‘Their lives are even more on hold now’: migrants’ experiences of waiting and immobility during the COVID-19 pandemic

Translated title of the contribution: ‘Their lives are even more on hold now’

Mattias De Backer*, Pascale Felten, Elisabeth Kirndörfer, Mieke Kox, Robin Finlay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
64 Downloads (Pure)


Several recent studies have examined experiences of waiting and spatial and temporal immobility among refugees, asylum seekers and undocumented migrants. This paper investigates recent migrants’ experiences of waiting and (spatial and temporal) immobility in the context of COVID-19 lockdowns, and against the background of pandemic isolation and boredom. It asks how public health measures affected ‘recently’ arrived migrants’ and how these migrants experienced waiting and immobility differently before and during the pandemic. We argue that differences in recent migrants’ status and housing situations shape how they experience immobility during and beyond the pandemic. This paper contributes to research on immobility in migration by highlighting the importance of diverse emotional geographies of loneliness and frustration; it concludes that immobility is situated along an isolation-to-agitation continuum.
Translated title of the contribution‘Their lives are even more on hold now’
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)1846-1862
Number of pages17
JournalSocial and Cultural Geography
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

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© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Research programs

  • SAI 2005-04 MSS


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