Here, There, Elsewhere: Dialogues on Location and Mobility
We live in an age of increased mobility. At the time research for this collection of essays was undertaken, post-colonial discourses tended to focus on the impact of mobility on those at the receiving end, rather than on the growing populations that now enjoy the freedom to travel worldwide. The circulation of people, culture and commodities forms the hub of our globalized culture, but where does this freedom of movement take us? In this cultural study, artists and writers investigate ideas surrounding the presumed benefits of mobility and address the role, impact and implications of travel for both the visitor and the visited. Through art works, photo essays, autobiography and cultural theory, contributors question the pleasure of travel and the desire to move, relocate, or adopt new identities and lifestyles. In examining how travel both defines and erodes identity, the collection addresses two key questions: when does freedom from location become dislocation and when does the ability to escape become an inability to belong? The book puts as much emphasis on its visual commentaries by artists - an area that conventional humanities publishing sometimes overlooks - as on its academic textual content. My aim as editor was to achieve an absorbing blend of text and image that draws on the critical insights of experts from a wide range of parallel and interconnected disciplines. The book's innovative editorial approach led to lecture invitations from the Bartlett School of Architecture and from Middlesex University, where the book is on reading lists for programmes in spatial culture, curating and architecture. The project was also selected for the British Council's international touring exhibition, The Book Corner (2003), and the collection was reviewed in art and visual culture journals such as Contemporary, Parachute, Eye, European Journal of Communication and Media, Culture, Society.