Intersections of (infra)structural violence and cultural inclusion: the geopolitics of minority cemeteries and crematoria provision.

Avril Maddrell, Danny McNally, Yasminah Beebeejaun, Katie McClymont, Brenda Mathijssen

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Building on embodied and de-colonial approaches to geopolitics, this
paper examines the relationship between forms of governance in
municipal cemetery and crematorium provision and the needs of
established minorities, arguing that inadequate infrastructure and
services can constitute harm. Crucially, it is contended that forms of
governance impact not only on the living, but also on perceptions of the
wellbeing of the dead. Grounded in a study of four towns in England and
Wales, the paper identifies firstly how intersectional identity
fundamentally shapes people’s experiences of deathscape governance;
secondly, the possibilities of infrastructural benefits of inclusive services;
and thirdly, the harms done by non-inclusive forms of governance,
implicit territoriality and inadequate infrastructure. This is evidenced in
the negative impact of municipal cemetery organization and
management on specific minority groups, such as inadequate burial
space, high burial costs, hinderances to timely rituals, and protracted
planning processes; as well as reduced access to services as a result of
government austerity measures. The conclusion calls for a wider
conceptualization of necropolitics, based on a critical-feminist-decolonial
geopolitics of deathscapes in multicultural societies, and offers insights
for the practical governance of inclusive cemeteries and crematoria.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTransactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 5 Feb 2021


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