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Kinning In The Imagination: Perceptions Of Kinship And Family History Among Chagossian Children In Mauritius

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses how Chagossian children attending primary school in Port Louis, Mauritius, reflect on their kinship and family history in relation to their imagination of the place where their ancestors come from. It addresses how Chagossian children imagine Chagos and Chagossians dwelling overseas; specifically, it focuses on the role of children in constructing the 'imagined community' of Chagossians in diaspora. Such an analysis can only be viewed within the context of a broader narrative centred on the Chagossians' identification as being 'deeply rooted' in the Chagos islands. The chapter thus highlights how Chagossian children, often living in deprived conditions in Mauritius, weave their family networks together through their relations with Chagossians living with them, and through a process termed 'kinning in the imagination'. This concept refers to a situation wherein interactions with relatives overseas solely occur in the children's imaginations and not through regular, day-to-day physical contact.

Keywords: Chagos islands; Chagossian children; kinning; kinship; Mauritius

10.1163/ej.9789004204003.i-276.41
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004204003.i-276.41
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