Being-Here: Placemaking in a World of Movement

Lems, Annika (2018). Being-Here: Placemaking in a World of Movement. EASA series: Vol. 35. New York: Berghahn

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This book sheds light on the existential dynamics of being-in-place. Focusing on the lives and stories of Halima and Omar, two Somalis in their mid-fifties living in Melbourne, Australia, it discusses the interrelated meanings of emplacement and displacement as lived and felt in people’s everyday lives. It also works with a series of photographs taken by Mohamed, who, upon returning to war-torn Mogadishu after thirty years abroad, began depicting his relationship to lost, ruined and imagined places. Zooming in on the particularities of Mohamed’s, Omar’s and Halima’s experiences of displacement and placemaking, the book takes a critical look at the use of the figure of the refugee as a metaphor for alienation and estrangement from society. Rather than using displacement as symbolic for the absence of place, the book demonstrates the inescapable presence of place. As an in-depth ethnographic account of the spatiality of Being, it moves anthropological theory towards a new understanding of the crucial existential links between Sein (Being) and Da (here).

Item Type:

Book (Monograph)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Social Anthropology

UniBE Contributor:

Lems, Annika


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology




EASA series






Annika Lems

Date Deposited:

11 Apr 2018 16:22

Last Modified:

04 Aug 2020 11:14

Uncontrolled Keywords:

place, dislacement, existential anthropology, mobility, Australia, refugees, Somalia, Somali diaspora


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