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Waiting in Queues under Dictatorship Basma Abdel Aziz A queue can be a powerful and effectively disgracing tool, used by bureaucratic dictatorships in order to dominate people. An image of queueing I witnessed a while ago still stays with me. A group of ex- tremely poor people, mostly elderly women, were queueing under a burning sun in front of a public office. They were waiting their turn to meet officials to ask them to put their names back on the list for social welfare, so they could get access to the subsidised food stuff. They were queueing because

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Rafael L. Trujillo dictatorship from 1930-1961, when “anti-Haitianism took on the rank of reasons of State” (ibid: 64-65) and was inextricably written into the dictatorial discourse of Dominican national identity. Trujillo’s conception of the new Dominican modern nation that he was creating relied fundamen- tally on a differentiation from and vilification of its neighbor that was violently put into practice when the dictatorship’s forces massacred over thirty thousand Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent on Dominican territory in October 1937. Thereafter

waiting in queues in a fictive country to illustrate how the whole of life under a dictatorship is turned into a queue, in which citizens wait for orders from “the Gate.” Read her excellent essay on queues under dic- tatorship in this volume. 5   Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958). 6   Basma Abdel Aziz, The Queue (New York: Melville House, 2016). Golrokh Nafisi140 Golrokh Nafisi, Queues, 2020. Image courtesy and © the artist

descent, as a vibrant voice particularly among non-Hispanic Caribbeans in North America (Laguerre 1998; Jackson 2011). It also has much to do with concurrent developments in Haiti itself over the course of this period of heightened outmigration: dictatorships, military overthrows, coups, embargos, and most tragically, the earthquake of 2010. The few years since that catastrophe, have wit- nessed yet another assertion of the Haitian communities that are collective- ly referred to as the Haitian diaspora, as an important element in discussions of recovery and

experiences of displace- ment and exile: he is Kurdish, from Ilam Province and is the product of generations of resistance against power; was born after the Iranian Revolution, had a rural upbringing and was educated while a religious dictatorship was in power, forced to f lee as an adult (for political rea- sons related to his journalism and cultural advocacy) and tried to seek asylum in Australia by boat. I have Persian ethnicity and come from a family that have experienced various forms of persecution, born be- fore the Iranian Revolution and left Iran as a child

- ticular political acts such as constitutions and elections — then trust is to be realised on a double level: trusting the practice as such and trusting the acts of that practice. For instance, I trust that politics cre- ates freedom by making possible a collective form of self-determina- tion in which the people decide their own fate, not monarchs or finance capital or priests or private interests. But, given the repeated failures of a series of otherwise genuine revolutionary movements ending in dictatorship, I hardly trust this or that political act promising a

favored anti-communists and the Chinese merchant class.9 This was accentuated under President Fulgencio Batista, who installed a pro-U.S. dictatorship through a coup d’état in 1952. Also under Batista, “[u]pper-class Chinese merchants enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with Cuban politicians […]” (López 2013: 223). The Alianza had already been dissolved in 1951 due to economic problems; in 1955 its official registration was canceled. On the other hand, towards the end of the 1950s, the Cold War ideology endorsed by the Batista regime also had a

generation live under the conditions of strong dictatorship and unlimited compulsory military service described above and, fol- lowing the example of the previous generations, often decide to go into exile to seek refuge and a better life abroad. Eritrea, indeed, played host to a wide diasporic process during the thirty-year struggle for independence: about one million Eri- treans went into exile, although they maintained strong links with EPLF guerrillas through providing them with financial and political support (Al-Ali, Black, and Koser 2001). This form of long

, London: Routledge, S. 161-185. Ilger, Volker (2008): CARE-Paket & Co. Von der Liebesgabe zum Westpaket, Darmstadt: Primus. Jagodzinski, Wolfgang (2000): »Religiöse Stagnation in den neuen Bundeslän- dern: Fehlt das Angebot oder fehlt die Nachfrage?«, in: Detlef Pollack/Gert Pickel (Hg.), Religiöser und kirchlicher Wandel in Ostdeutschland 1989- 1999, Opladen: Leske + Budrich, S. 48-69. Jarausch, Konrad H. (1999): »Care and Coercion: The GDR as Welfare Dictator- ship«, in: Ders. (Hg.), Dictatorship as Experience. Towards a Socio-Cultural History of the GDR, New