P103
Food parcels: intimate connexions in transnational migration

Convenors:
Diana Mata Codesal (Pompeu Fabra University)
Maria Abranches (University of East Anglia)
Stream:
Panels
Location:
S-243
Start time:
2 August, 2014 at 9:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

Food parcels being sent and received by migrants worldwide maintain, reinforce and in some cases even create new transnational interconnections. This panel aims to explore food circuits in relation to migration with a bottom-up approach, worldwide and in a historical perspective.

Long abstract:

This panel aims to explore food circuits in relation to migration with a worldwide bottom-up approach. Food parcels being sent and received by migrants worldwide maintain, reinforce and in some cases even create new transnational interconnections. In the context of migration, food circuits are a powerful sensuous link within transnational families and groups. Collaboration, intimacy and connection are essential processes at play in transnational migration. Sharing, cooking or eating food from home are intimate acts which acquire extra connotations in situations of physical separation. While living separate daily lives, in many cases migrants and their families also forge lasting and meaningful transnational bonds. The practices of preparing, sending, consuming, selling, sharing or giving away food are important transnational connections, reminders of mutual obligations, as well as tokens of love. The food parcels that circulate in many migratory systems - between contiguous countries, within countries and even spanning continents - enables us to raise issues of transnational belonging, family-making processes, or sensuous re-creations of home among others. Alongside maintaining connections, these food circuits may also generate new relationships. This panel seeks to show how pervasive practices of sending and receiving food within transnational families are. At the same time the panel also aims to show their diversity in time and space, regarding issues like the meanings attached to the food parcels, the range of sending practices - i.e. the nature of the sending channels - or the transformations suffered by these culturally loaded foodstuffs in their journeys.