Greece as an Eldorado? Imaginaries of migration, lived experiences and visions of futures among Ukrainian immigrants in the greater Athens area
Paper short abstract:
This paper analyzes the relations between migration imaginaries and realities among Ukrainian immigrants in the greater Athens area. It concludes with a discussion on identity and belonging, citizenship and notions of home in a transnational and globalized world.
Paper long abstract:
This paper discusses migration from Ukraine to Greece since the late 1990s to the present. The majority of migrants are ethnic Ukrainian adult women, but there are also ethnic Greeks, young people and families. The great majority lives in the greater Athens area. The aim is to analyze the relations between migration imaginaries and realities, by comparing migrants' pre-migratory representations of their new host country, their views of their migration experiences and their visions of the future. Special attention is paid to potential differences according to ethnic background, gender and age. The paper also addresses the Greek crisis and its impact on the everyday lives of migrants in the midst of diminished employment opportunities and rising xenophobia. It also discusses migrants' perceptions and reactions with the view of the current crisis in Ukraine. The paper concludes with a discussion on identity and belonging, citizenship and notions of home in a transnational and globalised world. Where do the migrants see their future and where do they feel that they belong? The paper is based on the author's field research in Ukraine, Greece and Cyprus.
Imaginaries of migration: identity and belonging