How do you write the history of a place which is yours, but not yours. Relegated to the margins, where survival is a everyday negotiation, is documentation and memory that vital? If our lived experiences are not noted, who else will? How do I acknowledge my privilege in this process. How does History writing with a small ‘h’ change when the margins become the core. When the temporary becomes the mainstay?
Middle class consumer citizenships in the Khaleej are a proxy, and consumerism is a mode of negotiation rather than aspiring to the ideal as the social contract is one of work and the life apart from work is considered marginal.
Temporary People by fellow Gulf Kid Prof. Deepak Unnikrishnan at NYU Abu Dhabi paints these narratives of the ‘Pravasi’ in the labour camp is a powerful start. Please don’t write about Migrant lives with cushy offices in the west. We are not narratives for your PhD dissertation.