Accepted paper:

Paths to freedom. Reflections on mobility and stillness

Authors:

Theodora Lefkaditou

Paper short abstract:

The paper discusses mobile aspirations, experiences and practices as an ongoing and dynamic quest for freedom embedded in larger personal and collective projects. This quest, especially when taking perilous and uncertain paths, may involve immobility, 'stagnancy' and stillness

Paper long abstract:

Drawing on the mobile aspirations and experiences of Afrobahian Capoeira teachers from the state of Bahia in Brazil and of Syrian refugees in camps in Northern Greece, the paper approaches the interplay between mobility and stillness as an urgent, dynamic and ongoing quest for freedom. Leaving home and precarious lives behind is a project that builds upon hope and necessity and can be both personal and collective. However, these projects are always in peril. Quite often, they are challenged by international laws that regulate migration, as well as by racist, postcolonial and neoliberal practices, discourses and interventions. At the same time, the social subjects' quest for freedom is not a novel one and does not simply involve spatial mobility. The paper will identify how ideas of freedom guide action and shape perceptions of mobility and stillness and will explore their creative and transformative capacities in an unevenly connected world. By connecting migratory experiences and in particular, periods of 'stuckness' and trauma to larger, ongoing life projects that extend beyond the present moment and include past and future, relationships and persons in the making, we get a better understanding of how people experience, perceive and manage disempowerment, stillness or 'stagnancy' in their present

panel P112
Being stuck. Stillness in times of mobility