Mass spatial movements and emphasis on social mobility dominate representations of the current global condition. But what if you cannot move? Considering mobility and stillness as more than spatial phenomena we invite contributions focused on the experiences of 'being stuck' in various contexts.
Mass movement away from environmental disasters and war zones, as well as economic and leisure migrations, have dominated representations of the current global condition. Alongside this emphasis on spatial mobility, climbing up professional and social ladders have become tokens of success. The quicker one can achieve a desired rank the better. With late-modern communication technologies, speed matters and time spent still is time wasted.
But what if you cannot move? What if you have taken the journey across the sea only to get stuck in a refugee camp? What if you are trapped in economic deprivation and cannot afford moving somewhere safer, with better housing or schools? Or conversely, what if you are 'stuck' in motion under coercive policies or market dynamics that force you to keep moving? What if you cannot find permanent employment and are restricted by the increasingly constraining conditions of the 'gig economy'? What if you are confined to a life trajectory you would have rather not taken?
Considering mobility and stillness as more than spatial phenomena, this panel seeks to expand our understanding of 'things that stand still' (Salazar and Smart 2011) and the notion of stasis (Glick Schiller and Salazar 2013). We call for ethnographically informed contributions exploring the experiences of 'being stuck' on various empirical grounds. We invite theoretical reflections on the relationships between stillness and mobility and on what stillness does to life projects, hopes, the self, ethical and political imaginations, and to economic strategies in a world enthralled with mobility.