The library is hosting an exhibition that describes the world and experience of the globally mobile. These people come from all over the world to live and work outside their passport country. They are employed by the Industry, the Academia… The NGO network rely strongly on them. They are everywhere and nowhere: moving every three or five years from assignment to assignment, they are global nomads who will repatriate back to a country that will never feel like home. The exhibition is focusing on their moves and on their adjustments. The displays include photographs and drawings by Geneviève Guétemme about the Postdocs and visiting scholars in Cambridge, a screen piece by John Perivolaris and an audio piece by Janet Stewart which explores the Library’s Special Collections. There is also a children’s corner by art therapist Vicky Gray.
“have had only a short period of time to explore the exhibition but enjoyed especially the panoramic photographs – think they make a strong impression on that wall. […] visually very arresting.”
The exhibition is a visual, material and performative investigation into the experience of transnational work mobility for individuals and families. It explores the experience of delocation and relocation : How do children and partners of mobile professionals cope with discontinuity in their education / career? Is this a challenge or an opportunity for them? How do they see the places they pass through?
freely inspired by: Lois Bushong, Belonging Everywhere & nowhere, Insights into Counselling the Globally Mobile, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, Mango Tree Intercultural Service, 2013
The ones who adjust to new cultural worlds
The ones who belong in many places
The one who learn to deal with various set of cultural values or norms
The ones who have a transitory lifestyle
The ones who don’t think like the ones around them
The ones who have an expanded view of the world
The cultural chameleons / the cultural misfits
The ones who choose their culture/heir world from all of those they have been part of
The ones who know there is a big world out there to explore
The ones who are willing to do things outside of the box
The ones who view the world through the lens of many cultures
The ones who manage frequent cycles of separation and loss
The ones who experience hidden, unnamed losses, invisibly connected with the more visible losses of transition: friends who already know their world / use of second language / easy access to favourite food / comfort of favourite objects that are too large to carry back / a sense of cultural balance
The ones who have to deal with chronic unresolved grief
The ones who lose their family original language
The ones who mask their grief with the excitement for the adventure
The ones who live out of a suitcase
The ones who have to put together the pieces of the puzzle they have called life
The ones who struggle to find a clear sense of identity
The ones who lack of usual markers such as place / community / culture / blood relatives
The ones who have their identity rooted in a system rather than in a place
The ones who can’t relate to others in their ‘home country’
The ones who never get to the stage where they belong to any locale.
The ones with one foot in the door and one foot out of the door
The ones who are hidden immigrants in their own country
The ones who mirror the culture of their host country
The ones who live within a strong community of expatriates
The ones who experience a dissonance between the expectations and the reality of who they are.
The ones with so many backgrounds
The ones who build quickly deep friendships with their peers
The ones who can adapt to various cultures
The ones fluent in languages
The ones who can blend in with those around them
The ones with the skills to listen and observe
The ones who do not fit into any typical model
The ones who are internationals
Home Truths’ – exploring transnational work mobility in the oil community
University of Aberdeen – Sir Duncan Rice Library –25 May to 29 June 2015
This exhibition will offer a visual investigation into the experience of transnational work mobility for individuals and families.
Its focus will be on the oil community, though this project would resonate well within broader sections of Aberdeen’s population that are affected by repeated and international work mobility, not least the academic community. The exhibition will explore the state of perpetual transition in which a significant proportion of the oil community operates, opening a space of dialogue where plural perspectives on that experience are juxtaposed in a wide range of media. Viewer involvement is an integral part of the project, with an emphasis on material objects to be manipulated / opened / chosen from / made sense of. The exhibition will involve several series of photographs, artefacts and video montages by several artists who will have interacted with the oil community as a basis for the production of their materials. Other resources, namely from the Oil and Gas Archive held by Special Collections, will be foregrounded as a distinctive and contextualizing framework to the artists’ contributions. The themes explored include the place of material objects in a family’s global movements, the notions of ‘home’ on the move, issues of unstable identities and creative potential, as well as the emergence of new, ephemeral communities.
Complementary activities will be ran in parallel to the exhibition. They will include a workshop and a garden trail to take place in the Botanic Gardens, and centered on the idea of leaving a trace of one’s passage.
Murray Edwards College will be hosting an exciting new exhibition that celebrates the continuous flow of an unseen population in Cambridge – or any other town attracting international staff.
Opening: 05 April
6pm: photographs, films and nibbles.
Performance by Elke Papp at 7 p.m.
In 2010 Elke Papp and Genevieve Guetemme started a project called ‘Follow the follow’. Anna-Maija Kesonen joined them in 2012 and this exhibition is now telling the stories of the followers, mostly women,who come with a partner and live there for a month, a year, five years… And go somewhere else for a month, a year, five years… With children raised as global nomads, from assignment to assignment, post-doc to post-doc or fellowship to fellowship, just floating along the valued professional mobility, in a continuously temporary exile.
This exhibition is a celebration in words, film and photography of these women (and few men), feeling cut off, searching connections, longing for reconnection (with their former self, with a new self, with others alike, with new people, new challenges).
Opening times of the exhibition: 10am to 18pm every day.
Three workshops are planned alongside the Exhibition
Monday 7th of April – 1 p.m. –‘Words writing’ for adults and activities for children £5
Monday 7th of April – 10 a.m. ‘Garden-trail’ for adults and children – £5/adult
Thursday 1st of May – 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. ‘Cambridge tour’ leading to the exhibition – for adults and children) – £5/adult
Life and work bring more and more professionals – and their families – from country to country and from home to home. It starts as a challenge and as way to gain experience, but it can also be, sometimes, the only way to continue to work in this precarious world. More and more academics have to move indeed with little prospects of settling down. For them, the home and the family become a movable unit.
So what is the physical and imaginary idea of ‘home’ in a globalised and mobile environment? Is it a place of ‘brief permanence’, a place where one live but to which one don’t really belong to, a place of (dis)location, where the recurrent displacements mix identity with diversity? It seems that the idea of ‘home’ evolves when occupancy is temporary and when national and cultural boundaries are recurrently blurred. We may indeed have to distance ‘the home’ from the concept of place and location.