The days of plenty: images of first generation Malayali migrants in the Arabian Gulf

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Abstract

The impossibility of citizenship for migrant labourers in the Gulf countries and the circular migration that entails makes the migrant experiences of the Gulf transient. This paper is an attempt to approach migrant memory as a resource that would allow us to see migrants as active negotiators of their destination, wrenching the migrant tale out of ghettoisation, despair and trauma to afford space for a more complicated rendering of the migrant lives. Taking photographs from the early migrants to the Gulf from the south Indian state of Kerala as its primary material, the paper also problematizes the role of the photograph as unmediated access to the past and dwells on a method to look at photographs. The paper recreates the life of these early migrants with interpretive engagement from the author who had spent his childhood in the locality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-64
Number of pages14
JournalSouth Asian Diaspora
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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