Blue tracks and white sails: the importance of sea imaginaries for maritime lifestyle migrants
Nataša Rogelja (Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts)
Paper short abstract:
On the ground of ethnographic research the paper explores the connection between sea imaginaries and maritime lifestyle migration and it discusses the process by which the sea imaginaries are inspiration for maritime lifestyle migrants and how they are translated into practice.
Paper long abstract:
The paper explores the connection between sea imaginaries and maritime lifestyle migration and it discusses the process by which the sea imaginaries are inspiration for lifestyle migrants and how they are translated into practice. First, the paper explains the theoretical foundations of lifestyle migration phenomenon emphasizing the point theorized by Benson and O'Reilly on the relation between social construction of places and choices of lifestyle migrants or broadly speaking on the importance of cultural dimensions for migration (Benson 2012, O'Reilly and Benson 2009). Second, it will discuss the importance of these cultural dimensions in the specific ethnographic setting among liveaboards in the Mediterranean. As a result of the rapid development of navigation and communication technology, boat building and car producing technology, popularity of travel and culturally-significant representation of the sea, increased living standards and mobile work opportunities, as well as recession and disillusionment with the national states' system, a constantly increasing number of people from the Global North adopt mobility as a way of life. Some of them, who will be discussed in the second part of this paper, travel, live and work on sailing boats. Finally the sea images, the maritime environment and ethnography will be put in the dialog in order to discuss the crossroads between human experiences in global modernity, stories of white sails and the blue environment.
Imaginaries of migration: identity and belonging