Accepted paper:

Diasporic homecomings beyond the ethnic lens: encounters in post-Soviet Armenia

Authors:

Tsypylma Darieva (Centre for East European and international Studies)

Paper short abstract:

Looking at recent impact of the US American Armenian diaspora on the local society in Armenia this paper will focus on interplay between a nostalgic homecomings and pragmatic development programmes.

Paper long abstract:

Looking at the recent impact of the US American Armenian diaspora on the local society in Armenia this paper will focus on interplay between nostalgic homecomings and pragmatic development programmes. In this case we deal with members of an established and "rich" Western diaspora who "move" to Armenia for temporal visits keeping their strong ties to the US adopted homeland. By transferring economic and social capital into a poor land the Armenian Americans get a feeling to be re-incorporated into the sacred homeland, but in very different ways. One example of such transnational incorporation into the Armenian society is a successful environmental project on the reforestation of the Armenian landscape. The motivating forces in the decision to invest in Armenia, seem to be diversifed, whereby not only a national patriotism but also the idea to reconnect a lost homeland to the global environmental politics, as well as economic and individual interests nourish the idea of a symbolic return. The question is to waht extend and how do transnational returnees reshape the public space in a postsocialist society and what kind of relationships are establishing between newcomers and locals beyond the ethnic and cultural intimacy?

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