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Abstract  

Migrants’ property ownership in their countries of origin is often understood through the prism of return: both intended and actual return mobilities. Applying a transnational optic, this article unpacks the relationships between migrants’ property ownership ‘back home’ and their reflections on future moves and stays, not limited to possible return. We draw on 80 semi-structured interviews conducted in 2020 with Polish and Romanian migrants living in Barcelona and Oslo. They left their homeland, sometimes following domestic migration or international migration to other countries, before arriving in Spain and Norway. Based on these case studies of East–West migration within Europe, we contribute to work recognising the ongoing complex and diversified nature of mobilities in Europe. First, we detail what migrants’ property ownership looks like in practice – forms of ownership, types of property, location. Second, we focus on how owning property in Poland or Romania intersects with migrants’ considerations about moving or staying in the future, beyond return. Considerations about future (im)mobility shed light on transnational relationships, as these evolve over time and across space. Furthermore, we find that transnational property ownership in their countries of origin reveals much about migrants’ relations with people and places ‘back home’ and reflects the known non-linearity of migration stories. Overall, however, transnational property ownership is a poor predictor of both return plans and intentions.

Abstract  

This article addresses issues of mobility and place-making among CEE-born young people who migrated from Poland and Romania to Sweden as children (up to the age of 18). Previous research on intra-EU mobility in other destinations posits this group as 1.5-generation migrants who, due to their mobility at a formative age, experience duality and in-betweenness – with specific effects on their social and familial lives. Inspired by this research, our article examines how mobility to Sweden at a young age (re)shapes young peoples’ connection to and meaning-making of places post-migration. Drawing on two-step qualitative interviews with 18 adolescents and young adults from Poland and Romania, as well as on drawings and photographs as part of the visual materials produced by the participants, the article makes two contributions. First, it integrates the scholarship on children and youth mobility, translocalism and place-making but also deepens these conceptualisations by underlining the role of memories and feelings in young people’s place-making processes. Second, the article suggests that visual methodology is a valuable tool with which to capture the embodied and the material practices of translocal place-making over time. Our findings reveal that most of these young people continue to strongly associate with places from their childhood and country of origin. For some, these places symbolise ongoing transnational practices of visits and daily communication while, for others, these are imaginary places of safety and a right place to be. The findings also highlight the importance of memories and feelings in creating transnational connectivity between the countries of origin and Sweden, as well as in developing coping strategies against the social exclusion and misrecognition which some young people may experience in their new living spaces.

 

Abstract  

For many women situated in post-socialist countries, the end of communism entailed the loss of state protection and social security. This often resulted in migration, underpinned by the hope for a better future and facilitated by trust in social networks. Trust and hope are often highlighted in the social-science literature as being indispensable means for navigating migration. What this perspective lacks, however, is an eye for the detrimental effects of the work of hope and for the beneficial effects of the work of distrust. For it can be hope that relates a subject to its exploiter and/or exploitative circumstances and it can be distrust that provides an escape route and increases agency. This article considers the illusive dimension of hope and the mobilising effect of distrust by referring to the experiences of Georgian migrant women in Thessaloniki (Greece). It shows how hope occasionally emanates out of distrust and how the combination of the two allows for new perspectives of action.