Adrift in a Borderland: Experimenting with Participatory and Embodied Methodologies as a Collective of Asylum seekers, Refugees, Civic Activists and Academic Scholars


  • Tiina Sotkasiira University of Eastern Finland
  • Sanna Ryynänen University of Eastern Finland
  • Anni Rannikko University of Eastern Finland
  • Päivikki Rapo



migrant entrepreneurship, social innovation, otherness, marginalisation


This article examines our on-going attempts to operationalise a critical qualitative research approach – drifting, which we have adopted from the feminist collective Precarias a la deriva, – in order to conduct research with people who have arrived in Finland as asylum seekers and refugees, as well as with the civic activists who work by their side. Our research focuses on the everyday bordering practices that exclude asylum seekers and refugees, and the activities of de-bordering. The article claims that drifting combines the advantages of mobile research methods with the critical and collective praxis of activist research, which allows the upsurge of non-hegemonic knowledge. Drifting holds great promise for exploring everyday borders and their consequences, which usually remain hidden to the majority of native residents. In drifting, the injustices that occur at borders within countries in Europe are not only exposed for research and the wider public, but they are also challenged with research-based interventions.


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Author Biographies

Tiina Sotkasiira, University of Eastern Finland

Senior Researcher, PhD, Department of Social Sciences, University of Eastern Finland

Sanna Ryynänen, University of Eastern Finland

Senior Lecturer of Social Pedagogy, PhD, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Eastern Finland  

Anni Rannikko, University of Eastern Finland

Postdoctoral Researcher, PhD, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Eastern

Päivikki Rapo



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How to Cite

Sotkasiira, T., Ryynänen, S., Rannikko, A., & Rapo, P. (2020). Adrift in a Borderland: Experimenting with Participatory and Embodied Methodologies as a Collective of Asylum seekers, Refugees, Civic Activists and Academic Scholars. Migration Letters, 17(2), 279–288.