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Accepted Paper:

Multimodal Youth Mobilities: Audiovisual experiments with transnational migrant youth between West Africa and Europe  
Laura Ogden (Maastricht University)

Paper short abstract:

This contribution presents ongoing multimodal experiments with transnationally mobile migrant youth between West Africa and Europe, exploring multimodality’s potential for making research more collaborative and attuned to migrant youth’s own embodied, digital, and relational experiences of mobility.

Paper long abstract:

Transnational family research has documented the increasingly digital strategies for ‘doing family’ across borders, focusing on how adult migrants care for ‘left-behind’ children, who are – like migrant-background youth in the Global North – often depicted as sedentary. Inspired by mobilities studies, recent research on transnational youth mobility investigates the diverse and complex mobilities of youth with migration backgrounds, including how the digital shapes their transnational relationships and experiences of being on the move. Yet while mobile, multi-sited and youth-centric methods are central to such explorations, multimodal approaches are rare, and participatory approaches engaging with migrant youth's existing digital practices are even rarer. What could multimodal approaches offer to youth mobilities research and what methodological and ethical questions do they raise?

This contribution presents the design, results, and future ideas and iterations emerging from ongoing multimodal experiments with transnationally mobile migrant youth between West Africa and Europe, exploring multimodality’s potential for making research more collaborative and attuned to migrant youth’s own embodied, digital, and relational experiences of mobility. Experiments that started from my own background in visual ethnography quickly transformed when colliding and intersecting with my participants’ own digital practices using their smartphones while mobile. The presentation thus engages with emerging concerns in research on transnational youth, migration and mobility, and digital media. It also speaks to the conference strand on ‘translating cultures and diasporic communities’ by attending to diasporic youth’s own multimodal documentation and representation of their mobility experiences between countries of origin and residence.

Panel P10
Multimodality, Collaboration and Co-curation as Critical Anthropological Pedagogy
  Session 3 Thursday 27 June, 2024, -