Constellations of ferry (im)mobility: islandness as the performance and politics of insulation and isolation

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Vannini, Phillip
Drawing from three years of fieldwork — including over 250 journeys and about 400 interviews — conducted in ferry-dependent coastal and insular communities of British Columbia, this paper extends the concept of constellation of mobility and provides empirical evidence to argue for its relevance. Coined by Cresswell, the concept of constellations of mobility refers to historically and geographically specific formations of movement inclusive of relational experiences, practices, and politics. By focusing on two of the constitutive parts indicated by Cresswell (experience and route) and a third one originally developed here (remove) ethnographic data description and analysis show how ferry (im)mobility in ferry-dependent communities contributes to spatializing dynamics of insulation and isolation. Positive affective aspects of these spatializations, such as uniqueness and distinction, place-attachment, sense of place, place-identity, safety, connection, and remoteness, as well as negative aspects, such as marginalization, divisiveness, disconnection, fear, and confinement are outlined.
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