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(Re)negotiating transnational identities: notions of ‘home’ and ‘distanced intimacies’
journal contributionposted on 2019-05-01, 00:00 authored by N Belford, Reshmi RoyReshmi Roy
Transnational migrants negotiate the multiplicity of ‘here’ and ‘there’ and contested notions of ‘home’ between home and host countries. As transnational migrant women in Australia, we explore these notions and our intimacies with ‘home’ as a complicated, ambivalent set of imaginings, biographies and emotions in relation to place, people and socio-cultural expectations. Using evocative autoethnographic accounts through ‘intimate landscapes of self-confessions’ based on personal experiences our narratives articulate ‘intimacies’ as something other than a direct relationship between self and other. Intimacies become a space within which self and home can be sought and experienced through emotional reflexivity (Holmes, 2010) generated by memories, practices of relationality and place-making through sociocultural encrustations. Skrbiš’s (2008) emphasis on migrant narratives rooted in emotions, Bradatan, Popan and Melton's (2010) concept of fluid social identities and Ahmed's (2000) challenge to the notion of home as a ‘fixity’ underpin our discussion on identities and positionalities. Reflecting on a ‘notional home,’ we touch upon our ‘practise of emotions and intimacies’ (MacLaren 2014, Everts and Wagner, 2012) in relation to home and host cultures, with reference to gender, race and class in renegotiating our transnational identities.