In the 2020 film Nomadland, van living is discursively constructed as enabling freedom. The film follows characters who have opted out of conventional housing and move nomadically from place to place following work opportunities. The film was met with high acclaim, resonating with publics at a time when opting out of conventional housing models became increasingly common and increasingly present in collective imaginaries of the good life. In this chapter, we explore notions of freedom in Nomadland, in relation to themes of labour, mobility and ‘stuff’. We do so with a view to better understanding the contemporary imaginaries of freedom circulating around small and mobile housing in America and beyond. We argue that, although tiny living is narrativised as enabling increased freedom, it often reflects a diminishment of choice.
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Harris, EllaNowicki, Mel
Department of Social Sciences
Year of publication: 2023Date of RADAR deposit: 2023-02-21
All rights reserved. "This is an accepted manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge on 31 January 2023, The growing trend of living small : a critical approach to shrinking domesticities / edited by Ella Harris, Mel Nowicki, Tim White, available online: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003173052."