Hani’s fifteen-year journey to refugee status in Northern Ireland allows for an examination of the extended temporalities of displacement which shape the lives and relationships of women asylum seekers. The asylum process causes prolonged suffering, exposing women to family separation, repeated displacement, poverty, substandard living conditions, and detention while waiting for a legal resolution. Women like Hani remain stuck in time and space, forced to live in an uncertain present, separated from the home and family they once knew. Years spent living under these conditions reconfigure women’s imaginaries of home and family, which I will examine through broader concepts of belonging and care. Rather than remaining stuck in a painful present, some women engage in new forms of caregiving that move beyond kinship, creating new families and homes separate from the past. While these care practices create meaning in the present, they also create temporal conflicts that require women to simultaneously negotiate multiple incompatible temporalities in the ‘here and now’.
- Family Separation