Border Ethnography: Part 2

By Caroline Osella|February 10, 2019|project outputs, Uncategorized|0 comments

I wrote in my last post about the ways in which long-term ethnographic work opens up unanticipated themes which then demand our attention. Border ethnography (see examples here , here and here) has pushed itself into the REALM project. I am currently writing up a traditional academic paper about a complex case history of an Indian migrant worker who was badly treated by his (UK passport holding) ex-pat employer in the Gulf. The

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Kerala’s Migration Culture: fostering global consciousness and empathy?

By Caroline Osella|November 18, 2018|Uncategorized|0 comments

  Kerala movies used to be known around India for having a non-commercial artsy stream. But to be honest, when I first visited the state in the late 80s and asked people about these films, nobody in my circles had seen them – or even heard of them. Movies from directors like Adoor Gopalakrishnan were clearly part of an elite movement of intellectuals and artists. The Malayalis I knew enjoyed

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“We Built This Place – We Run This Place”.

By Caroline Osella|November 15, 2018|Media, Uncategorized|0 comments

  Something I’ve always heard from Malayali migrants around the Gulf is that “We built this place” and often, too, especially since Emiratisation / Omanisation / Saudization, “We run this place. How do they think they could they manage without us?” This music video from Saleh Haddad / Abdulkhaliq speaks to that. There’s some incoherence at work here in the cultural signs: the kafil / sponsor-employer is dressed as Saudi, while the main

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One year of silence. Broken now.

By Caroline Osella|November 15, 2018|Uncategorized|0 comments

  I know I’ll have disappointed REALM followers by promising posts and then disappearing.  The main reason is that I had some difficulties in getting my Indian academic affiliations and my research visa and permissions sorted out. This made it best to stay quiet. Now I’ve got all that fixed up and have made trips to India, with Gulf stopovers, and am ready to share some findings. Stick with me

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A migration studies network blog: Border Crossings.

By Caroline Osella|November 28, 2017|Uncategorized|0 comments

Border Crossings is well worth your time with a browse.  I’ve been inspired this week to read there about the play being devised around issues of indentured labour from India to Mauritius. Coolitude has certainly longtime been a helpful concept to many of us who work in migration; while putting some humanity into the stories, and some stories into the history, has been inspiring for many of us as we work to

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Meeting staff and students at Feroke College, Calicut, Kerala.

By Caroline Osella|November 23, 2017|Uncategorized|0 comments

Open Society, a student organisation, invited me to speak and meet on campus on Nov 22nd.  I gave a short talk about the project and about Gulf migration, took some great questions, and had some thoughtful discussion.   Discussion ranged around several issues, including: shifts in Kerala culture and lifestyle brought by Gulf; changes in attitude towards the desirability of migration from older generations (often highly favourable) to present young generation

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REALM project workshop, Abu Dhabi November 2017.

By Caroline Osella|November 18, 2017|Uncategorized|0 comments

REALM project workers gathered in Abu Dhabi Nov 14th and 15th to share progress and work towards next steps. We have demographers, economists, geographers, ethnographers, speaking to each other about Gulf migration issues. What is exciting for me about being in this portfolio of projects are two highly unusual aspects:  firstly, that we have a genuinely respectful cross-disciplinary conversation going on, without any of the ‘quantitatives versus qualitatives’ or ‘demographers

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The Gulf in Malayalam movies –

By Caroline Osella|November 18, 2017|Uncategorized|0 comments

I’m in UAE right now and off to Kerala tomorrow.  On the plane, I watched two Malayalam movies.  It’s not unusual that both referenced migration. This movie (Marubhumiyile aana (2017)- elephant of the desert) was especially interesting, with its rich roll-out of several Gulf stereotypes, a hybrid protagonist who has an Arab father, and a Malayali mother, and its Arabic catch-phrase  –  Mafi fulus, mafi mushqil (no money no problem). Something I’ll be

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