Inner emigration (German: Innere Emigration, French: émigration intérieure) is a concept of an individual or social group who feels a sense of alienation from their country, its government, and its culture. This can be due to the inner emigrants' dissent from a radical political or cultural change, or due to their belief in an ideology that they see as more important than loyalty to their nation or country.
The concept also applies to political dissidents who live under a police state, but who secretly violate the accompanying censorship of literature, music, and the arts. This concept is a regular theme in dystopian novels.
The similar term internal émigré was used in the Soviet Union as an insult towards Soviet dissidents, by suggesting that they had the same opinions as anti-communist refugees in the West.
In a letter to his vocally rebellious friend and fellow poet Titsian Tabidze, future Soviet dissident Boris Pasternak, in a private letter, urged his friend to just ignore the attacks against their poetry in the press: "Rely only on yourself. Dig more deeply with your drill without fear or favor, but inside yourself, inside yourself. If you do not find the people, the earth and the heaven there, then give up your search, for then there is nowhere else to search."