On the 23rd November 2020 Refugee Hosts’ Co-ordinator, Aydan Greatrick and Co. I. Prof. Lyndsey Stonebridge took part in the ‘History of Refugees’ conference hosted by SolidariTee.

Diverse motivations shape contemporary responses to refugees, yet the role of history is often overlooked. Aydan Greatrick’s and Prof. Lyndsey Stonebridge’s talk, ‘Refugee Hosting Across Time,’ sought to highlight the role of history in shaping contemporary responses to refugees, drew on insights from the Refugee Hosts project and addressed the roles time and history play in shaping contexts of refuge. Prof Lyndsey Stonebridge began by reflecting on the role of time in refugee hosting contexts. In contrast to the short-termism of humanitarianism, local responses to displacement become intimately conditioned by a deep sense of time. Shared, overlapping and cross-generational memories of displacement in the Middle East animate contemporary responses to and recognition of the rights of refugees. Addressing time in this context also sheds light on the crucial role history and narrative play in sustaining a politics of sanctuary and of securing dignity in situations of precariousness and rightlessness.

Following this, Aydan Greatrick discussed how the Refugee Hosts project has worked to collaboratively archive and curate displacement through our involvement with two exhibitions, Moving Objects, and the Refugees exhibition at the Imperial War Museum. Such collaborations offer an opportunity to reflect on the practical and ethical challenges of ‘archiving’ refugee hosting, and the political imperative of acknowledging long histories of displacement in diverse representations of refugees. 

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If you are interested in the topics discussed during the conference you can access some recommended reading below or listen to Lyndsey Stonebridge discussing Hannah Arendt here and here.

Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (2017) ‘Disrupting Humanitarian Narratives?’

Greatrick, A. (2016) Externalising the ‘Refugee Crisis’: A Consequence of Historical Denial?

Qasmiyeh, Y. M. (2016) ‘Writing the Camp. Vis-A-Vis Or A Camp’

Qasmiyeh, Y. M. & Stonebridge, L. (2017) ‘Time Machine: Stereoscopic Views From Palestine, 1900′

Qasmiyeh, Y. M. & Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (2018) ‘A daily rhythm inside which time can grow’

Qasmiyeh, Y. M. & Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (2019) ‘The Third Voice and Third Eye in our Photo-Poetic Reflections’

Rowlands, A. (2017) Hannah Arendt: On Displacement and Political Judgement

Stonebridge, L. (2016) Poetry as a Host

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