Publications of Olena Fedyuk

Images of Transnational Motherhood: The Role of Photographs in Measuring Time and Maintaining Connections between Ukraine and Italy

Photographs occupy a special place among the tokens of love and care that glue together transnational families: they fill in the absences, compensate for the lack of intimacy and serve as a reminder of the ‘other life’ that was disrupted by migration. Through examining the photos that circulate between Ukrainian migrant mothers in Italy and their families at home, I try to grasp desired representations of migration and home, motherhood and family. Collected during fieldwork in Italy and Ukraine, and interpreted in the light of interviews and participant observation, the photographs studied often unravel the conflicting interests within transnational families. The article shows how the pictures that flow between Ukraine and Italy measure time differently abroad and at home, reflect the imagination of success and failure in migration, and illustrate how responsibilities and obligations are unequally distributed within transnational families.