Doctorante, aspirante FNRS


Adresse visiteur

Laboratoire d'Anthropologie des Mondes Contemporains
Avenue Jeanne, 44
Bâtiment S
Bureau S12.218
1050 Bruxelles

Adresse courrier

Université libre de Bruxelles
Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 50 - CP 124
1050 Bruxelles

Présentation des recherches

Migrating things: Journeys and biographies of Cordilleran objects in Igorot’s diasporic homes 

This study situates the migrating material culture of the Igorot, an indigenous community in the Cordillera highlands of northern Philippines. The social lives of these objects present how things follow journeys, evoke memories, and display individual and cultural identities. These objects are meaningful not only because of their collective use in ritual. As they move, travel, and arrive—uprooted from their place of origin and regrounded in a new home—their social lives continue as meaningful relationships between people and things. People carry, move, and ascribe meanings to things. In the same way, objects move emotions and influence people to treat them in certain ways. Likewise, these material interactions address and redress consumer culture since these ritual objects are now commercial touristic items in Baguio City. Migrants’ subjectivities redefine these mass-produced objects into meaningful possessions through the ways they are used and hosted in their homes in Belgium and The Netherlands. Consumption in this angle, decommodifies and humanizes objects as sources of company and comfort (Miller 2009), or as spirited members of the household as “kin-things” (Newell 2014). These perspectives on the sociality of objects are akin to the earlier work of Alfred Gell (1998) on the “agency of (art) objects,” popularly phrased as things having social lives (Appadurai 1986) and cultural biographies (Kopytoff 1986). Objects move into different spatial and temporal contexts as commodities to inalienable possessions or kula-like valuables and gifts. As they flow, they also undergo assimilation/resistance, recontextualized/decontextualized, re-signified/devalued, or remade/unmade. Hence, to call them migrating things in this study is crucial to also consider objects as verb—as process, as on-going, as circulating, active entities—implying movements and transformations. 

Keywords: objects, home, material culture, migration, kinship, indigenous people, highland communities

Supervisor: Sasha Newell

Travaux sélectionnés

Marilla, Angelie and Asuncion Fresnoza-Flot. 2023. Home and Homemaking in Local and Transnational Family Lives. In P. Boccagni (ed.) Handbook on Home and Migration. Edward Elgar, pp. 215-227.

Marilla, Angelie. 2022. Mobile Homes, Mobile Objects: Materiality and Mobility of Vietnamese-Belgian Couples. In A. Fresnoza-Flot and G. Liu-Farrer (eds.), Tangled Mobilities: Places, Affects, and Personhood across Social Spheres in Asian Migration. New York: Berghahn Books, pp.69-90. 

Marilla, Angelie. 2020. Book review: Migration and the Search for Home: Mapping Domestic Space in Migrants’ Everyday Lives. Cultural Sociology, 14(1): 117-119.

Marilla, Angelie. 2018. Book review: Dean Worcester’s Fantasy Islands: Photography, Film, and the Colonial Philippines Visual Anthropology, 31(1-2): 190-191. 

Marilla, Angelie. 2017. Visualizing Colonial Myth: Revisiting iconic Igorot Photographs in NatGeo Magazine. Masaryk University, Czech Republic (unpublished master thesis).

Marilla, Angelie. 2015. Reading colonial visuality: a history depicted in Esteban Villanueva’s Basi Revolt paintings (1821), In W. Sucharithanarugse (ed.) Interpretative Studies on Southeast Asian Culture. Bangkok: Institute of Thai Studies, pp. 27-58. 

Mis à jour le 18 septembre 2023