A blog entry by Obert Tawodzera

Between the 26th and 28th of June myself and other members of the Care ‘in’ and ‘out of’ place team attended the 16th IMISCOE Annual Conference in Malmo Sweden. The conference theme was Understanding International Migration in the 21st Century: Conceptual and Methodological Approaches. It was a well-attended conference with close to 1000 participants with different academic and professional backgrounds and functions attending. For me this was my first IMISCOE conference and I made the most out of it. On the first day of the conference I attended some PhD networking activities. I found these helpful as I had the opportunity to learn more about IMISCOE, get to know and exchange with other PhD students as well as with other well-established senior professionals and scholars whose work I had long admired. Besides networking and of course spreading the ‘Sustainable Care’ gospel, it was also an opportunity to learn some academic skills of relevance to my PhD and perhaps beyond.

Dr Majella Kilkey and Professor Louise Ryan

The conference itself kicked off to a great start with a plethora of panel spread across the 3 days. There was so much good content across the panels that I wished I could have been in more than one place at once. My work package co-investigators, Dr Majella Kilkey and Professor Louise Ryan presented on the first day a paper reconsidering the role of spatial and temporary dynamics in long distance care relationships. However, the highlight for me was on the second day in a panel organised by Majella and Louise. The panel was titled “Ageing in and out of place: new conceptual challenges for migration research”. The focus of the panel was on migrants’ experiences of ageing in and out of place and to reflect on some conceptual frame works. The panel brought together an international set of academics drawing on research which had been conducted across a range of geographic context. This panel also afforded our work package to present some of our preliminary findings of our research with ageing migrants. Louise and Dr Magdolna Lorinc presented a paper examining migrants’ understanding of and navigation of place in later life. I was also privileged to present a paper that forms part of my PhD work reflecting on understanding the role of new technologies in maintaining ‘familyhood’ across geographic distance from the specific perspective of ageing migrants. This was a well-attended panel with both senior researchers and early career researchers jostling for sits. We received a lot of constructive feedback which we found very helpful in clarifying the purpose and scope of our project and in making it more accessible to others.

Obert Tawodzera presenting his work

Professor Louise Ryan

Dr Magdolna Lőrinc

Personally, the conference gave me the opportunity to meet other like-minded scholars, listen and engage with their work as well as exchange ideas on fields of interest. I am hopeful that most of them will attend the Sustainable Care Conference in April 2020. Finally, I can say presenting at the conference and listening to talks and presentations re-invigorated my interest in migration and care studies and energised me to learn more about best practices, methods and resources in research.

Obert Tawodzera

Obert Tawodzera

PhD Student