Video: Linda Pappagallo on absence and accumulation in Tunisia

Entitled ‘Partir pour rester?’ (‘To leave in order to stay?’), Linda Pappagallo’s doctoral research focused on the pastoral economy in a community called Douiret, in the south of Tunisia.

In this short video, Linda discusses how the accumulation of capital is influenced by different forms of absence.

Pastoral economies are often thought of as marginal areas from which people emigrate, leading to decline. But Linda’s research suggests that absence can also be a different way of being present, and accumulation can take place in flexible ways across generations.

In the case of Douiret, even when people leave, some return, visit, or remain involved and in touch from a distance. In Douiret, the khlata (an autonomous, adaptable, informal institution which enables people to pool livestock, land and labour) supports mobility and flexible forms of accumulation.

Linda’s research challenges assumptions about how lives and economies are changing in agrarian settings, by showing how pastoralism can persist despite absence.

Find out more

During the research, Linda used visual methods to explore pastoral life in Douiret and beyond. Collections of photography, illustrations and video are available as part of the exhibition website Seeing Pastoralism.

Partir Pour Rester (

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