IMER stands for International Migration and Ethnic Relations. This field of study is interdisciplinary, with ethnologists, sociologists, social work scientists and human geographers amongst the interested. Botkyrka, a Stockholm suburb, hosts a multicultural centre where the Swedish IMER Society has its seat. A congress was arranged by them on the last day of January and the first day of February 2008.
It was my first congress outside Örebro and I was curious to see what the multicultural centre looked like and what kind of people there would be. It was a nice old building amidst the concrete suburbian flats, where we - a group of about 25 people - discussed IMER for two days. The group was mixed in age, gender and ethnic backgrounds. Young "ethnic" PhD candidates like myself (Dutch, Polish and other nationalities) were sitting side by side with experienced researchers from England, India, Denmark, Iceland, Turkey and of course Sweden.
We talked about diaspora, bilingual children and what it's like to be a "suburb-kid". Very interesting and it resulted in a nice idea for taking part in an IMER Seminar series at Uppsala University, amongst other things.
Completely exhausted, but many experiences richer, I returned to Örebro.