The unexpected place: Brexit referendum and the disruptions to translocal place-making among Finns in the UK
As EU citizens and a ‘middling’ migrant group in the UK, Finns have been able to exercise a relatively limitless existence in Britain. However, this freedom became threatened after the Brexit referendum. Through a digital ethnographic approach, this paper shows that the result of the Brexit referendum turned Finns’ translocal place-making in the UK from being practiced by social bodies to being negotiated by political bodies and contributes to literature about translocal place-making as receptive to disruptions. The referendum disrupted Finns’ translocal place-making processes on personal and societal levels, cutting through both active, embodied processes in the UK and virtual, imagined processes in Finland. The referendum imposed newly experienced otherness and conditionality to the ability to participate in the British society. It did, however, also create translocal attachments towards both the UK and Finland. Through its disruptive nature, the event of the Brexit vote embedded itself in the future place-making orientations and narratives of the Finns in the UK, potentially having an impact on their future translocal trajectories and imaginaries.
Copyright (c) 2020 Evi-Carita Riikonen
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