The yearning for elsewhere
Fieldwork in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The yearning for elsewhere

Notes from the field

written for 2013 New Year's greeting

The yearning for elsewhere is a fact or our fate. The lands that were once developing have developed, and herald that things will start moving faster. Voices everywhere tell us that we need to make it there lest we get left out in the cold here. The last growth prospects, we hear, have moved on from here to there. Joining the action means taking a plane journey and it’s all buzzing where you’re going. 

And yet we know that destinations are everywhere: the same place can be dazzling for one and dull for another. Desire does not spring so much from what we look at: it is how we look at it – there as much as here.
Ethnography lets us rise above that tendency to think black or white. The whole point is to shift off centre, look again, and remember that everything is relative – there and here. We look forward to taking that time out to breathe with you, while the world races.

Illustration Éva le Roi