March 2019



Antigone Re-imagined



Perhaps this is our task for the future: to challenge and exceed limits, like Antigone, while nevertheless maintaining our human contours, our human rights, our dignity and our own voice.

(Söderbäck, feminist readings of antigone, 13)


Two years after 2016 when the idea of interrogating ‘nomadism’ first dawned on me, I am writing again reflecting on International Women’s Day. This time I am thinking of /with Antigone, a figure that has been invested with so many readings, interpretations, philosophical ruminations and artistic expressions. I met Antigone in the midst of transcribing the stories that uprooted and displaced women have so generously shared with me. As Tina Chanter has concisely put it, ‘as many times as Antigone dies, she comes alive, reborn time and again, born anew each time she enters the theatrical stage, inserting herself into a new political history’ (feminist readings, 83) But what is it that has forced Antigone on the stage of narratives of displacement and travelling?

‘Memory is crucial for the survive of political life’ Fanny Söderbäck has noted in an Arendtian reading of Antigone’s insistence on burying her brother as an act of memoralization. (feminist readings, 83) In doing this however Antigone, has also inscribed herself in the scripts of history, becoming an actor and a spectator at once. In one of the stories I heard a young woman had indeed to bury her two brothers before escaping an oppressive political regime to join forces of resistance. Her story of following lines of flight is unique and unrepeatable and yet what connects her with other stories of displacement and movement via the figure of Antigone, is women’s desire to tell their stories as an expression of their will to rewrite their exclusion from oppressive regimes, defend their choice of civil disobedience, grasp their passage, claim their right to have rights and affirm their determination for new beginnings.



Please reference as : Maria Tamboukou (2019) ‘Diffractions, March 2019,