20 Pages

Ethno-landscapes of migration

Visual narratives in this paper refer to the simultaneous textual and pictorial narrating of migrant experiences of everyday life in the city. They are provided by migrants like Mikolaj and suggest a complex picture – that while migrants like him are relatively more engaged and in control of their own mobility (than those who are forced or coerced to move across transnational spaces), their decisions to move nevertheless do not always materialise in terms of expectations and intentions. Yet even in the disjunctions between expectations and experiences, migrants

like Mikolaj are able to take affective charge of certain aspects of their everyday mobilities in the global city. In so doing, visual narratives diverge greatly from conventional urban pictorial and documentary approaches to the city that often situate the observer as static and distanced from the migrant subject. In relocating the observer as the mobile migrant in these photographs, visual narratives then indicate the assembling of a migrant self through the multiplicities of everyday urban life.