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Squeezing it in: packing as collaborative experience in hostelling accommodation

conference contribution
posted on 2013-01-01, 00:00 authored by Kaya Barry
Squeezing it in: packing as collaborative experience in hostelling accommodation



Nordic Geographers. Meeting (5th : 2013 : Reykjavík, Iceland)


University of Iceland


Reykjavik, Iceland

Place of publication

Reykjavik, Iceland

Start date


End date





As international travel and global mobilities increase, contemporary travellers are presented with a range of collaborative and performative experiences. With each transition, they encounter a range of material, spatial and collaborative processes, becoming indicators of their embodied, aesthetic and cultural engagements with the world. The daily act of packing a bag evolves into a creative practice that engages a range of material strategies: imagination, projection and performance. These strategies of material coordination strengthen relations between objects, environments and bodies, which in turn enhances the collaborative and communal experiences that are intensified within hostelling accommodation. This paper draws on interviews and photographic documentation of travellers to hostels in Reykjavík and Berlin, exploring how material belongings forge connections between travellers, and facilitating situated, collaborative and creative knowledge production. As theory, creativity and everyday practices congeal, propositions such as Rosi Braidotti’s nomadic philosophy and Bruno Latour’s notion of collective action provide ways for examining these experiences within a more affective, nomadic and sustainable culture of travel. As part of an investigation into affective material encounters in-transit, this paper develops the notion that the process of packing a bag in hostelling accommodation can provide alternative modes of navigating through personal, material and communal experiences.

Publication classification

EN Other conference paper

Title of proceedings

2013 : Responsible Geographies : Proceedings of the Nordic Geographers 2013 Meeting

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