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SAINT HELENA: CITIZENSHIP AND SPATIAL IDENTITIES ON A REMOTE ISLAND

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Abstract:

ABSTRACT

Saint Helena is an extremely isolated island in the South Atlantic. It is connected to the outside world through the Internet, telephone and a shipping link. Its inhabitants, who call themselves Saints, were denied full British citizenship until May 2002. This prevented a large out-migration. At the same time the struggle for citizenship provided a common cause, which united the people of Saint Helena. With the return of citizenship, an escape route became available. Roughly a quarter of the island's population has since left ‘prison home’ Saint Helena. Two options are now open, which will both bring major change to the island. Air access might bring much-needed economic development, but it will also have an impact on the Saints’ identity and ‘way of life’. Without air access, more Saints will probably leave and this way of life will be shared by less and less people on the island.

Keywords: Saint Helena; Spatial identity; access; citizenship; insularity; migration

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9663.2005.00441.x

Publication date: 2005-02-01

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