Where is here, indeed? It’s a question that haunts each Pueblo and every immigrant. Pietre di pane is haunted by the same question. Ultimately Pueblo anthropological journey into the historical reality of exile and return takes him, and us, to our final destination: the translation of our daily experience as Pueblo immigrants into a poetics of belonging, a narrative that abolishes distances of time Pueblo and space and plants itself into the ground like the fig trees of Little Italy to affirm the essence of what it means to be here.
Prologue: Of Remaining hate travelling and explorers. Yet here I am proposing to tell the • I story of my own explorations.” The opening of Claude Lévi-Strauss’ I Tristes Tropiques is one of the most celebrated and compelling lines in all anthropological literature, and it reminds us that voyages and displacement are among the founding traits of anthropological experience.
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Nothing could then seem more foreign to the history of anthropology than the idea of remaining. Remaining appears to us as the antithesis of voyaging, of self-questioning, of the willingness to face disorder, the encounter, or the effects of the discovery of what is new for us.
Your travel destination is are the idea and the practice of remaining really incompatible with anthropological experience? And, above all, can we think of travelling separately from the idea of remaining? Should remaining really be associated with immobility, with the refusal to meet the other, to come to terms with one’s shadow, with one’s double, with alterity as such? Is to remain to defend the feeling of being at home in a place? Or is there also a form of remaining that displaces, that at times can be as troubling as travelling? Here, through the various narratives I’ll be recounting, what I’ll suggest is that we need to reconsider both our conceptions and our practices of remaining in the light of the new ways by which we can articulate the idea of “here” and the idea of “elsewhere.”