I am becoming my mother: (post)diaspora, local entanglements and entangled locals

Pat Noxolo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
448 Downloads (Pure)


Drawing on the sensory, self-shifting approach of Lorna Goodison’s 1986 poem ‘I am becoming my mother’, and on quantum theory for brief insights into entanglement, this article gazes into the still visualities of family photographs of my own Birmingham childhood (my mother died that same year) to push towards a more entangled conception of (post)diaspora. I use this highly personal entanglement to take issue with three troublingly disentangled ways in which postdiaspora has been imagined in recent academic literature: as the culmination of a teleological movement from migrant to diaspora to post-diaspora; as the slowly weakening pull of diasporic responsibilities and remittances; and as a means to archaise and de-link from ties to a forgetful and irresponsible diaspora. Ultimately, the article pushes towards a more deeply materially and personally entangled version of (post)diaspora.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-146
Number of pages13
JournalAfrican and Black Diaspora
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council [grant number AH/P007163/1].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Lorna Goodison
  • Post-diaspora
  • entanglement
  • family photographs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'I am becoming my mother: (post)diaspora, local entanglements and entangled locals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this