Between 10th – 15th  March, the P21 Gallery in Somers Town, London will be hosting a spatial installation, Space of Refuge, which has emerged out of extensive fieldwork by Samar Maqusi, a PhD student at the Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL), who has also contributed to the Refugee Hosts blog (see here and here).

Space of Refuge 1.jpg

Samar’s research in Lebanon and Jordan investigates the spatial production and evolution of Palestinian refugee camps since the 1940s, situating this within a documented history of practices of different host countries and the precarious geo-political situation in the Middle East. Further, the installation examines how different policies in different host countries affect the architecture of the refugee camps, turning them into intensive forms of socio-political co-existence. It also highlights the question of what becomes of these urban spaces when they are left unresolved over a protracted period of time.

For further background on Samar’s research and the installation, see here.


In conjunction with the installation, a symposium will take place on Wednesday 15 March 2017 (10:00 – 17:00), at the P21 Gallery, which will gather scholars from UCL and beyond working on refugee studies. The symposium is co-convened by Prof. Murray Fraser, Dr. Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh (Refugee Hosts PI, and coordinator of UCL’s Refuge in a Moving World) and Samar Maqusi, and will situate the issue of Palestinian refugees as a precursor of urgent matters of ‘refuge’ on a wider scale around the world. The latter will include discussions of conflict, resolution, protracted refugee status, host country policies, relationships between refugees and host countries, spatial production within refugee camps, socio-economic behaviour, and cultural practices.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh (UCL Geography and Refuge in a Moving World – Refugee Hosts PI)
  • Dr Estella Carpi (UCL-Development Planning Unit & Save the Children’s Humanitarian Affairs Team – Refugee Hosts blog contributor)
  • Dr Camillo Boano (UCL-Development Planning Unit)
  • Dr Elaine Chase (UCL-Institute of Education)
  • Dr Adam Ramadan (Birmingham University) and
  • Dr Romola Sanyal (LSE)

The Installation and Symposium are supported by UCL’s Grand Challenges, the UCL-Institute of Advanced Studies, and UCL’s Refuge in a Moving World.

Installation opening times

Private View: Friday 10 March 2017, 18:00 – 20:00

Exhibition dates: 10 – 15 March 2017

Opening times: Saturday 12–4pm, Tuesday – Friday 12–6pm, and Wednesday until 8pm

Free Admission and All Welcome

Featured Image: (c) S. Maqusi

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