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A passage through place : a visual exploration of the concept of 'home' in relation to refugees in London (1996-1999)

Leet, Sri-Kartini (2001) A passage through place : a visual exploration of the concept of 'home' in relation to refugees in London (1996-1999). Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94477) (KAR id:94477)


In the following thesis I seek to examine the significance of the photograph in relation to a series of issues which surround its status as both an arbiter of ‘the real’ and as an icon of personal memory and identity. Focussing upon a series of refugee experiences from various communities in London, I seek to explore the complexities of being ‘out-of-place’, and the experience of setting up a ‘home’ outside of one’s homeland. Therefore, my research involved my photographing the interiors of their newly-established homes, both in relation to their experience as displaced persons, and in the way a domestic space is set up (with particular focus on the ways in which visual imagery is used in a private context) as representations of their identities and sense of cultural belonging. At the same time, my photography of public spaces provided a visual analysis of the influence of ‘community’ (despite its ambiguous meanings) on identity formation. In turn, however, my photographic work implicated the way the photograph becomes part of a complex series of constructions which raise questions about private terms of reference, of space, and interpretation. Thus part of my theoretical discussion on the photographic image in terms of memory, nostalgia and the past, aspects which (as I suggest) question the usual terms of the photograph’s status as a record of the ‘real’, notably in relation to historical uses of the medium and the ‘documentary’ tradition. In these terms, the images depicted raise questions about their anthropological terms of reference and the ways in which meaning is both relative to and dependent upon the specific context in which the photograph is made, read, and used. Hence the significance of the refugee experience in relation to the making of meaning out of displacement, and the re-construction of ‘home’ based on this strange, split experience.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94477
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Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV4491 Homelessness
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2023 15:50 UTC
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2023 15:50 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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