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Accepted Paper:

Covid-19, transnational mobilities and divergent time horizons. The case of Romanian elderly caregivers and agricultural workers in Italy.  
Pietro Cingolani (University of Bologna)

Paper short abstract:

The uncertainty produced by the pandemic forced migrants to redefine the rhythms of their mobility. They renegotiated their "time horizons", and these negotiations had emotional resonance and concrete effects, as happened to Romanian agricultural workers and caregivers in Italy.

Paper long abstract:

In the wave of COVID-19 pandemic, when both lives and living were at risk, there was an acute uncertainty about the future and it was difficult to estimare to what extent it would impact people’s lives. In this paper I analyse the impact that the pandemic had on the intra-European mobility of migrants, on their perceptions of time, paces, identities and on their visions of the future. The uncertainty posed a problem of projection and action and migrants were forced to redefine the rhythms of their mobility and imaginations about them. They have redefined their horizoning, the process through which human beings bring an unknown or fleeing future into the present as an object of knowledge.

Based on a multi-site ethnographic research conducted in the last four years, I analyse the biographies of Romanian migrants employed in Italy as elderly caregivers and agricultural workers. Their migration was defined "essential" for the national economy and some exceptional measures were accorded to these workers. The survival and reproduction of Italian families was linked to the their presence both materially, as they guaranteed food security, and emotionally, as they granted the care and the emotional stability of the elderly.

How to reconcile the visions of the future and the security needs of Italian society with the uncertain and fragmented ones of these migrants? I discuss how individuals and communities have negotiated their divergent "time horizons", the emotional resonance and concrete effects of these negotiations.

Panel P010b
Navigating hurdles and pacing (im)mobilities in times of corona [AnthroMob Network] II
  Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -