Where can one ‘be, become and belong’ and what are meaningful educational places? The Life History and Biography Network meeting 2023 will meet to collectively address these questions. As a point of departure, we will conceptualize belonging as relational and situated, embedded in lived power relations, social structures, and personal struggles; constantly felt, negotiated and contested. Belonging and meaning are conceived not as fixed and discrete, but embedded in fluid processes of being and becoming. We want to integrate ideas from lifescapes, landscapes and timescapes, to explore personal and imaginary learning life histories and narratives. We playfully conceive ‘scapes’ having the potential: to explore wide open vistas; as places to build and create; existing in ‘real’ or virtual escapes; and of course offering the opportunity to escape.
The concept of lifescapes can help us to explore the synthesis between social interactions within political, economic and ecological contexts experienced sensitively across cultural boundaries and physical borders. Or, in other words how belonging and meaning are socially embedded and embodied in sensual ways of being within spatial practices that transform landscapes into lifescapes. While also acknowledging the dynamic, constantly evolving, and socially negotiated nature of life histories and narratives, we also would like to draw on the concept of timescape to help us consider the dis/continuous temporal rhythms that frame our experiences.
We may want to consider the atmosphere (physical and feeling) of the space we shall create, what might be brought in and how we curate our offerings to make research more accessible and relevant. We may also wish to question where will the space be for indigenous voices, empirical research, art, fresh air, poetry, movement, daring to step out into a labyrinth and getting lost, dissent and conviviality?