“Today, we teach the kids where we are from”: Event filmmaking and diasporic home-making among Indian Muslims in North America

Sanderien Verstappen


How do people make themselves at home in situations of movement, dispersal, and marginalization? Migration scholars have destabilized the idea that a home is bound to a dwelling, and developed more processual ways of conceptualizing home. In this article I bring this research agenda into conversation with the anthropology of events, to conceptualize social events as a diasporic home-making practice. Methodologically, I demonstrate how event filmmaking, a genre of ethnographic filmmaking, can be used as a research method in event studies. To develop this conceptual and methodological contribution, I draw on my experiences while making a film about the Vohra families reunion, a community event for Indian Gujarati Muslims (Vohras) in the United States and Canada. I interpret the reunion’s potential as a home-making practice in the light of the social position of Muslims as a religious minority in the United States, in India, and in the Indian diaspora.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/729992