Musicking (Small 1998) is at the heart of people’s social life and cultural experience (DeNora 2008; Turino 2008). Examining people’s engagement with music and dance as performative acts, thus, is also essential to understanding the ways refugees construct and express their identities and bond with others socially. Since musical practices (including listening, dancing, sharing digital links, etc.) are social activities, they have the potential to support refugees to overcome dislocation, alienation, loneliness, homesickness, void, and despair by enabling the individual to socially reconnect and bond. Accordingly, numerous studies of migrant, minority, and refugee groups have shown that cultural continuity is crucial for the individuals’ social wellbeing (Berry 2005).
“Mobile Identities” has examined popular music’s role in the production of meaning for individuals and the shaping of new communities and sociomusical practices as well as the joint effect of media and migration on the work of social imagination as a constitutive feature of modern subjectivity.
Due to the Covid-19 lockdown, the planned interviews with young adult refugees could not be realized. During the months of the relaxed Covid-19 regulations in 2020, I met with the aspiring musician Jawed Ahmadi and a student of the Lucerne School of Art and Design to work on a production of a music video. I also met with a group of young people at the HelloWelcome for weekly gatherings of musicking. The closing of the locale at the end of 2020 has disrupted all activities with the youths.