3 periods of Kerala fieldwork over 2 years. 84 respondents. Mixed ages, provenance, community and class, different migration destinations. Special focus on Mavelikkara, Calicut & Mattancherry. Respondents split by gender. A mix of retired, returned, current migrants. In the free-flow of participant observation and 84 unstructured interviews, I heard some frightened voices and many despairing ones, when respondents spoke about India. One of the themes that came up in many
I’ve been closing my part of the REALM project over the past month. Now I will be posting highlights from the results. Anyone who works in migration can approach me if they need more details, and you can see the bigger REALM website for details of other projects on this collaborative initiative. My project – ‘The Paradox of the Gulf as a Space of Freedom and Aspiration’, grew out of
Helen Underhill (the UK project assistant) and I are excited to be travelling to NYUAD in Abu Dhabi this week to a meetup of REALM project PIs. We will all be presenting our material (which for some folk, such as the economists, is ‘data’, but for ethnographers like myself is more loosely ‘outcome’). I’ve got 76 interviews with Kerala migrants and a lot of fieldnotes from ongoing conversations that I’ve been
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
Excited to be working again with MG University, Kottayam, Kerala, and also once more with Professor Sanal Mohan. We’re going to be finding some advanced graduate students who will help me find migrants who would like to be part of the project by telling their stories. Come and find out more if you are or if you have been a Gulf migrant …….