The futures of agency
Exploring the liminal spaces between action and responsibility

From Being Displaced in the Past to Finding a Place in the Future

Living in conflict-affected areas puts human lives at risk, disrupts people’s access to basic services and can lead to displacement either internally (within the boundaries of the same country) or to other countries.
Being displaced puts people in a liminal position socially, temporally and spatially.
Liminality has been described as a condition of transition between one rather consistent and enduring state to the next. During this liminal phase, individuals experience a sense of ambivalence and confusion.
The argument of this study is that the betwixt and between is not a temporary but life long experience for the displaced people after leaving home. It can be assumed that regardless of the long time that it may take, some aspects of the liminal condition will end at some point, for instance by receiving a positive answer for their refugee claim, they will earn a legal status. However, there are identical and emotional aspects of this liminal experience that they may live with for the rest of their lives; a constant state of displacement, a space that turns to home for these people.
This study explores the image of the future of a group of displaced people mostly in their twenties or early thirties who moved from Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria to Finland in an attempt to answer the following questions: What does future mean to someone who is in a liminal situation in an era characterized by instability and uncertainty? how the experience of displacement and living in between affect people’s agency?