The second life story in Finding home in Europe, a HOMInG book edited by L.E. Pérez Murcia and S. Bonfanti (Berghahn, 2022), is about Miriam – One Essential Home (“Ecuador”), Another Existential Home (“With My Mother”), Many Houses In-Between. Based on a long-term ethnographic engagement, Paolo Boccagni reconstructs her story as a migration, housing and existential pathway in both Italy and Ecuador. Miriam’s narrative strongly illustrates the intersection between ideas of identity and belonging, the built environment, especially the multiple dwellings she has inhabited over years and relates to as home, and the more affective dimension of place. Throughout the migration process, ‘Ecuador’ seems to retain a deeper association with home than ‘Italy’. On an everyday basis, though, home for Miriam has less to do with a place in particular than it does with the people in it – most notably, her mother. As she stresses, ‘My place is home only if my mother is there’.
See the editors’ conceptual Introduction to the book here.
On migrant transnational homemaking,see also other HOMInG studies on the local and transnational significance of “remittance houses” (Boccagni & Pérez Murcia, Migration Studies, 2021, OA), on the emergence of a transnational migration industry (Pérez Murcia & Boccagni, Migration and Development, 2022) and on the family stories and dilemmas embedded in migrant houses as spaces of memory, belonging and economic value (Boccagni & Yapo, Housing Theory and Society, 2022).