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Accepted Paper:

Between Resettlement and Lockdown: Syrian Solidarity Practices in the Face of Covid-19 in France  
Katherine Maddox (Université Gustave-Eiffel)

Paper short abstract:

This paper engages the Covid-19 pandemic as a turning point in solidarity practices among Syrians in Paris. It explores how, as support networks became virtual and more diffuse, they also expanded to embrace a broader imagining of solidarity, with implications for established translocal practices.

Paper long abstract:

Syrians living in Paris, France marked the ten-year anniversary of the civil uprisings in Syria in March 2021 not with the usual solidarity march through the streets of the French capital but at a distance due to a national Covid-19 lockdown that prohibited gatherings in public places. In previous years, such large gatherings in solidarity with the Syrian Revolution and the victims of the subsequent protracted armed conflict in Syria had served as zones of encounter where Syrian refugees, exiles, and other participants engaged in convivial practices across difference, navigating tensions and establishing support networks. Drawing on embedded research with the Syrian diaspora in Paris from 2019 to 2021, this paper builds on models of solidarity founded on conviviality – encountering and negotiating difference – to explore the effects of overlapping crises on such processes. Already navigating the lingering consequences of the so-called European migrant crisis with its spectacular imagery and humanitarian regimes of care, before the Covid-19 pandemic Syrians of diverse backgrounds in Paris had begun to establish translocal networks of solidarity that emerged from convivial encounters in spaces throughout the city. This paper engages the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic as a turning point in these solidarity practices among Syrian exiles and refugees in Paris. It explores how, as these networks moved online and became more diffuse, they also expanded to encompass a broader imagining of solidarity through volunteering and other local initiatives, with implications for translocal practices of solidarity and support.

Panel P105
Conviviality in times of complex crises: translocal and transnational humanitarianism and its transformations
  Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -