Accepted Paper:

Material worlds of Polish migrants in Belfast: displaced objects and negotiated identities  
Marta Kempny (Ulster University)

Paper long abstract:

In this paper I will discuss how certain material objects covey a sense of belonging of Polish migrants in Belfast. Firstly I will explore the creation of so-called 'ethnicizing spaces' among the migrants, discussing how their Polishness is expressed in their everyday life practices and religious rituals. I will particularly pay attention to ethnic cuisine, interior d├ęcor of migrants' houses and material objects that are used in their religious practices and rituals. At the same time, referring to the concept of the 'dialogical self', I will explore the ways in which migrants construct other form of identities (such as cosmopolitans or representatives of their small homelands), showing how these identities may be exacerbated by the means of the material worlds that surround them. In relation to this, I will also point at multilayered aspect of migrants' belongings. The methods used in my paper are qualitative: in-depth interviews and participant observation.

Panel W122
Migration and materialities of home