Exhibition 24th April to 7th May Hong Kong University

IMG_0510We are very excited to announce our forthcoming exhibition Lifestyle Migration in Asia – An Interpretive Photography Exhibition(see below). The exhibition will be held in Hong Kong in April/May next year, 2015. We are advertising this you now so that you can fix the date in your diaries if you would like to attend and also to ask if you would consider contributing. It would be really fantastic if you felt able to send us a photograph, or a short video with a small amount of accompanying text telling us how this photo or video illustrates aspects of your life as a migrant in Asia. The final selection of photographs will be made by us, based on quality and available space, but we will do our best to exhibit all that we receive. Please do let us know if you want to know more, and feel free to use the blurb below to advertise the event.

All best wishes: Kate Botterill, Maggy Lee, Karen O’Reilly and Rob Stones

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Lifestyle Migration in Asia – An Interpretive Photography Exhibition

The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

24th April to 7th May 2015

 Lifestyle Migration involves relatively affluent people moving either part-time or full-time, permanently or temporarily, to places that they believe will offer them a better quality of life. There is usually an economic incentive to their mobility, but the search for the good life is paramount in their motivations. Lifestyle migration is an increasingly widespread phenomenon, with effects for migrants, locals, cultural life, and economic life. So how and why do lifestyle migrants move from one place to another? What are their needs and aspirations, the joys and challenges, continuities and discontinuities of their mobile lives? What aspects of the social infrastructure made particular destinations attractive for them?

This photography exhibition offers us a glimpse of the diverse motivations and everyday experiences of British and Hong Kong lifestyle migrants in Thailand, Malaysia and China. Through the eyes of participants in our two-year research project ‘Lifestyle Migration in East Asia: A Comparative Study of British and Asian Lifestyle Migrants’ (RES-000-22-4357) funded by the ESRC/Hong Kong Research Grants Council, these photographs reveal fascinating aspects of life ‘on the move’ for men and women, young families and those in retirement. The accompanying excerpts illustrate the interior worlds of migrants in which experiences, loyalties and memories from two places co-exist and combine.

Article published in IIAS Newsletter

Lifestyle Migration in East Asia Published in International Institute for Asian Studies

Please follow the link to read our newly published article!

Plans

While things seem to have gone a bit quiet with respect to the Lifestyle Migration in East Asia project, be assured plans are afoot!

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Photo taking from web site of the International Women’s Association of Kuala Lumpur.

Exhibition, April 2015

Maggy and Rob are meeting up this week to discuss plans for our forthcoming Exhibition in Hong Kong next April. We will be showcasing elements of our work and we are hoping some of our research participants – YOU – will send us photos and videos about lifestyle migration in Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong. There will be a special focus on growing older as migrants and on gendered experiences of lifestyle migration. Watch this space for more.

News Feature

We will soon be having a featured piece in the newsletter of the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS)

Germans in Hong Kong and Thailand

Meanwhile, you might be interested in reading this policy briefing about Germans living in Hong Kong and Thailand, by Thorsten Nieberg.

New Newsletter available now

Please click here for our May 2014 newsletter: Growing older in postcolonial settings  Lifestyle migration in East Asia Newsletter No2 May2014

Newsletter

Please click here for the just published

Lifestyle migration in East Asia Newsletter No1 Feb2014

 

More Survey Results: enjoying life and escaping the UK

S1140038We have updated the Survey Results page with some more findings and here is a taster, below.

Of the reasons given for moving to Malaysia or Thailand, ones most frequently cited include:

  • the lifestyle and standard of living (“simple life away from the rat race”)
  • the food
  • the culture
  • geographical features (“stunning natural environment”)
  • the weather
  • the friendliness of the people (“people are more friendly and open than in the UK”)
  • for work or partner’s work
  • having family or friendship connections in the country
  • an air of challenge or adventure (“the challenge of something new”)

Some respondents contrasted their experiences of Malaysia or Thailand with where they had previously lived, mostly in reference to the UK. Some of these reasons concerned cheaper costs than when they had lived elsewhere. For example, one respondent stated that they would “have opportunities to travel in this part of the world more cheaply than we could from the UK”. Other reasons related to weather differences, for example, one respondent gave the “miserable weather in the UK” as a reason. In interviews and on the expat forums the discussions often centre around why migrants no longer wanted to live in theUK. One respondent told us he considers the UK to be over-taxed and over-controlled. Another said ‘people are just so depressed there’.

(Thanks to Rowena Viney, Loughborough University, for analysing the survey data)

Lifestyle Migration and Liminality

Scholars are increasingly drawing attention to the difficulties that lifestyle migrants experience in their pursuit of happiness. It seem they are not always the affluent, powerful, privileged post-colonials that is assumed. Of course, that is why Michaela Benson and I define lifestyle migration as the movement of the relatively affluent. If we had understood lifestyle migration to consistently be characterized by absolute wealth, we would have spoken simply of affluent people, and not bothered with the adjective ‘relative’. As time goes by and the global financial crisis takes shape in the reconfiguring of social structures and social positioning, the liminal status of some migrants becomes apparent. The incredible manipulations and machinations that go into managing migration to ensure the state includes the sought-after and excludes the less desirable has some interesting and perhaps unexpected side-effects.

Karen O’Reilly will be talking about some of these issues at a talk at Compas, Oxford, on 27th February 2014.