Reader in Refugee and Migration Studies, Department of Social Sciences, Cass School of Education and Communities, University of East London.
Conducted by Luis Eduardo Perez Murcia in London in July 2018
“While I was still living in Belgrade, and at the height of nationalistic frensy in the country, I felt that in some very important ways I no longer feel at home there. This, of course, is nothing unusual, because homes are not only places of comfort, protection and security. They are also and more often than not, contested places of insecurity and at times, oppression. Children and women, in particular, experience their homes often as places of repression, a quality that remains hidden behind the label ‘private’ that the notion of home carries. What is home and where is home is continuously in flux, even for those who stay put, let alone for those who no longer are in the place where they were born, where they grew up, and were educated. For those of us who also moved to places marked by a new language, cultural codes, and an unfamiliar social fabric of life, the meaning of home and the possibility of pinning it to one place is even more fluid, I think. Where I see and feel myself at home depends on what is most needed or important for my sense of self and related aspirations and life plans, in a specific moment of my life”.