Living in post-Brexit Britain during the pandemic: how did it feel for EU citizens?

Emotions and forms of resilience among middle-aged Europeans.

An illustrated talk by Lucia Ruggerone, lecturer in Sociology, Robert Gordon University

26th January 2023 at 19:15 at Rubislaw Church Centre, 1 Beaconsfield Place, Aberdeen AB15 4AB

In the talk Lucia will present the results of a study conducted with Charlie Hackett (Gray’s School of Art) on the effects of  the Coronavirus epidemic and Brexit on the emotional wellbeing of middle-aged European citizens who have transnational caring responsibilities in the UK and in Europe. We used an art-based method where participants were first asked to produce some form of art-work (a drawing, a collage, a photograph, a video or even a piece of music) and were then interviewed by the team. Our emphasis was less focused on their political stances and views about the restrictions and reduction of their freedoms, and more on the affective, emotional states that these restrictions might have created for them. In this presentation, I will discuss the results of the analysis, focussing on the themes emerging from the artworks and the in-depth interviews with 25 European citizens living in different UK regions. During the conversations detailed aspects of their experience after Brexit and during lockdown unfolded, creating a communication that many of them defined as “therapeutic”. 

Lucia Ruggerone is a lecturer in Sociology at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen and a research Fellow at the Centre for Research on Fashion and Culture in Milan, Italy. Lucia has a long experience of teaching in Higher Education both in Italy and the UK to students from different cultural backgrounds, age groups and interests. She is also an active researcher and her last project, funded by British Academy, was a study on the emotional well-being of EU citizens in the UK using an art-based methodology.