Lara Momesso is a lecturer in Asia Pacific Studies at the University of Central Lancashire, Deputy Director of the Northern Institute of Taiwan Studies and Co-Deputy Director of the Centre of Migration Diaspora and Exile at the University of Central Lancashire. Her long-term research interest on migrants in Taiwan has produced several publications on the theme, in the form of academic papers (published by LIT Verlag and Routledge as part of edited books, and by academic journals such as International Migration, Asia Pacific Migration Journal, and Journal of Current Chinese Affairs), and divulgative articles on blogs and websites (Taiwan Insights; Cinaforum). She has also been invited to speak about Taiwan elections at the Italian radio station Radio Radicale. Lara’s research is shaped by more than ten years of engagement with migrant communities and civic organisations all around Taiwan, and, partly, in China. In 2015, she decided to travel around Taiwan by bicycle for a month with the aim to meet otherwise unreachable migrants and document their experiences. The photographs taken during this trip and Lara's several fieldworks in Taiwan have been shown at the Brilliant City Exhibition, as part of the Look 19 Photography Biennial delivered by Open Eye Gallery (Liverpool).
Lara current research interest is closely entangled with her PhD project, an ethnographic work based on in-depth interviews with mainland spouses in Taiwan and participant observation in the context of civil society organisation and the family. Through a qualitative analysis of the data and by applying intersectional analysis, an analytical tool broadly employed in feminist research to problematise social phenomena, this project problematises scholarship on transnationalism which emphasises the counter-hegemonic nature of transnational practices and interprets them as signs of an erosion of borders and a decline of nation states. The overall project is fitting in the reconsideration of migration phenomena as the outcome of the intersection of macro, meso and micro factors that may produce significantly different experiences amongst those who migrate.
In relation to the specificity of marriage migration across the Taiwan Strait, in front of a phenomenon emerged as a consequence of an increased economic integration between the PRC and Taiwan and the related liberalisation of movements between the two sides, this project identifies the permanence of systemic oppressions related to material, political as well as normative factors that shape the lives of mainland marriage migrants in Taiwan and their personal and collective strategies of resistance against oppressive structures.