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 … Continue reading Dehumanizing Refugees: Between Demonization and Idealization

Widowhood, Displacement and Friendships in Jordan

How do shared experiences of widowhood inform a sense of self and community among Palestinian and Syrian refugees living in Jordan? In this piece, Dina Zbeidy explores every-day lives in displacement, refugee-refugee relations, self-representation and spaces of refuge in Wihdat, a Palestinian camp east of Amman. In particular, she highlights the important social role that community spaces … Continue reading Widowhood, Displacement and Friendships in Jordan

Reflections on Alice’s Alternative Wonderland

How can creative storytelling enable new ways of thinking about and representing displacement? In this piece, Tahmineh Hooshyar Emami reflects on the process of writing her fictitious account, Alice’s Alternative Wonderland, which was originally displayed in three parts on Refugee Hosts. Alice’s Alternative Wonderland is the fictitious account of a child’s experiences on the European refugee trail; here the author … Continue reading Reflections on Alice’s Alternative Wonderland

The Virtual Reality of the Refugee Experience

Representations of the 'refugee crisis' have ranged from the spectacular to the devastating. In an attempt to engage with this spectacle, some organisations have developed virtual reality 'experiences' that aim to encourage audiences to 'walk in the shoes' of displaced people: to feel compassion for their plight, and to gain an understanding of their everyday … Continue reading The Virtual Reality of the Refugee Experience

Hard Infrastructures, Diseased Bodies

In this piece, Dominic Davies (University of Oxford) explores the architecture of the 'global border regime' as a political and en emotional response to representations of migrants and refugees as an 'invasion'. Through an analysis of detention architecture, including through depictions of detention centres by artists and in graphic novels, Davies suggests that visual strategies can highlight … Continue reading Hard Infrastructures, Diseased Bodies

Photographing Religion and Displacement: UNHCR’s 30 Days of Faith

Introductory reflections by Prof Alastair Ager, Refugee Hosts Co-I (Queen Margaret University) and Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Refugee Hosts PI (UCL) Humanitarianism is marked by a commitment to principles of impartiality and neutrality. Agencies have often shied away from engagement with religion and its role in the lives of refugees for fear of compromising these principles. However, religion is not just … Continue reading Photographing Religion and Displacement: UNHCR’s 30 Days of Faith

Paese (Country)

How can poetry, creative writing and translation unearth and represent experiences of displacement?  In this poem - the first of two pieces by Giulia Balestra of REFUNITE which will feature on Refugee Hosts' Representations of Displacement series - Giulia offers a reflection on belonging and positionality, with an English translation sitting alongside the original Italian. Through reflecting … Continue reading Paese (Country)

‘Refugees. Present/Absent.’ Escaping the traps of refugee (mis)representations

In this piece, Dominika Blachnicka-Ciacek explores the problematics of photographic representations of singular suffering refugees and their impact on political discourse in Poland. In a challenge to this, Dominika reflects on her own approach to representations, reflected in her "Refugees. Present/Absent" exhibition, which sought to focus on the materiality of everyday experiences and the refugee journey as a … Continue reading ‘Refugees. Present/Absent.’ Escaping the traps of refugee (mis)representations