Hopes and Concerns: Living Abroad; being an immigrant in London during 2015

In general my prime hope is to conduct an effective and interesting interview: I am deeply focused on planning my questions the best way I can so I could get valuable information and intriguing replies.

Of course this is something that all of us are hoping; am I hoping something more specific? Actually yes. I want to know how it feels like being an immigrant in this metropolitan hub which is called London; Andreas –my interviewee– will have a pretty clear idea on that as he is living here for quite a lot now. However it seems that he has limited choices. I am an immigrant myself but I still have the option to go back whereas Andreas could not do that; the war in Syria is surely an obstacle he would not be able to tackle easily. Therefore I am hoping to really understand how he feels like and whether he is used to his life in London; has this city eventually became a ‘home’ to him?

To tell the truth I am going to this interview with no other feelings or hopes than excitement: I want to be flexible and be able to improvise. I want to learn about his life but at the same time I want him to tell me himself and let the whole process go on effortlessly and flawlessly. This is a hope but it is also a concern: will I be able to have some sort of control of the interview but let it develop loosely at the same time? I do not want to make Andreas feel like I am waiting for particular answers: I just want to see the world through his eyes for a couple of hours. I want to know about his experience.

Finally I have two basic concerns: is the language going to be a barrier? I am going to interview him in Greek and that makes both of us feel comfortable but will it be easy to ‘transform’ the meaning of what he will have said to me to English? It is not only about translation, it is about interpretation as well… So I still think about that. Also I already planned the interview with Andreas during the second week of March and of course this is something that can be rescheduled but I am troubled: do I need more time to reflect on what he will have said to me so I could plan one more session? Apparently you never really know what is going to happen and it is hard to be aware of the quality of the material you will end up with. I am hoping it will be something of great value and that it will satisfy both of us!

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One Comment on “Hopes and Concerns: Living Abroad; being an immigrant in London during 2015”

  1. Graham Smith says:

    I’d like to hear more about how you think language shapes memory. You might like to look at Temple, Bogusia. “Casting a Wider Net: Reflecting on Translation in Oral History.” Oral History 41, no. 2 (October 1, 2013): 100–109.


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