Agency in “forced” returns? A self-reflection exercise
by Maria Shaidrova
There is no better way to understand the turbulences of migration trajectories than to experience them yourself. I was studying the repetitive risk-taking among returnees in Nigeria when I was “returned” myself to a Covid-19 affected Holland. I am still wondering whether I indeed “had” a choice or if returning was “the only option”, considering the conditions I found myself in. These questions sound familiar for us researchers, don’t they? In distressful situations, people tend to search for safety, therefore, “returning ” can be an immediate reaction to confusion. However, this immediate need does not imply “safety” and does not turn “home” into a long-term aspiration.