Nataša Gregorič Bon
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Silenced border crossings and gendered material flows in southern Albania

Chapter seven examines the material exchanges between migrant Greek women in Albania and their husbands back in Greece, focusing on the recalibration of everyday and long-term temporalities between the two settings. Wives remit money, food, furniture and other goods, which gives a concrete dimension to the couple’s relationship, dynamically materialising a migrant wife’s presence at home despite her physical absence. It also affects temporality. First, the rhythmic circulation of things sent and received complements electronic communication in creating a common, cross-border time-space between absent wives and at-home husbands. Second, the woman’s remittances are inalienable in the sense that they are simultaneously both investment and insurance. Managed by the husband, remittances underwrite house-building, which when completed provides tangible testimony both to his wife’s role as care-giver and to the couple’s anticipated future together. In both cases, however, the new, transnational time-space is shown to leave traditional female-male power relations intact. Seen in context of the migrant women’s life-cycle, the liminality of their sojourn abroad is underscored by their reincorporation into local patriarchal structures that, paradoxically, their remittances had helped to sustain.

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Migrating borders and moving times

Temporality and the crossing of borders in Europe


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