Another Report on longstanding India-Khaleeji connections

By Caroline Osella|June 2, 2019|Media, project results and findings, Uncategorized|0 comments

I recently posted about some human stories which remind us of the longstanding travel connections between the Gulf and India and about an instagram project gathering images of Gulf Indians. Now I’ve received (thanks to the amazing Ala group) a link to another interesting blogpost tracking these connections. It contains some interview words from Dr Neha Vora, whose book about Dubai Indians challenges narratives of purity and separation. As I

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Abu Dhabi – God’s Own Country

By Caroline Osella|May 28, 2019|Media, project results and findings, Uncategorized|7 comments

An important question for my part of the REALM research has been about following up on my earlier work, which strongly suggested that Gulf migration, for Malayalis, is not “just about the money”.  I’ve been asking people to identify what other aspects are important to them. Now, UK project assistant Helen Underhill and I have been sifting over 100 free-form qualitative interviews and putting some of our findings into a

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Putting ‘travel’ back at the heart of migration stories.

By Caroline Osella|April 30, 2019|Media, project results and findings|6 comments

Today I’m re-posting another excellent piece, which mulls over the phenomenonlogy of migration and pleads for us not to forget the human stories and experiences which often get hidden behind a policy-maker’s focus on migration costs, income outcomes, push-pull factors, labyrinthine systems of visas, patrons, travel costs and more. This is why the REALM project gathers not only economists and demographers, but also political scientists, ethnographers and sociologists: and insists

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Instagram Chronicle of Gulf migration and memories

By Caroline Osella|April 28, 2019|Media|2 comments

Here is an extraordinarily rich and well-curated account of Gulf – South Asia connections from Ayesha, who has been working for some time now on this. What’s especially exciting about this project is that it is coming from people who themselves have been part of this history; that it takes us back to some of the earliest photographically-recorded moments and memories; and that it acknowledges the two-way nature of these

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When expectations of marriage and family shift, what does it mean for migrants?

By Caroline Osella|March 26, 2019|Media, project outputs, Uncategorized|0 comments

I wrote a while ago about the rapid transformations post 1990s in young people’s expectations of what a marriage ought to be, what a household should consist of, and what constitutes a good family life. Kerala’s men these days are under pressure to act not only as breadwinners (which has long been the case in this state where women have low workforce participation and where a non-working wife is a component

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Can Europe Learn From UAE Diversity?

By Caroline Osella|March 6, 2019|Media, project outputs|0 comments

I’ve been working for many years now between India and the Gulf and am not naive about how remittance and migration economies work, nor about how states operate. I have to begin with this disclaimer, because in a landscape of binary thinking and quick-fire analysis, it is easy to jump into judgement. My close ethnographic work among a range of migrants – many of whom are skilled technical and professional,

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

By Caroline Osella|November 18, 2018|Media, project outputs, Uncategorized|1 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|2 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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A migration studies network blog: Border Crossings.

By Caroline Osella|November 28, 2017|Media, 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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The Gulf in Malayalam movies –

By Caroline Osella|November 18, 2017|Media, Uncategorized|17 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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