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The Liminal Freelance
Landscape: Geography,
Proximity, and Community
Where Are We? The Off-Road Career Trekker
In the world of travel, the media freelancer would be the off-road trekker on a career
journey. The route is not a predetermined destination but a serendipitous path of choices
and concessions that often offer less in terms of financial predictability and security but
more when it comes to flexibility and creativity.
The geography of soliciting and finding clients is intrinsically linked to their networked
community whether it is global or local and proximity or spatial closeness to clients is a
variable depending on the level of collaboration required. Therefore, the topography of
freelance is more than just about land but where we have landed. Geography is not just
about place but where we find ourselves in relation to the economy, community, family,
friends, and the confluence of influences that allow us to better understand the relational
layering of interdependent work. This is the starting point for a conversation that
recognizes liminality, community, and proximity as a way to navigate a more expansive
socially constructed worldview of freelance.
The first part of this chapter defines liminality, a term describing the psychological space of
being in no man’s land when between jobs, and then situates the spatial, physical
embodiment of this concept as it relates to the media and freelance experience. The
physical is not only about geography but also examines the importance of bringing a whole
body perspective to work. Many of these freelance participants discuss healthcare
practices that are vital to recalibrating the body in a high-energy creative profession,
especially to counter the liminal experience of restlessness that comes with waiting for
work, while allowing the participants to remain vital, balanced, and active. The second part
of this chapter further explores how geography, proximity, and community serve to orient
and anchor the freelancer within the liminal landscape.
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