This panel will discuss aspects of the (re)creation of new homes by means of symbols, representations and idealising projections, either of the past or the future onto present conditions and displacements. How might the idea of "home" constitute a constant element in issues regarding migration?
This panel aims at exploring the mental, cultural and social processes, and their outcomes, which are associated with relinquishing and (re)creating one's home. It will also explore processes connected with attempts to transmit ideas surrounding home that persons and groups experience in situations of ecological, socio-economic or political pressure. The panel will thus explore imagined homelands as symbolic constructions, in so far as people invest them with symbolic traits and values that are informed by conditions and understandings both of past and present. We invite papers that consider how people, such as those involved in mass migration flows, (re)create and represent homelands that they have left behind and/or place in the future in an idealized form. How do people deal with the tensions inherent in the loss of one's homeland? What drives people to place their idealised homelands in the future? How do narrative and ritual practices create substitutes for lost cultural and social realities? Which elements, past and future, are employed in the creation of imagined homelands? From "paradises lost" to "promised lands", we wish to explore ways in which the displaced reinvent both materiality, social and ritual practices and performance and narratives, as they (re)create new homes. Since our aim is to produce a comparative analysis of what constitutes a homeland, we welcome both theoretical contributions and presentations based on empirical research relating to these issues.