Liminality among queer refugees looking for a place to call home

Authors: Thomas Wimark*,
Topics: Migration, Sexuality, Gender
Keywords: migration, queer, sexuality, liminality
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Galvez, , Marriott, 5th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

As people continue to flee repressive regimes, discussions of refugees’ state of liminality has intensified. Spaces such as refugee camps and detention centres tend to force refugees to endure living in liminality for long periods of time. Taking a different point of departure, this study focuses on the actual experiences of movement from the old country to the receiving one. Widening the discussion on liminality to focus on the road to refuge, I argue that the road should be considered a metaphor for the connection between the old and the new place of belonging. Using material from interviews with queer refugees in the Swedish countryside, I discuss their travels on the road to inclusion. These stories lead to the development of the Forever Road where true belonging can never be achieved. Excerpts from the interviews show that refugees’ ways of being both put them on the road and keep them on the road. At the heart of this concept lies structures that govern entrance to and exist from the road. In the end, I argue that this way of thinking of liminality moves discussions away from refugees’ bodies and illuminates structures governing the Forever Road.

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