Mobility, Hope and the ‘Appropriation’ of Space: Reflections from a PhotoVoice Project

Typically, photographs of and about displaced peoples focus on individual suffering victims, acts of individualised resilience, or tropes that resonate with the wider genre of humanitarian narratives. As a result, the Refugee Hosts project has adopted what Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh has termed a "Spaces and Places, Not Faces" approach to refugee-photography. As Michelle Lokot explores in…

Anti-Syrian banners and graffiti in context: Racism, counter-racism and solidarity for refugees in Lebanon

By Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Refugee Hosts PI and UCL In the run up to the Lebanese elections on 6 May 2018, national and international media and human rights organisations have denounced the appearance of anti-Syrian banners across Beirut. Reading “The day will come when we tell the Syrians: gather your things and everything you stole, and…

Sounds from Istiklal, Turkey

How are social processes of marginalisation and agency heard, as well as seen? Below you can listen to a recording of a refugee youth playing a melody on the busy street of Istiklal, Istanbul. Such soundscapes offer ways of analysing the social, economic and political dynamics that characterise spaces inhabited, shared and contested by and…

Name

Name by Frances Timberlake, Refugee Women's Centre The name lands on the pavement slapped down like spilt water A person a body a name tumbling from this young boy's mouth like spilt water Like a splash from the Black Sea waters the man drowned in four months ago as the young boy sat watching with the…

Belgian Refugees in Glasgow: Local Faith Communities, Hosting and the Great War

In this article Kieran Taylor reflects upon his research into Glasgow’s response to Belgian refugees within Scotland during the Great War. The article considers the role played by local government and faith groups in assisting refugees, offering a key historical perspective on some of the themes we are exploring through our Refugee Hosts research project.…

Psychogeography, Safe Spaces, and LGBTQ Immigrant Experience: Reflections from the “At Home in The Village?” project

How can representations of local communities as particularly ‘hospitable’ and ‘welcoming’ spaces in fact obscure complex realities of exclusion? In this contribution to our Representations of Displacement series, Siobhán McGuirk explores the ways in which NGO and media reports have (mis)represented sexual minority refugees’ arrival in an "inclusive" community in the USA characterised by rainbow flag…

Giving Refugees a Voice? Looking Beyond ‘Refugee Stories’ 

How does UNHCR narrate refugee stories through its official media? In this piece, Leonie Harsch adopts a critical approach, and builds on a number of important arguments put forward by researchers, to argue that the telling of 'refugee stories' by humanitarian organisations can sometimes result in exclusionary outcomes - this is especially the case when individual…

The Camp is the Reject of the Reject Par Excellence

The Camp is the Reject of the Reject Par Excellence by Yousif M. Qasmiyeh, University of Oxford and Refugee Hosts Writer in Residence   I It bears multiple meanings, depending on how it is said. For my mother, however, the meaning was clear enough to be taken from my father’s mouth to God’s and vice…

Dehumanizing Refugees: Between Demonization and Idealization

Reflecting on her voluntary/volunteering work with refugees in Greece, in this piece Sarah El Sheikh highlights how people affected by displacement respond to and resist different narratives and policies developed about (and against) refugees. Echoing other contributions to our Representations of Displacement Series [ie. see here and here], Sarah argues that, in response to narratives that demonise…

Protestimony

As part of her research into how humanitarianism has been changed by Calais, Hari Reed and collaborators, under the umbrella of the IMAGINE charity, have curated an exhibition called Protestimony, which was first shown at the Edinburgh Festival in August 2017. Here she showcases some of the images, questions and dilemmas of the show. Protestimony…