Call for Submissions: Representations of Displacement 

We invite individuals or groups to submit pieces, including art, photographs, creative writing and academic research findings, for inclusion in our upcoming series on Representations of Displacement, which will run from September 1 to November 30.

About the Series: 

This series draws on Refugee Hosts’ aim of disrupting mainstream humanitarian narratives, which all too often rely on representations of displaced peoples as singular, suffering victims or as passive receivers of aid. In order to do this, our new blog series will bring together insights, creative pieces and new research that goes beyond a focus on the exceptional victim of the humanitarian imagination, to explore ways of representing the diverse, everyday role(s) played by both refugees and local hosting communities in responding to the challenges of displacement.

This series aims to examine different ways that local communities, such as the ones we are working with in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, can be brought into representation. How can a focus on the ‘spaces’ where refugees are living, and the communities that they have (or have not been) welcomed into, help us to better understand diverse experiences of and responses to displacement? How are both hosting and displaced communities represented and conceptualised in public and academic circles, and what impact does this representation have on policy and practice both locally and internationally?

We hope that submissions will also engage in an intersectional analysis of representation, in particular examining how gender, faith, nationality and history (amongst others) may inform the ways in which experiences of displacement are represented by different groups, including the media, governments and local authorities, NGOs, civil society, academics, artists, displaced peoples and local communities.

We are also interested in moving beyond a focus on traditional, person-focused forms of photographic representation, in keeping with our project’s ‘spaces and places, not faces’ approach. As such, we welcome pieces that offer alternative ways of representing displacement, including soundscapes, poetry and creative writing. What can these other methods offer in terms of representation that photographs cannot? What are the ethical implications of these and other methods and modes of representation?

General Guidelines: 

Submissions are encouraged in a variety of formats, languages and styles. We are particularly interested in creative submissions, including poetry, creative writings, photographs, photoessays, soundscapes, podcasts and other audio-pieces.

Written submissions should not exceed 900-1,000 words in length. We encourage authors to adopt an engaging and accessible style in their writing given this project’s interest in reaching a wide audience.

We also continue to welcome submissions for our other blog series, including pieces which explore Faith and Displacement, Translation and Displacement and/or the other themes which the Refugee Hosts research project is interested in. More information can be found on our website.

Sending in your Submission 

Submissions will be considered on a rolling basis. Please contact Aydan Greatrick, the Refugee Hosts Project and Communications Coordinator, with your idea for the piece on

Collage Images (from left to right): “Plants for sale in one of the markets in Baddawi camp, North Lebanon” (c) E. Fiddian-Qasmiyeh; (top) “Refugees engage in selling their shelters, often to new arrivals in the camp” (c) S. Maqusi, Baq’qa camp, Jordan; (bottom left) Yousif M. Qasmiyeh’s poem “If this is my face, so be it” projected by Jenny Holzer in Aarhus in Denmark as part of the 2017 Capital of Culture, 2016 (c) Y. M. Qasmiyeh and J. Holzer – read more here.; (bottom right) “Due to the camp’s high density, cars are not able to enter Burj el-Barajneh; refugees have resorted to scooters as an alternative mode of transportation.” (c) Samar Maqusi, Burj El-Barajneh camp, Lebanon.


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