Epistemic Decolonization of Migration: Digital Witnessing of Crisis and Borders in For Sama
This chapter analyses how digital witnessing of migration in documentary auto-ethnography contributes towards epistemic decolonization. I focus on For Sama (Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts, 2019) as a case study, a letter-film that memorializes key events in al-Kateab’s everyday life during the Syrian Civil War that shaped her decision to migrate to Europe. By considering the relation between documentary, citizen media, and decoloniality, I argue that digital witnessing in For Sama provides affective access to migration motivations that challenges their reductionist categorization and pluralizes audience understanding of ‘crisis’ and ‘borders’.
Keywords: Decoloniality of knowledge • Borderscape • Documentary auto-ethnography • Crisis ordinariness • Migrant Voices