Home on the Move

The Negotiated Meaning of Home for Refugees in London

15 November 2018
Versione stampabile

Venue: Sociology Building, via Verdi, 26 (Trento) - Room 10 - 1st Floor
Time: 4:00 pm

Speaker:

  • Helen Taylor - University of East London

Chair:

  • Paolo Boccagni - Università degli Studi di Trento

 

The concept of home is central to the study of forced migration: a refugee is, very loosely, someone who has lost or been driven from their home and is seeking a new one elsewhere. However, the discourses surrounding migration – both popular and theoretical – have led to a limited understanding of what home means for a refugee. Home is often reduced to a ‘here’ or ‘there’ dichotomy, rights of residency or citizenship, the success or failure of settlement in a new environment, or the desirability or likelihood of ‘return’.
However, arguably more important are the patterns of belonging which emerge from the ongoing and negotiated construction of home in challenging circumstances, a project which is by its nature always unfinished and is writ large for those forced to migrate. This seminar will look at the central importance of the idea of home for refugees, proposing a more complex and provisional reading of home, which takes into account spatial, temporal, relational and material elements.
Drawing on narrative research with Greek and Turkish Cypriots living in protracted exile, as well as the case study of a refugee supper club project in East London, it explores how meaning is attributed to places, people and lived experience during journeys into exile and in daily life in the world city.