ABSTRACT

In this chapter I make a case for cities as important spaces where translocal (local to local) and transnational/diasporic linkages are formed, transferred and reinforced. Using the case of the Ethiopian immigrant community in the United States, I demonstrate how identities, histories, imaginaries and communities span scales that are simultaneously hierarchical (for example, city, region, country) and lateral (between neighbourhoods, between cities and between countries), but are strongly grounded in real space/place. Specifically, this chapter examines the nature and significance of translocal connections forged within and between metropolitan Washington, D.C. and the city of Addis Ababa by the Ethiopian diaspora in the United States. Translocality is used as a lens to understand the process of international migration from Ethiopia to the United States, the internal migration of Ethiopians within the United States, the formation of spaces for the community to meet and lay claim to, as well as the flows of financial capital and assistance from the Ethiopian diaspora in the United States to the home country.