What happens when Somalis find themselves in countries with which they have few obvious cultural links? In Australia, where a majority of Somalis are Australian citizens, this absence of cultural connection is only partly remedied within an official multicultural model. To understand the mechanics of contemporary belonging and the challenges faced by Western societies as they attempt to ‘integrate’ Somali migrants, this book explores representations of Somali resettlement. How do particular representations contribute to or detract from Somali settlement and belonging in their host countries? What kinds of representations help Somalis to feel at home in their new contexts?
In the contexts of Australia and Italy taken as case studies Somalis are marginalised in different ways. This book considers representations as ‘possible spaces’ that may counter reductive anti-African and anti-Muslim stereotypes that still condition public perceptions of Somali settlement. Approaching the question of belonging from a variety of disciplines, representations that embody Somali subjectivities and enable movement beyond exclusive paradigms of Italian or Australian nationhood are taken into account. Each representation is assessed for its ability to invite new forms of identification that lead to a process of ‘taking place.’