‘To outline the experience of the migrant worker and to relate this to what surrounds him – both physically and historically’ John Berger has asserted, is to grasp more surely the political reality of the world at this moment’. The ‘this moment’ that Berger was referring to was 1970s Europe. At that time migration was largely the province of men. Parodying the myth of infinite substitution and the denial of the migrant worker’s susceptibility and finitude in global capitalism, Berger wrote,
'So far as the economy of the metropolitan country is concerned,migrant workers are immortal: immortal because continually interchangeable.They are not born:they are not brought up and they do not age:they do not get tired:they do not die.'
Along with the capacity for mobility, reinvention and resilence required of migrants, there is another more infirm side to our world on the move that deserves greater recognition and understanding. Attending to the situation of the migrant at times of illness and death is to open ourselves to the coming together of two of the most radical thresholds of bodily estrangement and vulnerability: the movement across territories and from life to death.