Transnational Migration, Citizenship and the Circulation of Rights and Responsibilities (TRANSMIC)

Ethnographic fieldwork with Ecuadorian community in London (Polina Palash)

September 14th, 2016 by Niels

Between March and July 2016, TRANSMIC PhD researcher Polina Palash (ESR7) carried out the second intense part of her multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork with the Ecuadorian community in London. Polina interviewed about 40 respondents, including mostly Ecuadorian families and also key informants working with the Latin American migrants in the British capital. During the fieldwork, Polina collaborated with Cristina Ramos, a PhD from the University of Florida conducting a more large-scale research on onward migration of Ecuadorian and Colombian migrants from Spain to the UK. This partnership opened an enriching comparative perspective for both PhD researchers.

Apart from doing fieldwork, Palash has been actively participating in the local academic and civil society life. She was received as visiting PhD student at Queen Mary University working with Cathy McIlwaine, a distinguished professor specialised on Latin-American migration in the UK. Palash participated in several academic events, such as the launch of McIlwaine’ latest important study on this community in London, which highlights the emerging relevance of onward Ecuadorian migration from Spain to London.

As regards activism in the civil society, during her stay in London Palash collaborated as volunteer in IRMO (Indoamerican Refugee and Migrant Organization), a long-established NGO working with Latin American population in the city. While assisting the everyday needs of this population, among which Ecuadorians represent a significant group, Palash consolidated her acknowledgment of the social and legal conditions faced by this emerging ethnic minority in the British capital. Moreover, she appeared in the video produced for the 30th anniversary of IRMO.

Furthermore, Polina Palash attended several events organised by the Ecuadorian and Latin-American community in London and other local actors and civil society organisations. She also participated in a radio emission in Extra Radio with the Consul of Ecuador, Jorge Moreno, where she shared some research results and presented news about the research project.

In general this second part of the intensive period of data gathering has been successfully completed with rich insights into the Londoner context and the transnational dynamics linked to the origin country.

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