Shadows and Echoes in/of Displacement

Shadows and Echoes in/of Displacement: Temporalities, spatialities and materialities of displacement by Prof. Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Refugee Hosts In line with our project's Spaces and Places not Faces approach to representation, a key question arising in Refugee Hosts is how we can represent, and conceptualise, the 'field-sites' where we are conducting research. Through diverse media -…

Necessarily, the Camp is the Border

Necessarily, the Camp is the Border Yousif M. Qasmiyeh, University of Oxford and Refugee Hosts Writer in Residence There, the noise is also the religious… On a day as chilly as the pulses of those who took away our things and left the door ajar, you gave birth to me in darkness: you, the midwife,…

Flesh when mutilated called God

Flesh when mutilated called God By Yousif M. Qasmiyeh, University of Oxford and Refugee Hosts Writer in Residence Time is God’s journey to his shadow. An incomplete sentence is the place. In the non-occurrence of birth, aborting the camp becomes the only possibility. Might the dialects be the place that will be? The hole is…

It is a camp despite the name

It is a camp despite the name by Yousif M. Qasmiyeh and Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Refugee Hosts Existence, as it is, happens in the intentions of things. A sign or signs piled on top of one another, barely separated by air and the narrowest of voids: white on blue or blue on white. There is a background…

The Hands are Hers

The Hands are Hers Yousif M. Qasmiyeh - University of Oxford The hands are hers – fractured urns of intimacy and anticipation. They would cut, mend, darn, comb, bathe, clean, feel and above all submit themselves as seals of presence at the UNRWA distribution centres. In this photograph, the face is outside the frame but…

In mourning the refugee, we mourn God’s intention in the absolute

In mourning the refugee, we mourn God’s intention in the absolute Yousif M. Qasmiyeh, University of Oxford  How can there be a world apropos a camp? How can there be a camp apropos a world? We repeat the repeated so we can see our features more clearly, the face as it is, the cracks in…

To the Plants is Her Face

To the Plants is Her Face Yousif M. Qasmiyeh and Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh (Refugee Hosts) The plants which appear in this picture hinge partly on a short wall and partly on a used wooden chest of drawers primarily staged to encircle the entrance to the house and protect it from the curious eyes of passers-by. Or…

The Wall 

The Wall  Yousif M. Qasmiyeh (University of Oxford) and Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh (Refugee Hosts, UCL)  According to my father, this is the original wall of our old house which was erected in Baddawi camp in the mid-50s. The wall is now an additional barrier between our neighbours and us. A distance that has been multiply plastered…

My Mother’s Heels

My Mother’s Heels Yousif M. Qasmiyeh, University of Oxford and Refugee Hosts ‘I live in Baddawi Camp.’ This is what I used to tell foreigners every single time they came to my primary school. At times I used to run after them and repeat these words without waiting for their questions. I have always thought…

There will always be a vendor before and after the picture

This piece continues a series of poetic responses to photographs taken by Refugee Hosts PI Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh during a field-trip to Baddawi refugee camp and the neighbourhood of Jebel al-Baddawi in North Lebanon, and to a range of neighbourhoods in Beirut in March-April 2018. Written by Refugee Hosts Writer-in-Residence Yousif M. Qasmiyeh and PI Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh,…