Cartographers of Disrupted Belonging: Sudanese Mothers Drawing Maps of Portsmouth (UK)

By Sanders, Charlotte | Journal of International Women's Studies, April 2019 | Go to article overview

Cartographers of Disrupted Belonging: Sudanese Mothers Drawing Maps of Portsmouth (UK)


Sanders, Charlotte, Journal of International Women's Studies


Introduction: Cartographies of M/Otherhood

Sudanese women make maps in Portsmouth; they are cartographers of the city. (2) They produce pathways through previously unknown territories, and they reconfigure landmarks in order to remake a sense of place. Through their everyday map-making Sudanese women work to embed their lives in new local spaces and to reproduce 'liveable lives' (Butler, 2004) for their families. Yet just as they claim space, their maps are also restricted, hyper-local in horizon and practical in their destinations, routes and rhythms. Just as they generate landmarks and pathways, there are spaces which remain unreachable; configurations of movement and stasis which reveal an intersectional politics of im/mobility and in/visibility in urban space. In this paper, I explore these spatial and temporal configurations of power through ethnographic fieldwork conducted with eighteen Sudanese women, all mothers, who arrived in Portsmouth within the last twenty-five years and who live in council-allocated housing in the city. I draw upon both their visual and oral articulations of spatial openings and closures in Portsmouth to think critically about geographies of un/belonging in urban space.

This paper considers mundane experiences of movement 'from one place to another in the course of everyday life' (Hanson 2010) as embedded in infra/structures of domination, matrices of power which define the im/possibilities of both everyday life and embeddedness in cities. As such, the data explored here also emerges through some autoethnographic research in which I think critically about my own cartographies of Portsmouth as a white middle-class inhabitant, vis-a-vis those of the research participants. In Portsmouth, a naval-port city in South England, my home is no more than 1-1.5 miles from the mothers' homes. Yet I do not see them as I walk through the (predominantly white, middle class) neighbourhood in which I live; spaces which also happen to be sites of leisure in the city. During fieldwork, however, I would continuously bump into them as I walked through their spaces of residence, en route as they were to shops, nurseries and schools. This paper develops through a spatial and temporal reconceptualisation of distance in Portsmouth, which contributes to wider projects across feminist and migration studies theorising the in/habitability of space as formed through gendered, raced and classed matrices of power (Blunt & Rose, 1994; Ruddick, 1996; Massey, 1994; Silvey, 2005; Ahmed, 2000; 2006; Sheller, 2015; Beebeejaun, 2017). I do so by conceptualising Sudanese women as simultaneously mother and 'Other', tracing the disrupted pathways of m/Otherly belonging in the city.

The following begins with a conceptual review of space, time and subject-making, bringing feminist analyses together with Lefebvre's theory of cyclical rhythms and a Foucauldian understanding of temporality as a technology of subjedification. I think through space-time as a forceful technology, constitutive of the limits of self just as positionality is constitutive of the limits of mobility. I then move to a methodological review of the fieldwork conducted in Portsmouth. More specifically, I provide insights into the process of 'mental mapping' (Jung 2012; Gieseking, 2013; Itaoui, 2016) through which Sudanese mothers sketched from memory visual articulations of the everyday pathways and landmarks of their urban cartographies. After introducing and analysing these maps, I then interweave them with the mothers' oral articulations of space, time and disrupted belonging in Portsmouth. Through their drawings and words, myself and my participants present a critical feminist intervention in the analysis of space and difference in the city. This makes central the role of mothering to shaping the possibilities of place-belonging, whilst insisting upon the inseparability of classed and racialised 'Othering' from experiences of mothering. I conclude that space and time are primary nodes of power which impose upon Sudanese mothers' access to belonging in Portsmouth, mediated through the gendered, raced and classed im/possibilities of their urban map-making. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Cartographers of Disrupted Belonging: Sudanese Mothers Drawing Maps of Portsmouth (UK)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.