How a plantation became paradise: Changing representations of the homeland among displaced Chagos islanders

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Abstract / Description of output

This article explores how representations of a homeland are transformed through experiences of displacement and resettlement, and asks how such transformed representations help or hinder political and legal struggles in exile. It compares songs composed by islanders while living on the colonial Chagos Archipelago with those composed by displaced Chagossians now living in Mauritius and Seychelles, which form part of an emergent collective historical imagination motivated by political and legal struggles for compensation and the right to return. The article demonstrates that a romanticized and standardized collective historical narrative has successfully elicited support for the Chagossian cause from diverse sources, but has unexpectedly posed major problems for the legal struggle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)951–968
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
Volume13
Issue number4
Early online date16 Nov 2007
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007

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