Leila Wilmers: Newcomer Experiences

 

MIGRATION IS A PART OF MANY OF OUR LIVES, AND MEMORIES WE HAVE OF HOMEMAKING IN A NEW PLACE OFTEN ENDURE. BEING A NEWCOMER CAN FEEL DAUNTING AND ALIENATING, BUT THERE ARE ALSO FLEETING MOMENTS OF CONTACT WITH OTHERS – ENCOUNTERS, ACTIONS OR SITUATIONS – THAT HELP US FEEL AT HOME AND ENCOURAGE US TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR ADOPTED SOCIETY.

WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE OF CITIZENSHIP AS A NEWCOMER? WHAT MADE YOU FEEL INCLUDED OR STIMULATED YOU TO BECOME INVOLVED LOCALLY?

 

Welcomed into a khorovod dance in the city centre of Ekaterinburg, Russia.

 

 

Wandering citizen Wilmers
I am a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Social Sciences at Loughborough University interested in identity, collective memory and imaginings of the nation. My experience of research and working with charities in Russia and peacebuilding projects across the post-Soviet space have inspired a passion that keeps me returning to this region. I value enormously the warmth and acceptance I have felt as a newcomer in many different places. My PhD research explores narratives of the nation´s continuity in contemporary Russian cities.