Traces of Migration: Postcards Between Switzerland and Brazil, 1900–1930

Author(s) : Stefan Wellgraf

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« In postcard images, affiliations and imaginations are interwoven in complex ways in transnational social fields. It is such connections that will be discussed in this chapter by analysing postcard communication between Switzerland and Brazil from about 1900 to 1930. In the first part, I systematise some of the image motifs and text fragments found in the postcards by connecting them to the themes of longing and nostalgia as well as to visions of progress and modernity. By digging into family secrets and the collective unconscious of the Swiss in Brazil, in the second section, I ask what remains hidden or unsaid in the postcards. And in the third and final section, I reflect on the material dimension of postcards, by reconstructing their production, circulation, and exchange, as well as the spectrum of themes alluded to on the postcards. »

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