Deirdre McKay: Home against home – Unpacking an ethics of home-making in the Filipino diaspora (video)

On HOMInG seminar 20_18, last June, Deirdre McKay (Keele University) gave an in-depth and fascinating account of her extended ethnography of Filipino families and of their transnational practices. At the core of her presentation lies the complex function and impact of balikbayan, the boxes of used goods migrants send back to the Philippines. As McKay explains, “Setting the demands of one home against the other, balikbayan boxes  express a profound domestic ambivalence. While materialising migrant resistance to ideas of permanent settlement and amplifying practices of sojourning, the boxes simultaneously reassert migrants’ growing distance from quotidian domestic exchanges in their Philippine households. Migrants’ ethical choices are read in to the materiality of their boxes and reveal, over time, where their home truly lies”.