When Migrants Travel Back Home: Changing Identities in Northern Sri Lanka after the Ceasefire of 2002

This article looks at how social relations change when proximity is re-established after a long period of separation. This theoretically inspired question is discussed in the case of Sri Lanka, where a peace process in 2002 enabled exiled Tamils to temporarily return to their ‘homeland’. The new mobility of these migrants constituted a significant momentum for the re-negotiation of Tamil identity. Proximate relations resulting from mobility led to a growing awareness of differences in cultural expression and perspective. The empirical data show that the construction of difference is related not only to spatial mobility and to temporality. Spatial, but also temporal distance in translocal relations determines the construction of images, detached from face-to-face interaction and the locality, constituting an identity space.


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  • Accession Number: 01154742
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 18 2010 11:40AM