In our collective consciousness, the term ‘migration’ conjures up images of hordes of refugees fleeing ‘their’ country, escaping on rafts and coming to invade ‘ours’. And immigration is viewed as a problem to be solved.
We’ve got it all wrong.
Migration is about refugees and asylum seekers, but it’s about all sorts of other modern-day nomads, too. Throughout history, migration has been a slow, ongoing and overwhelmingly beneficial phenomenon, more infusion than invasion. So, at a time when the migration stories we hear are largely negative, The New Nomads sets out the positive side. It chronicles the improbable, poignant and hopeful trajectories of young migrants and argues that they become remarkable by taking off rather than take off because they are remarkable.
The New Nomads shows how people from everywhere are finding opportunities everywhere. It is also a journey out of the fantasy-world of global elites, a reflection on why some of us move while others stay and an attempt to pave the way out of the debilitating culture wars currently at play. Finally, in the new era opened by the pandemic, it is a call to let go of the mobility-obsessed understanding of nomadism and to focus on other aspects, such as place, community and connection – to our surroundings, to each other, to ourselves and to nature.
Migration has long been the single most effective means of education, emancipation and empowerment known to humanity. The time has come to rediscover its virtues. Part reportage and part manifesto, The New Nomads is both the chronicle of the birth of a new global ethic grounded in place and an invitation to join the migration revolution underway.