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Accepted Paper:

Social Media as a tool for future-making-Kakuma Refugee Camps inhabitants' entrepreneurial and artistic projects off- and online  
Claudia Böhme (University of Trier)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper which is based on fieldwork in Kakuma Refugee Camp I want to show how while stuck as refugees, young people of Kakuma find ways to make use of their talents and are actively making their future through entrepreneurial or educational activities.

Paper long abstract:

The global distribution of new technologies like the internet, mobile and smartphones, and social media has had a significant impact on refugees’ lifeworlds. Through the viral dissemination of information and images, refugees can bridge the distances and engage in transnational social networks, virtual bonds as well as the creation of new social spaces.

Kakuma refugee camp with its 30 years of existence and a population of around 200.000 people from more than 10 nationalities has become an “accidental city” (Jansen 2018) with own grown social organization, politics, culture and economies.

Living in a forced and marginalized home, live is characterised by restrictions, depression and the constant hope to get out. However, Kakuma Refugee Camp is also a place of dreams, hope, opportunities and chances for the future. This becomes most visible through the many entrepreneurial, media, artistic or educational refugee led projects and entrepreneurial activities in the camp.

In this paper, which is based on fieldwork in Kakuma refugee camp in 2021 and 2022, I want to take a closer look at singular makers and how they use social media to reach larger audiences and customers. In my analysis, I want to trace their motivations, inspirations and influences, as well as how they make a brand and find a way of being self-reliant and independent. A special focus will be put on their positive envisioning and future-making (Appadurai 2013) vis a vis their difficult present state in the camp.

Panel P003b
Beyond the 'Suffering Subject' in Migration Research II
  Session 1 Tuesday 26 July, 2022, -