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What does it mean to speak of the labor demanded of the dead or dying? My grandmother, my mother tells me, died years ago. The being who lies now in a hospital bed in Beirut’s southern suburbs, vacant-eyed and gape-mouthed, is a husk. 

I look at spaces of Nubian women in displacement and their shadow economy with an emic lens; I try to explicate this material, social, and emotional economy that is now discounted in value by both its members and state agents.

This conversation is part of an ongoing series of our collective reflections on labor, neoliberal consciousness, and coping/surviving. In sharing this as a transcribed conversation, we want to expand the space in which we talk about these struggles, and do so in a format that feels faithful to how we use conversation as care in our friendship.