Towards an Understanding of How London Turkish Cypriot Youth ‘Perform’ Their Diaspora Identities Through Emplacement and Mobility

Salih, Canan (2014) Towards an Understanding of How London Turkish Cypriot Youth ‘Perform’ Their Diaspora Identities Through Emplacement and Mobility. Doctoral thesis, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London.


The London Turkish Cypriot (LTC) community has been described as ‘invisible’, a community at the point of eradication (Aksoy and Robins 2001). For three generations of LTCs the process of cultural identification has seen an evolution from migration and ‘homeland’ association, to critical displacement, assimilation and different perceptions of what is ‘home’. The growing diversity in cultural identification is further reflected in enhanced access to spatial consumption, mobility and choices of emplacement for its younger generations.

This PhD is driven by practice-as-research. The practice, and therefore line of reasoning, behind this research is an ongoing, organic process that has shifted throughout the course of the thesis. The documentation of the practice-as-research is included in the accompanying DVD and is integral to the findings of this thesis.

The thesis asks how LTC youth ‘perform’ their identities and negotiate a diaspora identity that is in constant flux. The enquiry consists of two main lines of enquiry. First, I am exploring how young people use public spaces through mobility and a ‘mobile’ culture, using mobile initiated technology to further explore the idea of movement and flux. Second, I progress towards a greater understanding of the participating young LTCs’ concept of ‘home’ and what elements of their every day performative behaviour, their environment and relational spaciality construct and support these home-making practices.

The thesis addresses complex issues arising out of auto ethnographic practice-as-research of the LTC community, conducted through applied drama practices with its youth. Issues include identifying young participants’ relationship to cultural space, place making and notions of ‘home’ as part of their identity construction process. The thesis also discusses the ‘fit’ of applied drama as a qualitative research tool within this context and the fluidity of changing technologies that can be, and are at times, used to document examples of practice.


Submitted Version - PDF (Thesis)
  • Available under License CC-BY-ND

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