Re/locating, selecting and leaving things behind during the process of homing not-yet home abroad
Vitalija Stepušaitytė (Heriot-Watt University)
Paper short abstract:
Drawing on an ethnography about the concept of home among Lithuanian women living in Scotland, this paper discusses the journey of grounding oneself in a new country through negotiations about an actual and imagined role of things from a home country.
Paper long abstract:
I am focusing on homing and unhoming practices that involve negotiations of what to have or what to leave behind, that are for example experienced during 'coming back home' journeys from Scotland or felt during 'Skype' conversations when a former 'home' is seen. I argue that such actions are emotionally charged journeys, which are complex experiences influenced by desired futures, possibilities at the moment, and acceptances of one's past. Based on my research, I am exploring how material objects or the absent of them are playing part in a process of settling down with the idea of inhabiting a new place, and continuing creating home, just elsewhere. Migration is not interpreted as a one-way decision; it is very much a mental experience of here and now, that may be captured through things and environment from a remembered life or the lack of that for an imagined life. Home in Lithuania and/or Scotland are locales where merge at first sight separate, but intimately interlinked biographies, that are psychological and social, histories of places and possible futures. I am interested in a process of living within realm at Not-Yet home, when 'the Not-Yet characterizes the tendency in material process, of the origin which is processing itself out, tending towards the manifestation of its content' (Bloch, 1996, p.307)
The power of mobile materialities: human movement, objects and the worlds they create [ANTHROMOB]