Sensory geographies and defamiliarisation: migrant women encounter Brighton Beach
- Publisher: Routledge/Taylor and Francis
This article’s starting point is a sensory, reflexive walk taken on Brighton seafront and beach, by fourteen migrant women and some of their children. It goes on to open up a wider discussion about the cultural politics and affective resonances, for refugees and migrants, of beaches. By discussing their sensory experiences of the beach, we begin to understand their ‘ostranenie’, or defamiliarisation, of making the familiar strange. We also see how evocative such sense-making can be, as the women compare their past lives to this, perceiving their lifeworld through a filter of migrancy. \ud The article goes onto discuss the broader cultural symbolism of beaches, which are a site of contestation over national values, boundaries, and belonging. As well as discussing sensory methodology in this article, and explaining the locale of Brighton Beach itself, it concludes with some wider thinking of the cultural politics of beach spaces and migrant perceptions.
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