“Angry …and Hurt and … Just Messed Up” and Still Fighting: Analyzing the Mothering Activism of Vivian Tuccaro, Mother of Amber Tuccaro
This article contributes to the growing body of research on grieving mothers who have turned to activism to publicize the loss of a loved one, to raise awareness, and to advocate for justice (Baydar and İvegen; Bejarano; Burchianti; Karaman; Savarese). In publicizing their grief, the mothers stressed that their loved ones were persons whose loss was deeply felt. Mothering scholars and advocates have demonstrated how the women effectively used their collective suffering as a basis for social change (e.g., Karaman).
This article analyzes Alberta-based mother, Vivian Tuccaro, who has advocated for justice on behalf of her daughter, Amber Tuccaro, since she disappeared over a decade ago. In this article, Vivian Tuccaro’s advocacy, supported by her son, Paul, and her community, is scrutinized for its lessons on the promotion of justice in the aftermath of a daughter’s disappearance. This article highlights the Tuccaro family’s grief as, tragically, one of many families affected by the loss of a murdered daughter. It also stresses their work to commemorate Amber’s life. As the article discusses, the Tuccaro family’s advocacy has taken many forms, including participating in news conferences and news stories, filing a complaint regarding law enforcement failings, establishing Facebook pages, testifying before national forums, and hosting memorial round dances, which is a particular focus of this paper. The memorial dances are a demonstration of decolonial grief that remaps mourning into spaces, thereby unsettling some of the dominant ordering and indifference that propels violence. As Karyn Recollet states “Indigenous round dances that produce spatial tags are symbologies of Indigenous motion. As such, they become tremendously meaningful as filling rupturous spaces with love” (“Glyphing” 136).
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