The migration crisis and the anxieties brought about by the global COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated the instability and unpredictability of how we dwell in places. These phenomena force us to rethink “space,” our relationship with it, and thus, ourselves as in-placed subjects. This article reflects on my performance of B.O.D.Y. The Bureau of Domestic Yearning. It is a personal response to living in lockdown in a country that is both domestic and foreign to me because I am an expat. Performing at home has led me to question where home is in relation to my resident status (visa) and my body as two dimensions that often do not match. The borders determining physical environments and bureaucratic landscapes overlap imperfectly, revealing cracks and divergencies, in which my expat sōma dwells by performing multiple identities, none of which is exhaustive of myself. I yearn for belonging to what surrounds me at the point of vanishing—or have I finally become one with the land on which I stand? My paper shows how I get acquainted with my domestic space by using my body as measurement. This helped me find out, eventually, that it is not a tool but my very first domestic space, which I always inhabit and through which I perform on various visas and frontiers, on the ground upon which I stand, as well as in the atmospheric pressure of bureaucracy. My migrant body is a horizon: a mobile point of contact between dimensions.


Body, dwelling home, migration, pandemic, performance art

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

The Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) declares Kritika Kultura as a CHED-recognized journal under the Journal Challenge Category of its Journal Incentive Program.

International Board of Editors

Jan Baetens
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
Professor of Cultural Studies
Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
John Hawkes Professor of the Humanities and English
Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Professor of South Asian Studies, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
Professor Emeritus and Honorary Lifetime Fellow
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Honorary Professor and Research Associate in German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
National Artist for Literature
Professor Emeritus
University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
Director of the Division of Humanities
Professor of Humanities
Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
Professorial Lecturer
Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)