Accepted paper:

Palestinian cultural expressions of home in Britain: displacement, place and belonging


Stephanie Anna Loddo (EHESS)

Paper short abstract:

This paper focuses on how Palestinians in Britain imagine and experience home through a shared history, travel practices and the articulation of cultural rootedness with cultural hybridity, in relation to dimensions of power such as class, gender and generation.

Paper long abstract:

This paper focuses on the cultural expression of home among Palestinians living in Britain. Palestinian experience of displacement and movement has historically been based on a traumatic uprooting and a shared sense of dislocation, estrangement, and uprootedness. My ethnographic findings in Britain indicate that a great deal of the resources of that specific diaspora is invested in the construction and perpetuation of all sorts of ties and loyalties towards the homeland and the community. However, being on the move surely characterises the Palestinian condition, and Palestinian identities have been to a great extent forged and transformed through the many episodes of displacements that have historically marked the diaspora. Similarly, Palestinian constructions of belonging in Britain reflect a variety of positionalities and attachments in which are articulated practices of rootedness and mobility.

Focusing on how home is imagined and experienced through a shared memory and history, travel practices and the articulation of cultural rootedness with cultural hybridity, I will explore how Palestinian conceptions of home relate to the tensions and negotiations emerging from individual and collective complex positioning in relation to place and belonging, which will illustrate the multi-layered aspect of diasporic identifications. Processes of construction and transformation of physical and emotional ties to different cultural and political spaces will be looked at in their articulations with specific dimensions of power, such as class, gender or generation.

panel P10
Imaginaries of home