Space narratives, geographical imaginaries and destination cosmologies: from 17th century Portuguese Jesuits in Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet to 21st century Nepali migrants in Europe

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

To adress space as a narrative process (Lotman, 2005), we need to inquire on the multiple ways how the meaning of spaces evolves through time, experience and across cultures. What cognitive structures, references and memories shape our construction of meaning about places? In this study, I depart from a description of Iberian colonial legacies and 17th century european spatial narratives regarding Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet and India (Gettelman, 1982), to compare them with postcolonial spatial narratives by 21st century Nepali migrants in Europe (Samaddar, 2020; Neubauer, 2023). I articulate these recent migratory flows with postcolonial heritages and the “coloniality of power” (Quijano, 2000) in our modern, capitalist world-system, to examine the particular space representations of european destination countries by the migrants themselves. This is a qualitative and interpretative research, combining data from 30 semi-structured interviews with Nepali female migrants in Portugal and 30 other semi-structured interviews with Nepali male and female migrants in Spain and Portugal – together with participant observation, the field diary and the ethnographic method. In order to compare and draw parallelisms between different spacial narratives through time, space and across cultures and religions, I will analyze and give examples of the concepts of “geographical imaginaries” (Driver, 2014; Thompson, 2017; Zanker and Hennessey, 2021), “destination cosmologies” (Belloni, 2020), and “spatial imaginary spillover” (Neubauer, 2023). I will conclude with the implications of such findings and questions about the spatial narratives that we want for the future.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
Publication statusIn preparation - 31 Dec 2023
EventXII Graduate Conference in Culture Studies: Space Oddity - Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 25 Jan 202427 Jan 2024
https://fch.lisboa.ucp.pt/system/files/assets/files/cfp-final-document-updated-01-09-proofed-cam.pdf

Conference

ConferenceXII Graduate Conference in Culture Studies: Space Oddity
Country/TerritoryPortugal
CityLisbon
Period25/01/2427/01/24
Internet address

Keywords

  • Space narratives
  • Geographical imaginaries
  • Destination cosmologies
  • Spatial imaginary spillover

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Space narratives, geographical imaginaries and destination cosmologies: from 17th century Portuguese Jesuits in Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet to 21st century Nepali migrants in Europe'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this