(Un)imagination and (im)mobility: Exploring the past and constructing possible futures among refugee victims of torture in Greece
Abstract Greece represents a unique context in which to explore the imagination-(im)mobility nexus: both a transit country and final destination for refugees. This article explores the imagination of refugee victims of torture in Athens as they weave together images of the past, present and future to confer meaning to their current situation and imagine new possible futures. In the context of a growing interest in emotions and temporalities linked to migration, the aim of this paper is thus to explore the complex interplay between the imagination of migrants and the trauma from the theoretical standpoint of sociocultural psychology. The paradoxes are multiple: (i) Migration is inherently imaginative, in the sense that the actualisation of migration begins with individuals imagining their destination; (ii) however, trauma related to forced migration experiences in particular may impede imagination. To further add to the complexity: it may be imagination itself which acts as an essential component to healing from trauma. The article explores forced migrants’ mobility choices and individual migration trajectories to provide insight into how the emotionality of subjective experiences, as well as the sociocultural context, are fundamentally involved in people’s plans to migrate and the development of their ever-changing imagination of a better future elsewhere. The results similarly illustrate imagination as being significantly shaped by the collective imaginings of entire communities.
Keywords Migration, imagination, refugee, trauma, Greece
Citation Womersley, G. (2020). (Un)imagination and (im)mobility: Exploring the past and constructing possible futures among refugee victims of torture in Greece. Culture and Psychology, 0, 1-19.
Type Journal article (English)
Date of appearance 7-1-2020
Journal Culture and Psychology
Volume 0
Pages 1-19
URL https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1354067X19899066
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