Sometimes I see expat defined as people whose companies send them overseas for a period of time for work. Other times it refers to artists and intellectuals who move abroad for a bohemian lifestyle. Sometimes it’s a word for digital nomads looking to network in English. I’m never quite sure if I’m an expat. But I am an immigrant from a rich country, and I have a lot of privilege as a foreigner living in Portugal. What about you?
The legacies of racial capitalism and colonialism are ever present, and gentrification and touristification have made Lisbon an expensive city and Portugal a difficult place for many immigrants. While my ancestors benefited from slavery and racial capitalism, and my national citizenship gives me many advantages towards making money in the global economy, the descendants of colonized countries are being pushed out of urban centers, stopped at the borders, and living on low wages.
Being an immigrant – from any background – is not easy. There’s language and culture and beaurocratic challenges we all face. But, the privilege that immigrants from rich countries hold is important to acknowledge. How do we live accountably in the face of gentrification on top of the history of colonization?
There’s no one right answer – we need to be in alignment with our values and be courageous to acknowledge ways we may be causing harm while working to make repair and be accountable.
This program consists of eight group meetings. Prior to each meeting, you will get a short 15-20min political education module to work through on your own. The minimum is to watch a video and think about some reflection questions, but I’ll also offer additional readings, videos, and resources. When we meet, we will use this content as our starting point for group coaching and I will support the group to process the information in an embodied way and to help you find how you want to be in alignment with your values. Each participant also gets two individual 1-hour coaching sessions.