduced by state agencies and mass media, in a constant effort to manage risk and insulate life from the fallout of tragedy. But utopian possibilities are also embedded within the chaos of the everyday, which make such efforts at containment futile. 8. Conclusion In this work I have aimed to avoid the ‘territorial trap’ of conceptualizing borders as limits and instead to deepen a study of the border as mobile, perspectival and relational by focusing on the social interactions that give borders meaning (Rajaram and Grundy-Warr 2007: x). ‘Borderizations’ emphasize how the border ‘is not a material and fixed wall or fence, but the many-headed sum of policies and discourses generated by a variety of state and non-state actors,’ generating both ‘obstacles and opportunities for different sets of migrants’ (Soguk in Rajaram and Grundy-Warr 2007: xxxvii). For migrants, such barriers and facilitators to becoming socially and legally recognized take place through public performances and interactions and via processes of citizenship. ‘The borderscape is recognizable not in a physical location but tangentially in struggles to clarify inclusion from exclusion’ (Rajaram and Grundy-Warr 2007: xxviii). Postcolonial sovereignty in a globalized world continues to be formed through language and performance of ‘the law’; the marking of territories and populations as domains of sovereign authority; the inscription of power upon bodies; and the transnational movements of labor, experts, and refugees. When the production of space becomes hegemonic, it absorbs the daily aspirations, dreams, and desires of subaltern populations (their lived spaces) (Figure 14). But friction (the awkward, unequal, unstable, and creative qualities of interconnection across difference (Tsing 2005: 4) and tigueraje occur in dialectical relation to this process. The embodied practices of marginalized migrants—such as squatters, vendors, Haitians, and sex workers—propel the ongoing contestation over meaning in Las Ballenas. Table 1. Key national statistics for Haiti and the Dominican Republic Nation Population Life expectancy GDP Land area Haiti 10.7 million 63 years $8.023 billion (2016 World Bank) 27,560 sq. km Dominican Republic 10.5 million 73.7 years $71.58 billion (2016 World Bank) 48,730 sq. km Nation Population Life expectancy GDP Land area Haiti 10.7 million 63 years $8.023 billion (2016 World Bank) 27,560 sq. km Dominican Republic 10.5 million 73.7 years $71.58 billion (2016 World Bank) 48,730 sq. km Table 1. Key national statistics for Haiti and the Dominican Republic Nation Population Life expectancy GDP Land area Haiti 10.7 million 63 years $8.023 billion (2016 World Bank) 27,560 sq. km Dominican Republic 10.5 million 73.7 years $71.58 billion (2016 World Bank) 48,730 sq. km Nation Population Life expectancy GDP Land area Haiti 10.7 million 63 years $8.023 billion (2016 World Bank) 27,560 sq. km Dominican Republic 10.5 million 73.7 years $71.58 billion (2016 World Bank) 48,730 sq. km Figure 13. View largeDownload slide An empty yola (canoe) at sunset. Figure 13. View largeDownload slide An empty yola (canoe) at sunset. Figure 14. View largeDownload slide My Haitian neighbors who publicly converted to an Evangelist-Protestant faith (notice crucifix on the wall). Figure 14. View largeDownload slide My Haitian neighbors who publicly converted to an Evangelist-Protestant faith (notice crucifix on the wall). Coerced compliance and everyday practice create the structures that support belief in boundaries as essential, unquestioned categories which help fix one in space and lend form, substance, to what is otherwise unknown, nebulous, and uncomfortable. Boundaries, therefore, establish social rules and symbolize lines to be crossed as well as set limits to be extended. Border zones are places where different regimes of rules merge and destabilize each other. When ‘symbolic boundaries,’ acting as the medium through which people acquire status and monopolize resources, gain wide consensus they become ‘social borders’ where social differences can be objectified and manifest in unequal access to resources and social opportunities (Lamont and Molnar 2002). Within this hierarchy of difference, the cultural practice of making and sustaining boundaries (borderwork) protects and fortifies borders around identity and place, even as it exploits or transgresses them. To conclude, this has been an extensive examination of the intersectionality and spatialization of sociological concepts like ‘race,’ ‘class,’ ‘nation’ and to a lesser extent due to space constraints ‘gender.’ In linking the ‘real’ borders of bounded domains such as ‘nation’ with the conceptual borders of social categories such as ‘class,’ I emphasize the social construction of both. Both physical/national and social borders, policed by the empowered, invite transgression by the disempowered. Subjects who employ tigueraje successfully disrupt border logic, even if only temporarily, and are constituted at the intersection of multiple borders in specific local contexts. Policing (violence) and representation (discourse) produce a politics of inequality and manifest as material and immaterial borders that are ever contested and in a state of perpetual becoming. Funding This work was supported by the University of Illinois Provost and Alice Dan Dissertation Awards. Footnotes 1. According to historical accounts, the peninsula was the site where Columbus and indigenous peoples first shed blood (Cohen 1969). 2. These social spaces may be imagined as grim, dangerous, and constraining, a political border of predators, victims, and coyotes who arrange passage across zones or metaphorical and liberating, defined more by poets than police, a cultural zone ‘between stable places.’ 3. ‘Within this discourse of danger, several myths are perpetuated that construct the refugee as a potential source of pollution: the refugee causes unemployment and so pollutes the economy; the presence of the refugee indicates a loss of control over sovereign borders and so pollutes authority; the refugee weakens the national identity of the host society and so pollutes social cohesion; and the refugee brings disease and so pollutes the well-being of citizens’ 2007: 127). 4. Henri Lefebvre was a neo-Marxist who coined the phrase ‘The Right to the City’ during the late 1960s when Paris was becoming increasingly urbanized. Lefebvre developed his theory of space out of his concern over the omni-presence of urban space and planning. 5. For more on Globalization’s de-territorializing effects, see Appadurai (1996). 6. ‘Sedentary’ and ‘nomadic’ are the respective terms engaged by Deleuze and Guattari to consider peoples relationship to and use of the land they inhabit (Deleuze and Guattari 1986: 380). 7. Christophe was a general in the French and then Haitian revolution and became ruler of Haiti in 1806 after Haiti’s military ruler Jean Jacques Dessalines was assassinated. Christophe was a fan of Enlightenment philosophy and corresponded regularly with Thomas Clarkson, the English abolitionist. His marble-floored grand castle, the Citadelle la Ferrière, is impressive, built by 20,000 slave laborers and sitting on a bluff 3,000 feet high. In it, Christophe crowned himself king and reproduced a nobility consisting of four princes, eight dukes, twenty-two counts, thirty-seven barons, and fourteen knights (Vandercook 2004). Christophe became adept at dealing with the ‘grand blancs,’ or wealthy white French planters, while working in and managing a hotel in Le Cap, a major city of northern Saint-Domingue. But as king, Christophe’s people turned against him when he resisted the populist agrarian reform of the south. He ended up committing suicide, shooting himself with a silver bullet in 1820. 8. The lwa, or guardian of the crossroads. ‘His association with traffic, passport, and travel makes Legba, the master of doors and gateways, highways and crossroads, points of intersection and crossings of power. … He is the idea and the form, the transformative crossroad that everyone must pass through when working with spirit (Anderson 2015: 156).’ Every ceremony opens by greeting Legba and closes by saluting Gede, who is Master of the Dead. 9. In a similar vein, Colombian peasants and Bolivian miners associated the accumulation of money with the devil because of the friction and inequality it introduced, which threatened social cohesion (Taussig 1980). 10. A rare break in tensions occurred when the DR temporarily halted deportations of Haitians and helped with relief efforts after Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake, which killed an estimated 300,000 people. 11. For a historical account of Haitian market women see Mintz (1964) and for a more recent portrayal of market women as ‘informal commercial importers’ see Ulysse (2008) 12. For contrast, see the European colonist preoccupation with ‘the cannibal’ in early travel writing or the more recent figure of the chupacabra, who sucks the blood from goats and other means of subsistence for farmers all over Latin America and has been analysed as a metaphor or symbol for the United States’ neoliberal policies driving small farmers out of the means to make a living. Also of interest is Karl Marx’s description of industrial capitalism as vampiristic, parasitically living off the blood of workers. Commodities are fetishized materializations of alienated labor—literally the living flesh turned into a dead object (zombified)—in the consuming of which the producers life force (blood) are sucked dry (or absorbed/neutralized). Hegel, Marx, and Nietzsche all studied the master–slave relation as a parasitic one in which the master feeds, and becomes dependent upon, the slave. ‘Master, you eated me when I was meat, and now you must pick me when I am bone’ (Patterson 1982: 340, in Sheller 2003: 151). 13. Mary Louise Pratt (1992) uses the term ‘contact zone’ to describe when peoples first meet under conditions of ‘coercion, radical inequality, and conflict’ while still interacting in an improvizational way. Acknowledgements This account is based on 24 months of ethnographic fieldwork that took place between 2005 and 2009 in a northeastern coastal town of the Dominican Republic. I am grateful to all of those I encountered through my immersion into the flow and rhythm of village life, such as my neighbors with whom I shared countless cups of coffee with way too much sugar and buscones who offered me free rides to work on the whale-watching boat when the rains were heavy. 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Durham, NC : Duke University Press . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Ceyhan A. , Tsoukala A. ( 2002 ) ‘ The Securitization of Migration in Western Societies: Ambivalent Discourses and Politics ’, Alternatives , 27/supplement : 21 – 39 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Cohen J. M. ( 1969 ) Christopher Columbus: the Four Voyages . London : Penguin Press . Coto D. , Lopez E. A. ( 2013 ) ‘Dominican Ruling Strips Many of Citizenship’ (Associated Press; pubd online 27 September 2013) <http://bigstory.ap.org/article/dominican-ruling-strips-many-citizenship> accessed 9 Oct 2015. Deleuze G. , Guattari F. ( 1972 ) Capitalism and Schizophrenia, Anti-Oedipus . Minneapolis, MN : University of Minnesota Press . Deleuze G. , Felix Guattari ( 1986 ) A Thousand Plateaus, Massumi, B. (trans.) . London : Athlone Press . Derby L. ( 1994 ) ‘ Haitians, Magic, and Money: Raza and Society in the Haitian-Dominican Borderlands 1900–1937 ’, Comparative Studies in Society and History , 36 / 3 : 488 – 526 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Derby L. ( 2008 ) ‘ Imperial Secrets: Vampires and Nationhood in Puerto Rico ’, Past and Present , 199 / 1 : 290 – 312 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Douglas M. , Kegan P. ed. ( 1966 ) Purity and Danger: An Analysis of the Concepts of Pollution and Taboo . London : Routledge . Fajardo S. A. ( 2009 ) CRS Voices. blog. <http://www.crs-blog.org/dominican-republic-hosts-lively-border-market/> accessed 11 Jan 2015. Foucault M. ( 1991 ) ‘Governmentality’, in Burchell G. , Gordon C. , Miller P. (eds) The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality , pp. 87 – 104 . London : Harvester Wheatsheaf . Florian/efe S. M. ( 2017 ) Inclusion de R. Dominicana en lista negra CIDH revive espinoso tema migratorio. articulo en dias.com.do. <http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2017/05/04/i228429_inclusion-dominicana-lista-negra-cidh-revive-espinoso-tema-migratorio.html#.WVVpDjPMxn4> accessed 25 Jun 2017. Haddad E. ( 2007 ) ‘Danger Happens at the Border’, in Rajaram P. K. , Grundy-Warr C. (eds) Borderscapes: Hidden Geographies and Politics at Territory’s Edge pp. 119 – 36 . Minneapolis, MN : University of Minnesota Press . Hansen T. , Stepputat F. eds. ( 2005 ) Sovereign Bodies: Citizens, Migrants, and States in the Postcolonial World . Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press . Hernandez P. ( 1972 ) Algunas Reflexiones sobre la mujer negra en la Republica Dominicana. Transcript from an academic conference on ‘Afro-americanismo’ at la facultad de letras de la universidad de Paris 1970–1971, 12 July 1972. Kearney M. ( 1995 ) ‘ The Local and the Global: The Anthropology of Globalization and Transnationalism’, Annual Review of Anthropology , 24 / 1 : 547 – 65 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Krayewski E. ( 2015 ) ‘Dominican Republic Stripped Hundreds of Thousands of Haitians of Their Citizenship, Using Army to Round Up the Undocumented’ (Hit & Run Blog; pubd online 18 June 2015) <https://reason.com/blog/2015/06/18/dominican-republic-stripped-hundreds-of> accessed 9 Oct 2015. Lamont M. , Molnar V. ( 2002 ) ‘ The Study of Social Boundaries in the Social Sciences’, Annual Review of Sociology 2 : 167 – 95 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Larkin B. ( 1997 ) ‘ Indian Films and Nigerian Lovers: Media and the Creation of Parallel Modernities ’, Africa: Journal of the International African Institute , 67 / 3 : 406 – 40 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Lefebvre H. ( 1976c ) The Survival of Capitalism: Reproduction of the Relations of Production . London : Allison & Busby . Lefebvre H. ( 1991 ) The Production of Space . Nicholson-Smith, D. (trans.). Oxford : Blackwell Publishing . Lefebvre H. ( 2008 ) Critique of Everyday Life, Vol. 2: Foundations for a Sociology of the Everyday . Special edn. Brooklyn, NY : Verso . Martins M. ( 1982 ) ‘The Theory of Social Space in the Work of Henri Lefebvre’, in Forrest R. , Henderson J. , Williams P. (eds), Urban Political Economy and Social Theory , pp. 160 – 85 . Aldershot, UK : Gower . McClintock A. ( 1995 ) Imperial Leather: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest , New York : Routledge . Merlau-Ponty M. ( 1962 ) Phenomenology of Perception . London : Routledge . Mintz S. W. ( 1964 ) The Employment of Capital by Market Women in Haiti . London : George Allen & Unwin Ltd . Nordstrom C. , Johnston B. , ed. ( 2012 ) ‘ Vital Topics Forum: On Happiness ’, American Anthropologist , 114 / 1 : 13 – 14 . Patterson O. ( 1982 ) Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Study . Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press . Pratt M. L. ( 1992 ) Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation . New York : Routledge . Rajaram P. K. , Grundy-Warr C. , ed. ( 2007 ) ‘ Introduction’ in Borderscapes: Hidden Geographies and Politics at Territory’s Edge . Minneapolis, MN : University of Minnesota Press . Rosaldo R. ( 1988 ) ‘ Ideology, Place, and the People without Culture’, Cultural Anthropology , 3 / 1 : 77 – 87 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Sheller M. ( 2003 ) Consuming the Caribbean: From Arawaks to Zombies . London : Routledge . Taussig M. ( 1980 ) The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America . Chapel Hill, NC : University of North Carolina Press . Torpey J. ( 2000 ) The Invention of the Passport. Surveillance, Citizenship, and the State . Cambridge : Cambridge University Press Tsing A. L. ( 2005 ) Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection . Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press . Tsing A. L. ( 1993 ) In the Realm of the Diamond Queen: Marginality in an Out-of-the-Way-Place . Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press . Turits R. ( 2003 ) Foundations of Despotism: Peasants, the Trujillo Regime, and Modernity in Dominican History . Stanford, CA : Stanford University Press . Ulysse G. ( 2008 ) Downtown Ladies: Informal Commercial Importers, a Haitian Anthropologist and Self-Making in Jamaica . Chicago, IL : University of Chicago Press . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Vandercook J. W. , Blaine M. ( 2004 ) Black Majesty: The Life of Christophe, King of Haiti . Whitefish, MT : Kessinger Publishers . © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Migration Studies Oxford University Press

Haitian migrant borderwork in a Dominican coastal town

Migration Studies , Volume Advance Article (2) – Aug 2, 2017

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Abstract

Abstract Haitians, who are labeled perpetually ‘in-transit’ by the Dominican state, are the most spatially incarcerated subjects in Dominican tourist space. Dominicans and Haitians live together as ‘awkward, unequal, unstable, and creative’ neighbors and yet remain divided along lines of class, race, and citizenship (Tsing 2005: 4). This paper examines the Dominican Republic’s historical strategies around nation-building and accessing cheap labor that cast Haitians as racialized others. It then tracks how contemporary Haitian informal workers including market women enlarge their social space through magical practices, which are both effective and stigmatizing. The everyday lived and imagined experience of Haitians in a coastal village where the Dominican state is limited in its ability to order space with legal or bureaucratic disciplinary tactics, illustrates the dialectical nature of the global processes currently at play in much of our world. Magical thinking and practice provides an ideoscape upon which all villagers project their visions of modernity in a climate of heightened competitive pressure and increased securitization that criminalizes the landless poor and non-citizen migrant alike. 1. Introduction Las Ballenas (a pseudonym), a town of 38,000 inhabitants on a coastal peninsula where Columbus allegedly had his first ‘skirmish’ with the native Taino, represents a borderland space where local villagers are experiencing the sweeping consequences of their home being mapped as a major Caribbean tourist destination, dense with transnational circuits and flows (Figure 1).1 European expats arrive with the desire to maximize material and social privileges and are seduced by the prospect of a simpler life amidst a tropical, ‘primitive’ paradise. And tourists, as temporary sojourners—whether lying on the beaches of all-inclusive resorts patrolled by armed guards, touring the Caribbean by cruise ship, or checking into a high-end boutique hotel—seek a more sheltered kind of leisure experience to rejuvenate their world-weary souls. Figure 1. View largeDownload slide [Map of Las Ballenas]. Figure 1. View largeDownload slide [Map of Las Ballenas]. At the same time, migration motivated by economic need rather than the desire for leisure or pleasure continues to motivate other forms of travel for Dominicans and Haitians. Haitians migrate across the island’s border or off isolated Dominican sugar plantations and are an increasingly visible and precarious presence as they physically construct tourism’s paradise as laborers in the burgeoning local construction industry. Young Dominican, Haitian and Dominican-Haitian women are also traveling from rural to urban areas, many motivated by dreams of a more affluent life married to foreigners abroad. When different social groups such as these interact, and traditions and cultures overlap, borderland spaces are created (Figure 2). Figure 2. View largeDownload slide (a) Haitian vendor striding past Dominican policeman and schoolgirls. (b) Dominican concho drivers and German tourists. Figure 2. View largeDownload slide (a) Haitian vendor striding past Dominican policeman and schoolgirls. (b) Dominican concho drivers and German tourists. The borderland refers to those spaces on the frontiers of adjoining categories (identities, countries, etc.) where rigid differences sometimes blur or ‘creolize’ into hybrid forms. As such, they are spaces of transition and experimentation. We can view the in between, liminal borderland that villagers inhabit as a kind of microfrontier, interstice or parallel modernity (Rosaldo 1988; Kearney 1995; Alvarez 1995; Larkin 1997).2 However the borderlands are imagined, and in their material and ideological forms, borders are threshold spaces that play an important part in spatial and social ordering as they quarantine power differentials and cast certain individuals as ‘other.’ In Las Ballenas Haitians have historically been constructed as the Dominican national ‘other’ and are estimated to number around 4,000. An estimated 600,000 Haitians live in the country at large, though the Dominican press often quotes a figure of 1 million. Historically, Haitians have endured intense spatial incarceration on the batey (sugar plantation), a site of labor Dominicans have shunned due to its associations with slavery (Figure 3). Figure 3. View largeDownload slide Postcard of batey. Figure 3. View largeDownload slide Postcard of batey. But even as construction workers or motorcycle taxi drivers, Haitians’ mobility is still precarious due to their illegal status. Many Haitians live without electricity or water in the shells of the buildings they construct or, sometimes, up in the lomas (hills). It is not unusual for Haitians to be deported a few days before payday, escorted by police, who sell their belongings and charge them for the bus ride home. In popular national discourse Haitians are commonly accused of stealing jobs; trafficking in contraband, bodies, and drugs, thereby threatening the social order; practicing voodoo and carrying disease. Subsumed in this ‘discourse of danger’ that constructs them as pollutants, they are regularly stigmatized as untrustworthy, carriers of HIV, cannibalistic and criminal (Haddad 2007) (Figure 4).3 Figure 4. View largeDownload slide ‘Today we made progress toward preserving what makes the beautiful reputation of Las Ballenas, its great cultural value which comes from its mixing of people from all cultures and races. And we must preserve these values by stabilizing the criminal disorder.’—Dominican moderator to foreign business interests and Comandante, pictured above, at meeting held 14 May 2007 to discuss privatizing security in response to a violent crime wave in which Haitians were identified as a significant criminal element seemingly positioned outside such cultural values of mestizaje. Figure 4. View largeDownload slide ‘Today we made progress toward preserving what makes the beautiful reputation of Las Ballenas, its great cultural value which comes from its mixing of people from all cultures and races. And we must preserve these values by stabilizing the criminal disorder.’—Dominican moderator to foreign business interests and Comandante, pictured above, at meeting held 14 May 2007 to discuss privatizing security in response to a violent crime wave in which Haitians were identified as a significant criminal element seemingly positioned outside such cultural values of mestizaje. As Haitians continue to move back and forth across the border, imparting their market-savvy skills as traders or bringing value as cheap labor, they simultaneously expose ‘the myth of the existence of the sovereign state fully able to control its territory’ (Ceyhan and Tsoukala 2002: 34 in Haddad 2007: 127). In fact the Dominican state has a very limited ability to order space with legal or bureaucratic disciplinary tactics. Instead the state is complicit in extralegal arrangements with those who fall outside of the nation-state legal boundaries and whose only means of connecting with trans-local circuits are via the informal economy. The Caribbean as a region has long been imagined as a kind of transgressive borderland space, both liberating and dangerous, where prohibitions were eased and social norms inverted: ‘a porno tropics for the European imagination—a fantastic magic lantern of the mind onto which Europe projected its forbidden sexual desires and fears’ (McClintock 1995: 21–2). Las Ballenas was produced through its historical representation as a contact zone where freed slaves and French buccaneers lived as vagabonds. Today the borderland representation persists through tourism branding of Las Ballenas as a permeable site where ‘pirate’ traditions and cultures overlap (at least for the space of ‘the trip’) and through its association with extralegal activity such as immigration and smuggling that cannot be controlled by state government. The contentious social contracts that permeate this place today are somewhat disguised by the force of tourism itself which, as an industry, seeks to package and sell leisure experience and thereby obscures the everyday (non-leisure) experience of class struggle. Retired expats and vacationing tourists are not familiar with the class structure of Dominican society outside of the tourist zones where class barriers appear to be relaxed. Dominican elites are well aware and generally disapproving of outsiders who connect socially or intimately with migrants and bring them into what would otherwise be considered middle or upper class spaces (restaurants, hotels, cafes). Guests often therefore muddy the expectations around social contracts that have traditionally kept migrants ‘in their place’ in the broader Dominican society. At the same time, guests, as hedonistic or cosmopolitan sojourners seeking their own kind of freedom from social structures back home, often resist long-term social contracts or binding obligations to migrants that might limit their own fluidity. Tensions arise when the nostalgic EuroAmerican guest who dreams of a ‘pre-modern’ world discovers his ‘ethnic fantasy woman’ wants to become a dynamic consumer of global commodities or when the Haitian migrant worker, socially excluded by his anxious Dominican neighbor, seeks to earn status by capitalizing on the Dominican fear of their perceived African-derived magical money-making abilities. These moments, when the competing claims of identity or representations of bodies, places, or nationalisms surface among various social actors, exacerbating stereotypes and scapegoating practices that reinforce or diminish social inequality, track the perception of vulnerability and empowerment for various social actors. These moments demonstrate how borders around race, nation, gender, and citizenship strengthen and weaken in relation to experienced degrees of friction and flow. In this article I focus on the stigmatization of Haitian migrants who are the most marginalized subjects in the Dominican tourist space, although they occupy a range of lived experiences from ambiguous belonging at its most benign to exclusion from full participation in social life and forced dependency in its extreme (Brodwin 2003). I discuss the association Dominicans make between Haitians and their money-making magic as well as examine the precarious ‘in-transit’ spaces that Haitians occupy as illegal subjects. After outlining state strategies and magical narratives that seek to immobilize and stigmatize Haitians, I close with a strong reminder of the porousness of all borders and the existence of ‘micro-moments’ in which a subjective worldview may expand an otherwise alienating and even hostile social world. 2. Producing social space French sociologist Henri Lefebvre’s (1991) work on the production of ‘space’ is useful in theorizing the dynamics of place-making in Las Ballenas.4 His ideas of the dialectical conflict between abstract space (how space is conceived through practices and forms that tend to fragment, homogenize, and create hierarchies following the hegemony of capitalism based on its grids of labor, market, bureaucracy, and private property) and differential space (how space is lived and experienced) structure this ethnographic material. In a related vein, philosophers Giles Deleuze and Felix Guattari (1972) describe the production of social space and life as the constant dialectical tension between territorialization and de-territorialization; tensions that involve the imposing of rules and concepts of maintenance, control, surveillance, and tracking, and the dissipation or loosening of such concepts and rules.5 In spatial terms then, borderwork describes this dialectical imposing and dissolution of systems of structure and surveillance around various borders resulting in the social spatialization of difference. For example, even as tourist police seek to create (abstract) spatial order that divides the criminal from the legitimate, they simultaneously subvert (differentialize) the law as they extort Haitian vendors (Figure 5a). And even as evicted squatters are expelled from (abstract) privatized national park space as trespassers, they easily undermine (differentialize) state legitimacy by returning and planting (re-territorializing) their illegal conucos (subsistence plots) (Figure 5b). Figure 5. View largeDownload slide (a) Politur (tourist police) collecting weekly ‘fee’ from Haitian vendor. (b) Planting crops on private land. Figure 5. View largeDownload slide (a) Politur (tourist police) collecting weekly ‘fee’ from Haitian vendor. (b) Planting crops on private land. This continuous process of spatial ordering and disruption which never leads to synthesis or resolution because of its complexity and contradictions is what makes Las Ballenas such a productive place to analyze in terms of its borderwork. ‘Borderwork’ is this dialectical tension between the creation of abstract and differential space, of de-territorialization and re-territorialization, and of flow and friction woven into a spatial metaphor that speaks to how borders quarantine power differentials. To Lefebvre, leisure spaces which bridge spaces of work and pleasure, and, in particular, the beach, are the ultimate ‘contradictory spaces’ where differential space-time may spill forth from the cracks of abstract space. Leisure spaces are both sites of exuberant potential as well as sites of commodification, spaces in which the body-subject reunites with the body-as-object (2008: 431–2). In moving from work and the quotidian to leisure (the festival) the body resists and ‘will not allow itself to be dismembered without a protest, nor to be divided into fragments, deprived of its rhythms, reduced to its catalogued needs, to images and specialisations’ (1976c: 89). Body-subjects also rebel in the liminal spaces where agency and structure meet, in voodoo rituals or within tigueraje, the clever strategies that contest borders (or race, sex, nation etc.) and pave the way toward social advancement. Lefebvre refers to lived space, which may be embodied or seen, as the most personal spatial production of everyday life because in it we produce who we are. It is a space of pure subjectivity derived from our senses, imaginations, and feelings, and therefore a space of resistance and possibility as much as it is a space of conditioned self-discipline. In this way, Lefebvre finds everyday life both tragic and potentially redeeming, unlike other philosophers such as Kant, Hegel, or Sartre. Beyond providing a base for exploitation as the State and Law impose their regulations and order, the banalities and repetitions of everyday life are also the locus of human spontaneity and creativity. Lefebvre writes: ‘Yes, it is the humble and sordid side, but not only that. Simultaneously it is also the time and the place where the human either fulfills itself or fails’ (2008: 19). To illustrate the micro politics of lived space, as both infused with struggle and potential, I want to introduce Georgie, as both an illegal ‘migrant subject’ bound by sedentary us-and-them logic and as a ‘nomadic subject’ whose identity is not wholly determined by the place he currently occupies ‘in transit’6. 3. Georgie: Profile of a Haitian migrant in the Dominican Republic Georgie tells me he is well-liked in Las Ballenas, Dominican Republic (DR), and that he has no enemies. As with most statements from Georgie, I later learn that this is partially true. Like many young migrants, Georgie stresses the positive and is eager to appear well-connected and positioned for advancement (Figure 6a and b). He recites the cell phone numbers of foreigners he has met as evidence of his popularity: Ray from Miami, who owns a fabric shop, and his Chinese boss at the free trade zone (FTZ), who introduced him to his first eggroll. But these connections were back in Santiago, where Georgie says he made more money—$180 per month or 6 million pesos—driving a forklift at a clothing factory (Grupo M) than he does in Las Ballenas working with tourists. Here he is still struggling to pay off his motorcycle taxi, which costs $1,210 (37,000 pesos). In one year he has only paid off $180 towards his debt. His eyes well up when he speaks of home and family. Figure 6. View largeDownload slide (a) and (b). [Georgie]. Figure 6. View largeDownload slide (a) and (b). [Georgie]. Georgie returns home at least three times a year, crossing and re-crossing the porous border between the DR and Haiti. He tells me the beaches in Haiti are more beautiful than in the DR and that he grew up in the shadow of the magnificent castle of King Henri Christophe (Figure 7)6. There he met a group of North American Baptists who influenced his syncretic cosmology. Figure 7. View largeDownload slide The castle of Henri Christophe. Figure 7. View largeDownload slide The castle of Henri Christophe. ‘Imagine the kind of imagination that could build such a castle where you can see the whole world!’ Georgie would say, eyes shining. He says that while the politics are corrupt in Haiti, the people are united. ‘Is it true in your country “la gente afuera no se pega” [the people don’t “stick,” are not united, connected]?’ ‘Is it true that no one has time to speak to one other?’ he asks, emphasizing value in what Dominicans call confianza, the social ‘glue’ made up of trust and reciprocity that binds neighbors. And yet I wonder to what degree Georgie’s own displacement as a migrant in a Dominican tourist town is one in which cultivating social ‘stickiness’ proves challenging. When asked about cultivating security as a ‘non-citizen’, he just shrugs and says solemnly: ‘Only the Devil has security because he knows there is God.’ Georgie functions as a buscón in the village. Literally derived from the verb buscar, which means ‘to look for,’ buscones are a kind of hustler-trader who deliver the desired goods after circumnavigating the state’s bureaucratic loopholes. Buscones emerge within the competitive environment of Las Ballenas to translate and manipulate local mundane reality into the ‘stuff’ that foreigners desire, brokering the exchange for drugs, children, sex, or beachfront property. Buscones may be used by corrupt police or other resident thieves for information on the routines of the very same foreigners, which may later be used to organize a robbery. Buscones also may be paid to do mundane tasks such as stand in line for hours and then find the right official to bribe in order to hasten the process of securing the papeles that mark citizenship (documents such as passports or national cédulas or birth certificates, land titles, and certificates of good conduct to secure employment). Georgie stares at the road that lines the beach called Playa Rosada, which he trolls daily looking for tourist passengers and delivering packages, and feels discouraged. ‘This can’t be all I will ever know, Delia (my Dominican nickname). This one road, going back and forth, back and forth, all day long. …’ We are watching the 20-something Europeans kite-sail in the distance, enjoying their leisure playground. We wave to Josefin, vending her coconut sweet taffy-like snacks to a German couple under an umbrella. I watch as three Dominican girls are initiated into the art of seduction by Lyla, a veteran sex worker. She carries a green parasol in one hand and pats at her gold and red braided weave with the other, her long, glittery nails sparkling in the sunlight. My eyes linger on the youngest who awkwardly adjusts her thong as Lyla nudges her into a group of Italian men in speedos. I notice Georgie’s eyes trailing over to the cliffside in the distance where I first met him in 2006. Back then, Georgie had noticed me walking to the village center and tried to convince me he knew a shortcut on the beach that required scaling a hill bordering the sea. ‘But there is no path’, I had said, squinting my eyes in that direction. He just smiled and motioned for me to follow. I hesitated, but I was short on time, the sky was darkening with rain and, I reasoned, there were other people present nearby, decreasing the likelihood of some kind of ambush. We bushwhacked our way to the top of the hill and, sure enough, Georgie uncovered an old trail. I noted the remains of a fire and discarded coconut shells and wondered if Georgie might be living up there. Then I looked below, and all I saw was a steep climb down through thorny bush and the crashing waves of the sea below. Despite Georgie’s protestations, I announced I was going back and reversed my direction. He followed me back to the road, muttering all the while that I should have more faith in him. When we reached the beach, I asked him if he could take me on his motorbike to town. He would not accept payment and looked frustrated with me when I set 20 pesos on his seat and waved goodbye. Now, he chides me again for not trusting him that day. I repeat it was the cliff and not his credibility that made me turn back. Then he says, ‘That day I proved to you I was a gentleman. Even when you thought we were lost on that path. Many people would say a man and a woman alone together in the brush … But nothing happened.’ He pauses, then adds, ‘because I didn’t want you to be afraid.’ It is a strange comment, I think, with the hint of a threat of what might have been. Sifting sand through my fingers, I say out loud, ‘I wasn’t afraid of you, Georgie.’ And then his face changes and he seems almost disappointed. ‘When you are in front of a person that you respect, baja tus ojos [you lower your eyes]. Fear is a form of respect.’ I search his face, which slowly breaks into a grin. I shake my head and gaze back out into the sea, reminded yet again of the precariousness of social contracts in this place teeming with competitive actors whose lived relationship to place and land is ever-shifting and contingent upon the daily experience of friction and flow. Yet even within his state-monitored restricted mobility, driving up and down the beach or squatting upon the loma, as a practitioner of voodoo and through his desire for a more expansive social world, Georgie creatively fashions a spatial presence and practice outside of the designs of state power or even the norms of more permanent residents. ‘Such reappropriation of space reveals the potential for the reassertion of use values and creativity over exchange and domination, and allows for the restoration of lived time outside the sphere of work’ (Butler 2012: 101). Georgie waves at Ricardo, a well-known 22-year-old Sanky-Panky (a term for the male host gigolos who trawl the beaches and discos looking to romance foreign females) in the distance and waves with a wide grin. Ricardo is coming out of the surf and waves back. His current 40-something Spanish girlfriend, a Pilates teacher, is at his side, holding a towel out to dry him as he shakes the salty water out of his dreadlocks while she laughs. ‘I should have such luck’, Georgie smiles. Georgie says the life of the sanky is ‘poco linda, poco fea’ [a little beautiful, and a little ugly]: beautiful when the man can share an experience with the woman of his dreams, but ugly when the sanky is only looking to exploit the ‘loose’ woman who likes to dance and party and has addiction problems. ‘The last name of Satan is temptation’, he muses. He tells me that he recently met someone who could be the woman of his dreams. She is from Russia and is in town to rendezvous with an older French man she met online. ‘Amor para negocios [Love for business]?’ I ask, referencing the omnipresent romance/sex/desire economy on the peninsula, and Georgie nods. Apparently the woman is very interested in mysticism and voodoo, but she will leave after tomorrow, another lost opportunity. I am not surprised she wanted to talk with Georgie about voodoo. Despite his Baptist rhetoric he is well-versed in the medicinal and magical properties of plants, which he learned from his grandmother who had the cerebro abierto (open mind) to experience the corriente (current) upon which the seres travel, enabling her work as a healer. Several times when I fell ill with gripe (a flu-like cold), Georgie would leave a little bundle of roots, bark, leaves, and herbs on my porch. I used gin or red wine as a base, as he had instructed, added the plants, and made a tea from it, despite the loud protests of my Dominican neighbors, who were sure I was going to turn into a zombie. Within the hour, I invariably broke a sweat, slept for hours, and then woke up feeling greatly relieved. Through Georgie, I learned to appreciate how a voodoo sensibility could infuse a constricted space with a magical way of dwelling in which one always exists at a crossroads between the soul and the flesh, and in so doing, open up a transcendent pathway to Lefebvrian micro-moments of presence and revelation. Moments, imbued on a human scale of memory and meaning, cannot be easily codified or commodified. They comprise the basis for human fulfillment and emancipation and allow one to assert one’s right to participate and inhabit space in a way that is quite distinct from the right to property. Such micro-moments of imaginative and material appropriation and embodied sociability arise from feelings of collective solidarity and struggle that extend even beyond the human realm, amidst hegemonic patterns of exploitation and control that permeate this Caribbean village subsumed under the logic of tourism development markets and capital accumulation. In many rituals, the crossroads, or threshold between humans and the lwa (spirit)—life and death, materiality and spirit, consciousness and unconsciousness—is symbolized by the surface of a mirror or water. Tree roots are also spaces where the lwa dwell. This unique sense of self constructs the body as expansive, as multidimensional, and as a conduit to experience this liminal space and ‘the invisibles’, or lwa. So on a transcendent plane, even as Haitians are uprooted and displaced, as voudouissants (voodoo specialists), material reality is full of organic connectors to the spirits, such as the lwa racine (tree root spirits), as well as rocks, spiders, waterfalls, and the sky. Still, while Georgie believed in a fecund, spirit-saturated plane of existence, he also knew that Haitian bodies on earth required protection. I once asked him what the most powerful medicine was that he had ingested. He paused and gave me a long look, as if assessing whether I was ready to absorb this new piece of information. Then, he said, ‘A medicine you drink which will protect your life if you are shot at or stabbed with a machete.’ ‘Oh’, I said, and after I’d absorbed this information, asked, ‘So what plants do you use?’ But Georgie shook his head solemnly. ‘No, it’s better you don’t know’, he said, ‘because even though the medicine is powerful, when you are old and in your bed you will suffer a lot, and you will not be able to die peacefully because the spirit which is here [he points to his belly] is still alive and only a bokor [sorcerer] can call in Legba who can remove it.’7 He told me that, despite the risk, he knew Haitians in town who had taken this protective medicine. Others made petro loa (pacts with the devil) in which they pledged ‘blood for money,’ a practice not generally condoned by voodoo practitioners like his grandmother, Georgie added. When I asked why some requests for money were associated with the devil, Georgie said it was because such pacts required stronger blood sacrifices in exchange for the lwa’s gift. Instead of chickens, pigs, or goats, the lwa might demand more. He quickly moved on to another topic. Perhaps the prohibition of this kind of practice served as a social critique on money’s power to neutralize the social obligations that motivated reciprocal exchange and therefore created a society in which the people no se pega (didn’t stick).8 Nonetheless, fear and respect through magic, money-making, reputation, and sometimes even the threat of violence—these qualities expand one’s social space in Las Ballenas even as they stigmatize and immobilize Haitian bodies. Towards the end of my fieldwork, life circumstances seemed to have soured for Georgie. A concho dealer shared that Georgie was behind in his motorcycle payments and his concho would likely be repossessed at the end of the month. Politur (police) had recently jailed Georgie for ‘bothering a gringa,’ though Georgie insisted the woman called him over, and he was only giving her directions to a waterfall, a site he visited often to leave offerings for the lwa. Then, after accusing him of stealing his own motorcycle, police confiscated his passport. Georgie told me he was able to avoid jail by paying a $30 bribe to the police but was upset about losing his documentation. In 2009, I tried to locate Georgie but the Haitian settlement he had last occupied was torn down, new neighbors did not recall him, and he seemed to have vanished. 4. State borderwork Borders always imply the existence of rules and can be located through identifications that map the edges of national, moral, or economic territories. As Mary Douglas explains: Ideas about separating, purifying, demarcating, and punishing transgressions have, as their main function, to impose system on an inherently untidy experience. It is only by exaggerating differences between within and without, above and below, male and female, with and against, that a semblance of order is created. (1966: 4) Borders simultaneously connect and divide various subjects and categories, masking how integrated and mutually defining these identifications really are. In so doing, they construct limits around what is called, in the Caribbean context, ‘wife’ and ‘concubine,’ ‘businessman’ and ‘criminal,’ ‘corruption’ and ‘free market,’ ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ economy, and ‘Dominican’ and ‘Haitian.’ People who strategically challenge these categories of identification are motivated by what material or psychosocial advantages they might gain or lose. Borderwork then, is, in part, the actual work of building up, or tearing down, the walls that protect inequality and preserve established hierarchies and entitlements through advancement strategies that capitalize on fear and respect. Borderwork also refers to the dialectical forces of territorialization and de-territorialization; the unlimited and chaotic world of micro politics nested within the ordered and clearly differentiated world of macro politics that lead to contradictory spaces where global capital confronts localized meanings. Historic borders of difference based on race and economics drive the naturalization process that continues to penalize Haitian-Dominicans or Haitian migrant workers. ‘The fear of the Dominican Republic, of being pulled down to the level of Haiti economically and the ‘blackening’ of the country, has been an obsession of Dominican politicians for well over a century’, says university law professor David Abraham (Coto and Lopez 2013). Indeed, the DR still celebrates its independence day not from Spain, but from the 20-year Haitian ‘invasion.’ The demarcation of the contested border between Haiti and the DR was achieved in 1936, after 250 years of conflict. The following year, President Rafael Trujillo ordered the Haitian massacre known as El Corte (the cutting) as part of a nationalization campaign to fortify the border. An estimated 20,000 Haitian and Dominican-Haitian men, women, and children were killed by Dominican hands (Turits 2003: 161). The massacre was a rare case of ethnic cleansing in which the ideology of hate followed the killing. Unlike other cases of ethnic cleansing in the twentieth century, no prior state policy, local tension, international conflict, official ideology, or escalating attacks has signaled the possibility of such state-directed carnage (Turits 2003: 167). Only following the massacre did the Trujillo regime sponsor virulent anti-Haitian rhetoric decrying supposed Haitian backwardness and savagery; effectively prohibiting Haitian migration through the 500 peso immigration fee (1939); and frequently and bitterly condemning the history of a ‘Pacific invasion’ by Haitian migrants in culturally racist rather than simply territorial and political terms. The regime took traditional elite prejudices against popular Haitian culture, excoriating its ‘African’-ness, Creolized French, and above all, the ‘superstitions’ and ‘fetishism’ of voodoo, and circulated them as official ideology (Turits 2003: 17) What followed was that a ‘white supremacist model of mestizaje [mixed race]’ rhetorically displaced blackness onto Haitians and created a ‘native’ alternative to both foreign whiteness and blackness through the creation of the lo indio (Indian) category (Candelario 2007). Today in the context of ideals such as development, democracy, freedom, and prosperity, which threaten to undermine certain social constructions of difference, boundaries, as forms of localized knowledge, continue to be reworked and acted upon to establish difference anew. The notion of belonging—the social glue that Dominicans term confianza, continues to be threatened when people and ideas cross borders, ‘leaving spaces where they “belong” and entering those where they do not’ (Torpey 2000: 12), creating intermixed spaces of uncertainty. ‘All margins are dangerous … any structure of ideas is vulnerable at its margins’ (Douglas 1966: 121). The Dominican state continues to capitalize upon ‘nativeness,’ a category more flexible than race or gender, to naturalize the nation, criminalize Haitian bodies and impose order.9 In 2013, the DR’s highest court ruled that, starting from 1929, thousands of people born to ‘illegal migrants,’ including those recruited to work on sugarcane plantations, be identified as ‘stateless’ or ‘perpetually in transit’ and stripped of their citizenship. Due to international pressure, however, a law was passed the following year allowing children born to foreign parents to be citizens, provided they could prove they were born in-country, were in the civil registry, and had Dominican government identification documents known as cédulas or birth certificates, criteria disqualifying much of the nation’s underclass (Figure 8). According to a 2012 survey, an estimated 524,000 foreign-born migrant workers in the country were at risk of deportation, 90 percent of them Haitian (Ahmed 2015). By June 2015 the Dominican government claimed only 240,000 foreign migrant workers had started the registration process (Krayewski 2015). Figure 8. View largeDownload slide Dominican-Haitians claiming their right to citizenship. Source: Photo in articles by Marta Florian/efe (2017) and Cristian Cabrera (2014). Figure 8. View largeDownload slide Dominican-Haitians claiming their right to citizenship. Source: Photo in articles by Marta Florian/efe (2017) and Cristian Cabrera (2014). Given the logic of the global neoliberal capitalist economy, then, the DR finds itself in the same predicament as all other nation-states whose prosperity seems to be reliant on, yet threatened by, the friction and flow of borders (Figure 9). On one hand, the state is required to open its borders and deregulate, facilitating the inflow of wealth; on the other hand, it must regulate flows by establishing enclaves of competitive advantage to attract the right kind of transnational capital and the ‘right’ kinds of tourists while deporting the rest. This all points to how the Dominican postcolonial state is caught in a Catch 22 whereby it must mystify its contradictory role and aggressive will to rule amidst neoliberal claims promoting democracy, human rights, and civil society. It attempts to conceal its limited ability to order space using legal or bureaucratic disciplinary tactics, which causes the DR government to be complicit in extralegal arrangements with those who fall outside of the nation-state legal boundaries: squatters, ‘illegal migrants,’ informal workers who occupy temporary autonomous zones where space is returned to the realm of ‘communitas.’ Its politicians deny that the state routinely opens the border to Haitian cheap labor and trade even as its police regularly deport Haitian migrants. The domination of the informal economy on the island itself reveals the failure of neoliberal ideals, such as progress through development schemes, as well as the enduring structural violence embedded and concealed in transnational capitalist flows. Figure 9. View largeDownload slide The thriving border of Dajabon. Source: Photo by Sara A. Fajardo/Catholic Relief Services (photo permission granted by Sara Fajardo (2009) and her CRS editor). Figure 9. View largeDownload slide The thriving border of Dajabon. Source: Photo by Sara A. Fajardo/Catholic Relief Services (photo permission granted by Sara Fajardo (2009) and her CRS editor). 5. Money-making magic and hypercompetition While during the slave trade, narratives around cannibalism and zombies represented the European anxiety around boundaries of consumption, today they seem to reflect contemporary anxieties amongst Dominican villagers around rising living costs and class expectations that accompany conditions of hypercompetition. Motoconcho drivers I interviewed, for example, paid 1,000 pesos a day (US$30) to rent motorcycles (which cost around RD37,000 or US$1,210) meaning that even during high tourism season, few drivers like Georgie earned enough to cover the rent, let alone make a profit. At the same time, the psychosocial benefits of displaying commodities as signs of prestige outweighed this political-economic reality for many villagers. Every week I witnessed the repo man’s circular pilgrimage through the village, kicking up dust as he loaded up furniture, vehicles, and appliances and neighbors chatted with each other, cheerfully plotting how they would secure their possessions once again the following week. In Las Ballenas, Haitian men often worked in construction or as taxi drivers; Haitian women were skilled traders and moneylenders (prestamistas) in the region’s thriving informal economy—albeit another sign to Dominicans of possessing productive magical capacities. In fact, the Haitian woman has long been associated with both money and magic. An early twentieth-century American traveler noted the ‘exception to moral decay of tropicalized whites and black males is the Haitian woman who presides over business, and is the custodian of money. The trade of the interior is almost exclusively in the hands of women’ (Bonsal 1912: 116). More recently, at a 1972 conference among Dominican academics on ‘the black woman,’ speakers acknowledged that Haitian women were continuing to play their historical role as moneylenders, ‘who many times are the intermediaries between the strong capitalist and the workers that take the loaned money’ (Hernandez 1972: 7). The Dominican neighbors in the village I lived in often described Haitian women as tigueres, a term previously reserved for men during the Trujillo dictatorship (1930–61) to describe savvy, clever hustlers but increasingly used to describe ambitious local women—both Dominican and Haitian (Figure 10).10 Figure 10. View largeDownload slide Common painting of Haitian Market Women sold in tourist area. Figure 10. View largeDownload slide Common painting of Haitian Market Women sold in tourist area. Miranda, a Haitian moneylender in her 40s, fitted this description. She told me she had started loaning money to Dominican FTZ workers at Grupo M, who assembled clothing, in exchange for their ATM cards as collateral. Every payday she would go to the ATM machines after employees had been paid by direct deposit and withdraw the weekly pay of each person who had a loan, giving the balance to the employee. Eventually she had up to 40 cards in her hands every payday. One of her Dominican clients asked her for a loan of RD$50,000. Miranda smiled and shook her head as she told me that the woman was still paying 5,000 pesos a month after two years and still owed the original RD$50,000. Miranda became so successful that she was able to buy a concrete house outside the capital and a used sport-utility vehicle. In her manipulation of market dynamics within informal economies, Miranda was viewed by many of her Dominican clients, not without some resentment, as a tiguere with magical gifts. Increasing debt, built on an increased desire for positional goods to acquire status (among the youth, chulo or cool) and worsened by rising costs of living, added to the strain of contentious relationships in Las Ballenas. Traditional mechanisms of kinship or patronage networks based on reciprocity and communal exchange were weakening, and sources of income for landless migrants were limited. Some Dominicans took desperate measures. One week, a Dominican security guard consumed liquid Drano after his North American employers, whom he considered patrons, denied him another loan, ‘to teach him self-sufficiency.’ His neighbors shook their heads and prayed they did not become the victims of such ‘bad luck.’ Amidst these unknown magical forces of the market, female Haitian moneylenders found themselves in a lucrative but delicate role. Other Haitian women worked as vendors, braiding tourists’ hair as they sunbathed on the sand, or sold sweets that mistrustful Dominicans told me not to eat. Rumors and actual incidents of poisoning documented by colonial governors persist today in the form of expat anxiety that island women will poison (and seduce) their men and island thieves will poison their security dogs, which Haitians tell me can ‘smell black skin.’ My first experience with this paranoia occurred when I ran into a Dominican security guard one afternoon whom I thought was coveting my delicious coconut snack. Having learned quickly that sharing is expected in any social situation involving food, I asked if he wanted a taste. He grimaced and told me I should be careful because it was likely poisoned by the Haitian woman who sold it to me. He explained Haitians were ‘like animals’ and you never knew what they were up to. ‘You know,’ he said, ‘they even eat people.’ He pointed to a cow placidly grazing in the distance. ‘Sometimes they even turn the bodies that are not-quite-dead into cows and then eat them.’ However, Dominicans also expressed admiration over the perceived Haitian ability to manipulate the unseen and mysterious powers of love/desire and the market, as was clear in the popularity of the local witch, who was not Haitian but earned her reputation as a witch for her knowledge of Haitian magic (Figure 11). La Bruja learned her craft from Haiti, where she continued to procure her medicines: quassia to expel the intestinal worms, red sage to induce menstrual bleeding, sarsaparilla to purge the liver. Her situation had improved over the years, and she eventually moved out of her sparse wooden hut with its dirt floor and smoky hearth in the center and into a concrete house, sponsored by the local government. But she still slept on the same ash-stained mattress and wore her purple satin skirt and flowered blouse until they were in tatters and reeked of smoke and rum. Her powers involved pretty standard brujeria, mixing love potions to secure foreign attachments and neutralizing the effects of evil eyes, reading coffee grounds in the cup, saying prayers for visas, and laying on hands to cure aches and pains. She did not have a cell phone but, like Georgie, proudly recited the list she had of foreigner’s cell phone numbers to emphasize her status. She also recited from memory lengthy herbal prescriptions in a stream-of-consciousness fashion in rhyming verse. She often drew from the cell phone numbers of foreigners, as well as imagery from her dreams, to play the local lottery and always promised to split the proceeds if you bought the ticket. Figure 11. View largeDownload slide La Bruja, the village witch, who emphasized how her medicines and magic derived from Haiti. Other healers reject the title of bruja and instead describe how they ‘work’ with los seres or misterios (the spirits) as caballos (horses) who are subir (‘mounted’) or possessed by them. Healers may also be parteras (midwives), botanistas (herbalogists) and psychics, reading cups or cards. Figure 11. View largeDownload slide La Bruja, the village witch, who emphasized how her medicines and magic derived from Haiti. Other healers reject the title of bruja and instead describe how they ‘work’ with los seres or misterios (the spirits) as caballos (horses) who are subir (‘mounted’) or possessed by them. Healers may also be parteras (midwives), botanistas (herbalogists) and psychics, reading cups or cards. At the same time, villagers feared Haitians for their supposed uncivilized appetites (cannibalism) and ability to shape-shift and steal the life force of others. A Dominican policeman described how a Haitian coworker fell in love with the policeman’s friend’s wife, but she rejected him. So when the Dominican was away, the Haitian man allegedly broke in, violated the woman, and then brutally hacked her up with a machete so that her husband found her in pieces in a large cooking pot. This last detail is interesting because it copied the colonial ‘eye-witness accounts’ of early travel writers who recorded the ‘aftermath’ of the cannibal scene, which often consisted of merely a few bones in a cooking pot. As in most stories recounting Haitian monstrosity, the Haitian conveniently shape-shifts into a dog and flees. Thus, the practice of shape-shifting, while allowing Haitian bodies to enlarge their social space by escaping containment, also provided a convenient way for Dominicans to stigmatize Haitians by placing them in the criminal scene. Similarly, a Dominican maid explained how the local witch remained recognizable (and thus culpable) even in her animal form. Sometimes she’s up on the house in the form of a dog, or cat, or bird, but I know it is her because I have the goose skin as if I were cold. Other times she’s up in the tree, but if you know the right prayers, the ‘Our Father,’ the tree will shake and a dead bird might fall out. Or maybe you will see her the next day, leaning against the tree, complaining, ‘Oh, I feel sick.’ In a Lefebvrian sense, flying and shape-shifting, through fostering alternative bodily rhythms of mobility and inhabiting space, are spatial strategies that resist linear space/time constructs and exceed bureaucratic controls. As such, flying and shape-shifting are disapproved of by foreign missionaries. When evangelical neighbors expressed concern that the witch was ‘flying’ at night and ‘sucking the breath of children,’ her husband ‘cut her’ with a machete (she showed me the scabby nicks on her scalp) to ‘let the blood’ and the ‘demons’ from her head to immobilize her. Such anxiety around magic creates the justification for the management of Haitian bodies. Youth in particular had to be protected. Babies were immediately anointed with an apodo (nickname) and a charm of a black fist, known as an asabache and attached by a red cord to their wrists, to thwart wayward witches and their ‘evil eyes.’ If young people died suddenly of mysterious complications, witchcraft was suspected. A Dominican pilot told me he believed his cousin’s Haitian boyfriend had ‘sucked’ the life out of her as she was convalescing following a motorcycle taxi accident. She had been on the mend when suddenly, after his visit, she mysteriously died. When I asked what the motive would be for such a crime, the pilot explained, ‘to steal her youth and sell it’ in order to pay off an outstanding debt. The Dominican obsession with stories of Haitian body snatchers, zombies, and bloodsuckers recall old ‘fears that Haitian value and procreative power were sucking the very blood of life from the Dominican nation’ (Derby 1994: 526).11 The broader socioeconomic conditions from which the vampire narrative emerges can be compared to the chupacabra (goat vampire) in Puerto Rico or the vampires of the Andes who feed off of the blood or extract the body fat from sleeping subjects (Derby 2008). In line with Marxists, these narratives interpret industrial capitalism as inherently vampiristic, sustaining itself off the blood of workers and creating commodities out of fetishized, material forms of alienated labor. In an environment where landless Dominicans and Haitians alike compete for informal jobs, including sex work, the zombie narrative in particular can be read as reflecting the anxiety among both parties surrounding the possibility of being transformed into a monstrous ko-kadav (physical body) stripped of agency and degraded by exploitive labor. Whether flying or grounded on earth, in the Haitian cosmology, the body is ‘the fundamental synthesizing agency that weaves the world into meaning and the source of emerging knowledge, value, and signification’ (Bakare-Yusef 2003: 7). 6. Borderwork, space and tigueraje Sovereign power is always a tentative and unstable project whose efficacy and legitimacy depend on repeated performances of violence and a ‘will to rule.’ In the past, colonial powers asserted their sovereign will to rule upon the colonies through what Lefebvre (1991) refers to as the abstract production of space using forms of representation (travel writing), statecraft (miscegenation laws), and technocratic knowledge (Cartesian mapping, surveys, linear time). State systems today continue to produce spatial arrangements of social action and routine. Sites of borderwork conflict in the village occurred at every level from nation-building campaigns to labor contract disputes to the management of intimate sexual relations. Certificates of good conduct are awarded or denied to the professional worker while, as noted earlier, identity papers were, until recently, denied to Haitian immigrants who were deemed perpetually ‘in transit’ to mark spaces of good labor and citizenship. The procurement of these indispensable legitimizing papers continues to require capital and savvy to navigate a tangled web of corrupt bureaucracy. For even as Haitians are denied their papers, counter-hegemonic forces produce a thriving underground black market for forged documents that certify land title, labor permits, and identities for those who cannot gain access to them by ‘legitimate’ means. The practices of those with less power still demarcate edges to block flows. Therefore, to understand and theorize the social construction of boundaries requires recognition of their dual role as power markers that define, legitimate, and symbolize rules as well as recognition of how boundaries act as focal points for resistance to those rules. The concept of borderwork aims to capture the dynamic whereby social agents on different sides of specific boundaries of identity and place simultaneously fortify, undermine, and strategically manipulate those boundaries to their own social advantage. Boundaries mark gradients of power that limit or promote mobility and also invite transgressive strategizing on the part of those they intend to constrain. For example, the solid and arbitrary border with Haiti that marks racialized spaces of citizenship and ‘imagined community’ also dissolves into ‘leaks’ through the informal trade transactions that evade national accounts. Because of leakages from ‘above’ tigueres emerge from ‘below’ as mediators between villagers and authorities, deftly navigating networks of patronage to attain resources, extort various persons over property titles, organize public demonstrations or strikes for local political parties, serve as informers to police or INTERPOL, and bail out local thieves or prostitutes. Because they act as agents of both the state (police) and the subaltern (villagers), they are simultaneously inside and outside the state’s sphere of influence. Tigers are fundamentally ambiguous tricksters and, as such, may subvert or support various hegemonies as se aprovechan de otros (they take advantage of others). Tigueraje provides a rational means for a disenfranchised population to oppose state and transnational development that excludes them. The term tiguere is believed to originate in association with those who resisted state oppression under the dictator Trujillo (Turits 2003); it also is attributed to the dictator himself for his ruthlessness and womanizing. Tigueraje describes the strategies of the Dominican antihero who acquires his reputation through subverting the respectable values and formal structures of the larger hegemonic society. He may do so by acting out lower-class macho ‘street behavior,’ such as fighting, drinking, and womanizing; in addition, the tiger indexes such qualities as selfish opportunism, deception, and greed in a way that is both valorized and condemned. Tigueraje is a good example of how residents in Las Ballenas disrupt space and contribute to the friction of borderwork. In producing counter-hegemonic space, tigueraje describes one way Dominicans seek to reject exploitive relationships with outsiders and advance themselves or their families. In their skillful maneuvering through the contradictory spaces generated by localized meanings confronting the abstract global flows of late capitalism, tigueres attain a kind of magical aura, which, in the case of Haitian brokers, can enlarge social space even as it is stigmatizing. Successful tiguere Haitian brokers, such as Haitian market women and moneylenders or buscones, are both admired and feared for their ‘magical’ ability to negotiate the contradictions around inclusion/exclusion, contamination/ hybridity, and porous/closed borders in a modern, depersonalized global economy. 7. Rupture as the space to dream Migrants became aware of who they are and the hierarchies in which they are ensconced at the intersection of multiple borders that include subjective ‘lived space’. Lefebvre (1991) believed that moments of revelation, arising from a feeling of collective solidarity, could be experienced within the realm of lived space, a kind of sensual and embodied antithesis to the normative every day, life beyond utility. Such an experience may counter the alienation produced under zones of high social and economic control, depending on the degree to which the dominant relations of production have become internalized. When we confront hegemonic forces and disrupt established borders, Lefebvre (1991) terms this affective, lived space differential. This disruption can ‘help forge the ideals and relationships that help reanimate the world’ (Nordstrom 2012: 16) through reinvigorating webs of relationships and moral economies that evoke social justice or even mobilize forces against abusive power. It implicates those of us who carry passports. Every negotiation or encounter, from bargaining over the price of an avocado to the police sweep of a disco to the eviction of Haitians, has the potential to reinforce notions of exclusion or produce new blended or ‘hybrid’ cultural forms of belonging, such as that of the nomadic subject who actively constructs herself in an internally contradictory and complex set of social relations across a landscape without clear borders or exclusive ownership (Braidotti 2011). Some theorists emphasize the local capacity for imagination in such processes of indigenization, such as when squatter settlements or informal labor practices occupy formal spaces whereby foreclosed knowledge enters the public discourse and estranges the basis of authority (Bhabha 1994: 114). Through ‘imagined worlds’ villagers are able to ‘contest and subvert the imagined worlds of the official mind’ (Appadurai 1996: 32). The tearing down of walls that preserve such material and immaterial borders can happen in a moment of rupture, as when a photograph of a dead little boy wearing blue jeans washed up on shore circulates over the Internet and tears at the heart of the world. Ruptures, which mar the picturesque scenery of an aggressively marketed tourist paradise (Figure 12), are inevitable, despite the armed guards stationed at hotels and the tourist arm bands that mark the mobile from the immobile: Figure 12. View largeDownload slide Collage of postcards depicting village life. Figure 12. View largeDownload slide Collage of postcards depicting village life. A legless Dominican man drags himself over the sand to ask for money from a topless sunbathing French woman who covers herself from his gaze. A young Dominican girl with a crack addiction on a date with a German pensioner in an elegant hotel restaurant passes out on the floor in cardiac arrest and is carried out before the stunned clientele. A large, broad shouldered Dominican walks through town with a shovel cast over his shoulder and asks a group of foreign men at a pool hall to buy him a beer. They comply, and he then asks them to buy beer for his amigos, and every man in the place steps forward and look to the foreigners expectantly. A foreigner’s guard dog, a massive Rottweiler rumored to have killed the Dominican servant who was charged with feeding him, is poisoned with Clorox filled salami and washes up on the pristine shore. A single discursive act can differentiate and disturb the abstract construction of space—upsetting the picturesque view of a seascape or even the site of a worthy eco-project that privileges turtles over humans—and makes it more difficult to remain neutral and detached. Consider this example: a Dominican biology professor and a fisherman named El Negro went trolling the beaches one afternoon to count turtle eggs for one of her internationally funded eco-projects. When he noticed her shivering, he dug around in his old duffel bag and offered her a jacket, which she accepted and gratefully zipped up as they continued down the beach. At some point he stopped and asked her how she liked the jacket. ‘It’s nice, really warm’, she said. He nodded, smiled, and after awhile, stopped to ask her again how the jacket felt. ‘Is it too big?’ he asked, staring intently at the jacket. The professor laughed, ‘No, it’s fine, why?’ El Negro looked over the choppy slate-gray Caribbean Sea in the direction of Puerto Rico. ‘Well, I’ve got quite a collection of clothing from walking this beach over the years. I’m glad it fits. You just never know what’s going to wash ashore.’ And that is when she realized the direction of the tide, that the clothing this fisherman carried was the material evidence of unsuccessful flows from local passengers who hoped for a new life and boarded the yola-canoes, and that she was wearing a dead man’s jacket. When islanders overlay their social worlds (territorialize) upon the cliché of what is depicted or desired in the tourist brochure (miles and miles of empty white sand …) there can be jarring, uncanny moments when it suddenly becomes more difficult to glide past the encounter without some lingering trace or reaction. Freud would call it ‘the return of the repressed’ and Lefebvre would point to the structural violence that spawns such rupture, the coercive power of the state and capital including the marginalization of non-capitalist enterprise, the organization of both public and private consumption through advertising and state bureaucracy, and the extension of the rule of profit to non-productive actors within leisure spaces (Martins 1982: 170). Post-rupture one may move toward ‘utopian’ possibility or ‘tragic’ foreclosure; the latter, may haunt one’s consciousness as an unfulfilled possibility, a broken dream, a rejection of an ethical encounter with difference or a return to alienation. Precisely because this type of psychic discomfort is so incompatible with the illusory play world of Caribbean space, particularly with the hedonistic tropes so overused in branding the Caribbean, there are, simultaneously, redoubled efforts, backed with considerable power and resources, to prevent such encounters from happening. In this way, the tragic is always in tension with the banal, actively promoted and reproduced by state agencies and mass media, in a constant effort to manage risk and insulate life from the fallout of tragedy. But utopian possibilities are also embedded within the chaos of the everyday, which make such efforts at containment futile. 8. Conclusion In this work I have aimed to avoid the ‘territorial trap’ of conceptualizing borders as limits and instead to deepen a study of the border as mobile, perspectival and relational by focusing on the social interactions that give borders meaning (Rajaram and Grundy-Warr 2007: x). ‘Borderizations’ emphasize how the border ‘is not a material and fixed wall or fence, but the many-headed sum of policies and discourses generated by a variety of state and non-state actors,’ generating both ‘obstacles and opportunities for different sets of migrants’ (Soguk in Rajaram and Grundy-Warr 2007: xxxvii). For migrants, such barriers and facilitators to becoming socially and legally recognized take place through public performances and interactions and via processes of citizenship. ‘The borderscape is recognizable not in a physical location but tangentially in struggles to clarify inclusion from exclusion’ (Rajaram and Grundy-Warr 2007: xxviii). Postcolonial sovereignty in a globalized world continues to be formed through language and performance of ‘the law’; the marking of territories and populations as domains of sovereign authority; the inscription of power upon bodies; and the transnational movements of labor, experts, and refugees. When the production of space becomes hegemonic, it absorbs the daily aspirations, dreams, and desires of subaltern populations (their lived spaces) (Figure 14). But friction (the awkward, unequal, unstable, and creative qualities of interconnection across difference (Tsing 2005: 4) and tigueraje occur in dialectical relation to this process. The embodied practices of marginalized migrants—such as squatters, vendors, Haitians, and sex workers—propel the ongoing contestation over meaning in Las Ballenas. Table 1. Key national statistics for Haiti and the Dominican Republic Nation Population Life expectancy GDP Land area Haiti 10.7 million 63 years $8.023 billion (2016 World Bank) 27,560 sq. km Dominican Republic 10.5 million 73.7 years $71.58 billion (2016 World Bank) 48,730 sq. km Nation Population Life expectancy GDP Land area Haiti 10.7 million 63 years $8.023 billion (2016 World Bank) 27,560 sq. km Dominican Republic 10.5 million 73.7 years $71.58 billion (2016 World Bank) 48,730 sq. km Table 1. Key national statistics for Haiti and the Dominican Republic Nation Population Life expectancy GDP Land area Haiti 10.7 million 63 years $8.023 billion (2016 World Bank) 27,560 sq. km Dominican Republic 10.5 million 73.7 years $71.58 billion (2016 World Bank) 48,730 sq. km Nation Population Life expectancy GDP Land area Haiti 10.7 million 63 years $8.023 billion (2016 World Bank) 27,560 sq. km Dominican Republic 10.5 million 73.7 years $71.58 billion (2016 World Bank) 48,730 sq. km Figure 13. View largeDownload slide An empty yola (canoe) at sunset. Figure 13. View largeDownload slide An empty yola (canoe) at sunset. Figure 14. View largeDownload slide My Haitian neighbors who publicly converted to an Evangelist-Protestant faith (notice crucifix on the wall). Figure 14. View largeDownload slide My Haitian neighbors who publicly converted to an Evangelist-Protestant faith (notice crucifix on the wall). Coerced compliance and everyday practice create the structures that support belief in boundaries as essential, unquestioned categories which help fix one in space and lend form, substance, to what is otherwise unknown, nebulous, and uncomfortable. Boundaries, therefore, establish social rules and symbolize lines to be crossed as well as set limits to be extended. Border zones are places where different regimes of rules merge and destabilize each other. When ‘symbolic boundaries,’ acting as the medium through which people acquire status and monopolize resources, gain wide consensus they become ‘social borders’ where social differences can be objectified and manifest in unequal access to resources and social opportunities (Lamont and Molnar 2002). Within this hierarchy of difference, the cultural practice of making and sustaining boundaries (borderwork) protects and fortifies borders around identity and place, even as it exploits or transgresses them. To conclude, this has been an extensive examination of the intersectionality and spatialization of sociological concepts like ‘race,’ ‘class,’ ‘nation’ and to a lesser extent due to space constraints ‘gender.’ In linking the ‘real’ borders of bounded domains such as ‘nation’ with the conceptual borders of social categories such as ‘class,’ I emphasize the social construction of both. Both physical/national and social borders, policed by the empowered, invite transgression by the disempowered. Subjects who employ tigueraje successfully disrupt border logic, even if only temporarily, and are constituted at the intersection of multiple borders in specific local contexts. Policing (violence) and representation (discourse) produce a politics of inequality and manifest as material and immaterial borders that are ever contested and in a state of perpetual becoming. Funding This work was supported by the University of Illinois Provost and Alice Dan Dissertation Awards. Footnotes 1. According to historical accounts, the peninsula was the site where Columbus and indigenous peoples first shed blood (Cohen 1969). 2. These social spaces may be imagined as grim, dangerous, and constraining, a political border of predators, victims, and coyotes who arrange passage across zones or metaphorical and liberating, defined more by poets than police, a cultural zone ‘between stable places.’ 3. ‘Within this discourse of danger, several myths are perpetuated that construct the refugee as a potential source of pollution: the refugee causes unemployment and so pollutes the economy; the presence of the refugee indicates a loss of control over sovereign borders and so pollutes authority; the refugee weakens the national identity of the host society and so pollutes social cohesion; and the refugee brings disease and so pollutes the well-being of citizens’ 2007: 127). 4. Henri Lefebvre was a neo-Marxist who coined the phrase ‘The Right to the City’ during the late 1960s when Paris was becoming increasingly urbanized. Lefebvre developed his theory of space out of his concern over the omni-presence of urban space and planning. 5. For more on Globalization’s de-territorializing effects, see Appadurai (1996). 6. ‘Sedentary’ and ‘nomadic’ are the respective terms engaged by Deleuze and Guattari to consider peoples relationship to and use of the land they inhabit (Deleuze and Guattari 1986: 380). 7. Christophe was a general in the French and then Haitian revolution and became ruler of Haiti in 1806 after Haiti’s military ruler Jean Jacques Dessalines was assassinated. Christophe was a fan of Enlightenment philosophy and corresponded regularly with Thomas Clarkson, the English abolitionist. His marble-floored grand castle, the Citadelle la Ferrière, is impressive, built by 20,000 slave laborers and sitting on a bluff 3,000 feet high. In it, Christophe crowned himself king and reproduced a nobility consisting of four princes, eight dukes, twenty-two counts, thirty-seven barons, and fourteen knights (Vandercook 2004). Christophe became adept at dealing with the ‘grand blancs,’ or wealthy white French planters, while working in and managing a hotel in Le Cap, a major city of northern Saint-Domingue. But as king, Christophe’s people turned against him when he resisted the populist agrarian reform of the south. He ended up committing suicide, shooting himself with a silver bullet in 1820. 8. The lwa, or guardian of the crossroads. ‘His association with traffic, passport, and travel makes Legba, the master of doors and gateways, highways and crossroads, points of intersection and crossings of power. … He is the idea and the form, the transformative crossroad that everyone must pass through when working with spirit (Anderson 2015: 156).’ Every ceremony opens by greeting Legba and closes by saluting Gede, who is Master of the Dead. 9. In a similar vein, Colombian peasants and Bolivian miners associated the accumulation of money with the devil because of the friction and inequality it introduced, which threatened social cohesion (Taussig 1980). 10. A rare break in tensions occurred when the DR temporarily halted deportations of Haitians and helped with relief efforts after Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake, which killed an estimated 300,000 people. 11. For a historical account of Haitian market women see Mintz (1964) and for a more recent portrayal of market women as ‘informal commercial importers’ see Ulysse (2008) 12. For contrast, see the European colonist preoccupation with ‘the cannibal’ in early travel writing or the more recent figure of the chupacabra, who sucks the blood from goats and other means of subsistence for farmers all over Latin America and has been analysed as a metaphor or symbol for the United States’ neoliberal policies driving small farmers out of the means to make a living. Also of interest is Karl Marx’s description of industrial capitalism as vampiristic, parasitically living off the blood of workers. Commodities are fetishized materializations of alienated labor—literally the living flesh turned into a dead object (zombified)—in the consuming of which the producers life force (blood) are sucked dry (or absorbed/neutralized). Hegel, Marx, and Nietzsche all studied the master–slave relation as a parasitic one in which the master feeds, and becomes dependent upon, the slave. ‘Master, you eated me when I was meat, and now you must pick me when I am bone’ (Patterson 1982: 340, in Sheller 2003: 151). 13. Mary Louise Pratt (1992) uses the term ‘contact zone’ to describe when peoples first meet under conditions of ‘coercion, radical inequality, and conflict’ while still interacting in an improvizational way. Acknowledgements This account is based on 24 months of ethnographic fieldwork that took place between 2005 and 2009 in a northeastern coastal town of the Dominican Republic. I am grateful to all of those I encountered through my immersion into the flow and rhythm of village life, such as my neighbors with whom I shared countless cups of coffee with way too much sugar and buscones who offered me free rides to work on the whale-watching boat when the rains were heavy. 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Migration StudiesOxford University Press

Published: Aug 2, 2017

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