Nataša Gregorič Bon

Chapter seven examines the material exchanges between migrant Greek women in Albania and their husbands back in Greece, focusing on the recalibration of everyday and long-term temporalities between the two settings. Wives remit money, food, furniture and other goods, which gives a concrete dimension to the couple’s relationship, dynamically materialising a migrant wife’s presence at home despite her physical absence. It also affects temporality. First, the rhythmic circulation of things sent and received complements electronic communication in creating a common, cross-border time-space between absent wives and at-home husbands. Second, the woman’s remittances are inalienable in the sense that they are simultaneously both investment and insurance. Managed by the husband, remittances underwrite house-building, which when completed provides tangible testimony both to his wife’s role as care-giver and to the couple’s anticipated future together. In both cases, however, the new, transnational time-space is shown to leave traditional female-male power relations intact. Seen in context of the migrant women’s life-cycle, the liminality of their sojourn abroad is underscored by their reincorporation into local patriarchal structures that, paradoxically, their remittances had helped to sustain.

in Migrating borders and moving times