W083
Homecomings in transnational age: visible projects, forged practices?

Convenors:
Tsypylma Darieva (Centre for East European and international Studies)
Riina Isotalo (University of Helsinki)
Discussant:
Anders Stefansson
Stream:
Workshops
Location:
0.24
Start time:
27 August, 2008 at 9:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

Homecomings and returns recently referred to 'silent migration' seem to be increasingly significant for global mobility. The question is how homecomings become visible in legal, cultural and social life of both home and host lands. How do returnees modify the public space in a new old home?

Long abstract:

Homecomings and returns recently referred to 'silent migration' and 'structurally invisible' movements (Stefansson 2004) seem to be increasingly significant for global mobility (Levitt 2007) as an emotive moment in a migrant's life cycle or as an imaginative project based on diasporic memories of expulsion. Homecoming and return produce diverse long- and short-term visits: heritage tourism, sacred journey, repatriation, work contract, remittances, and political activities of many levels. Not only people are involved in these processes but also commodities, soil, bones, stones and artefacts. On one hand we deal with the process of de-mythologising the myth of return, on the other hand with the de-diasporisation of transnational belonging. This workshop sheds light on intersections and controversies of 'return' and 'homecoming' by problematising the interplay between multi-placement and displacement and by questioning the issue of structural invisibility of homecomings. The question is how return migration and homecoming become visible in legal, cultural and social life of both home and host lands. How do 'homecomings' as 'future projects' redefine the sense of place, the relations between migrants and the real or symbolic homeland? How do people relate 'homecoming' to repatriations directed to areas other than those considered 'home'? How do returnees change and modify the public space in a new old home? We welcome papers based on ethnographies as well as theoretically informed contributions on homecoming and return in transnational age.