“About a War” Film Screening and Panel Discussion

Refugee Hosts present a free film screening of "About a War", a feature documentary that explores violence and social change through the testimonies of ex-fighters from the Lebanese Civil War. The event will include an opportunity to take part in a panel discussion with film Directors, Daniele Rugo and Abi Weaver, and Refugee Hosts Principal Investigator, Prof. Elena…

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 -…

Syrian and Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon and the Emergent Realities of Return

For displacement-affected communities, ideas of return rest on a set of hopes and identities that are frustrated by geopolitical realities. In this piece, Helen Adams explores how long-term coping strategies are inhibited by frequently-obstructed relationships to place amongst refugee communities affected by the Syrian crisis in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. These communities are left to…

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…

Al-Mustaqbal in the Space of Refuge

Displacement forces refugees to confront restrictions to their mobility, whereby the policies of states and other actors tend to physically limit their access to space. However, as Jude Wafai argues in this piece, this immobility is often combined with challenges that restrict refugee futures too. By exploring how space interacts with temporality in this way,…

Assessing Urban-Humanitarian Encounters in Northern Lebanon

In this post, Estella Carpi examines the interface between ‘the urban’ and the humanitarian system in the small urban centre of Halba, in order to shed light on the antagonistic and, at times, collaborative relationships between local authorities, local and refugee labourers, and international humanitarian agencies. If you find this piece of interest, please also…

How to Overcome Religious Prejudice among Refugees

Religious tensions between diverse refugee communities in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon present challenges to those affected by displacement, exposing some to faith-based discrimination. In other instances, (perceived) markers of religious identity expose refugees to discrimination, both from state officials, and members of the host community too. However, as Kat Eghdamian (UCL) argues in this piece (originally…

Refugee Neighbours & Hostipitality

Accounting for the roles of local communities is a key aim of our project, and of the 'Localisation of Aid' agenda more broadly. However, as a result of the mainstream narratives that pervade the literature on conflict-induced displacement, efforts to properly engage with the local have been held back by a failure to fully recognise…

Refugee-led Humanitarianism in Lebanon’s Shatila Camp

Refugee-led humanitarian initiatives by ‘established’ Palestinian refugees in response to the arrival of ‘new’ displaced Syrians to Shatila camp raise key questions about the limitations of the humanitarian system and representations of refugees as passive victims, argues Hind Sharif, echoing and building on work published as part of Refugee Hosts. This piece, which was originally…

Sounds from Hamra, Lebanon

Below you can listen to two soundscapes recorded during Prof. Alastair Ager's recent fieldtrip to Hamra, a vibrant neighbourhood in Beirut which is home to a dynamic commercial and social scene in addition to many refugees from Syria. Such soundscapes offer an invaluable entry point to engage in a multi-sensory analysis of the social, economic and political…