Raquel Campos (London Metropolitan University, UK)


The Brexit referendum result confirmed a historical socio-political rupture between the United Kingdom and the European Union and put the status of European migrants in the UK into question. Using case studies from ethnographic research conducted in London among Spanish immigrants, I argue that the discourse on immigration control promoted by Brexit supporters clashes with my participants’ _self-identifications as relatively privileged European citizens with freedom of movement. In this context, comedy and Post-Brexit music parodies constitute resources of culture-making and identity work that help Spanish migrants in UK to adapt to this new political environment and retell their own personal narratives, becoming immigrants-in-the-making through online musical practices. In particular, I focus on how sharing, commenting, viewing and generally musicking on and about Brexit-themed parody songs on social media is a vehicle to articulate and perform identity and political affiliations that range from the pan-European and pan-Hispanic to the anti-British. Similarly, sharing Brexit musical parodies on social media is also experienced by migrants as a gift-giving ritual that promotes collective solidarity and citizenship grieving, and that enables the exchange of political ideas within online groups. To conclude, I analyse how these diverse engagements with political music content converge into wider understandings of sociality and citizenship. The use of social media in times of political instability goes beyond the trope of online activism (Miller et al., 2016). More often, it serves to activate ‘communities of catharsis’ _(Nooshin 2014) for migrants with questioned citizenships and to build and articulate rhizomatic civic alliances.