When people stay and things make their way: airports, mobilities and materialities of a transnational landscape

Abranches, Maria (2012) When people stay and things make their way: airports, mobilities and materialities of a transnational landscape. Mobilities. ISSN 1745-0101

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Abstract

This article explores different meanings of mobility and place by examining the interweaving of people, things and airports in Guinea-Bissau and Portugal. Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in two airports – of departure and arrival of this migratory route – I look at the practices of sending and receiving objects by migrants in Lisbon and their kin in Bissau. The transnational yet grounded setting helps to provide a better understanding of the complexity associated with different forms of mobility – including corporeal, imagined and desired – and their key role in socially and relationally constructing a lived airport space, as well as wider social landscapes. Bringing in evidence from a less-explored setting – a small airport in a West African country – will particularly challenge some of the assumptions that tend to associate mobility with ‘modernity’ and fixity with ‘tradition’. It will show how people in Guinea-Bissau are, as much as migrants abroad, dynamically involved in global practices of movement – materialised in trading and reciprocating objects between two continents – through local performances of mobility that do not necessarily involve corporeal travel across borders.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Online First Article
Keywords: Airports; Migration; Body; Imaginaries; Mobile objects; Global and local practices of movement
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology > GN301 Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology > GN357 Culture and cultural processes Including social change, structuralism, diffusion, etc.
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology > GN301 Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology > GN406 Cultural traits, customs, and institutions > GN407 Technology. Material culture Including food, shelter, fire, tools, etc.
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology > GN301 Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology > GN537 Ethnic groups and races > GN550 By region or country
Depositing User: Maria Abranches
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2012 12:24
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2012 12:24
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/40305
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