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movement as a ‘mode of being in the world’

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008 @ 3:16 pm
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Posted in  Quotes

I found this quote from Paul Carter in his book ‘Living in the World’ that seems to be summarising some interesting dimension of the polemic around the issue of mobility and its effects that is central in my PhD (as cited in Rapport, N. & Dawson, A. (eds) (1998) Migrants of Identity: Perceptions of Home in a World of Movement. Oxford: Berg). Here it is (p.v):

“It becomes ever more urgent to develop a framework of thinking that makes the migrant central, not anchillary, to historical process. We need to disarm the genealogic rhetoric of blood, property and frontiers and substitute for it a lateral account of social relations…An authentically migrant perspective would, perhaps, be based on an intuition that the opposition between here and there is itself a cultural construction, a consequence of thinking in terms of fixed entities and defining them oppositionally. It might begin by regarding movement, not as an awkward interval between fixed points of departure or arrival, but as a mode of being in the world”

This quote is compatible with the effects of globalisation that brings shaking of values and identities, all becomes more fluid, less fixed, hard to define. As i read this quote, i felt that although it is so relevant to our era, i feels also quite uncomfortable, specially for nations and identities like mine (Greek) who have been under threat for centuries due to invasions and powerful political games, and it would feel disrespectful and ‘against the soul’ to allow such a ‘way of being’ to take place, when so many of my ancestors have defended our way of being (including our language, spirit, customs, traditions, values etc) with a lot of blood….so, where all this polemic stands within now? What would happen to the power dynamics of the world nations if such an attitude is not only observed as emerging but even reinforced and cultivated? There is always two sides to a coin and my need to keep reflexive and with an inquiring mind is very much alive


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