Homo Consumable: Human Trafficking and Waste in Fernando A. Flores's Tears of the Trufflepig
AbstractFernando A. Flores’s 2019 work Tears of the Trufflepig deals with, among other topics, the commodification and fetishization of disenfranchised human beings. The novel describes how a previously extinct indigenous community, the Aranaña people, is being artificially brought back into existence to enrich and expand the global black market via the shrinking and selling of their heads. Through the analysis of how shrunken heads, or tsantsas, are depicted in the story, together with the examination of the portrayal of South Texas as a landfill (therefore implying that its inhabitants are, by extension, human waste), the aim of this paper is to describe the process through which those who are considered ‘redundant’ or even ‘disposable’ can easily be transformed into a product for consumption. Ultimately, in the context of neoliberal capitalism, the story seems to suggest that not only can the category of ‘waste’ be applied to human beings, but even worse, that this categorizationproves to be a social construct driven by purely economic factors.
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Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Grant numbers PID2019-106798GB-I00