Author:Ayar Ata (London South Bank University)
Paper short abstract:
My study is aming to explore the question of history and identity for members of Kurdish diaspora in London.
Paper long abstract:
My research question is twofold: dealing with Kurdish displacement history and their diaspora identity in London. I aim to explore a historical argument about the Kurds as "powerless victims of the First World War". I will look critically at the history of the modern nation state in the Middle East as a context for explaining and for gaining a better understanding of the systematic marginalization and displacement of the Kurds since 1920s.
The second part of this study is to evaluate the integration experience of the Kurdish diaspora in London. I will attempt to understand the shifting position of the Kurds from "victims" in the region to "active citizens" in London or Kurdish Londoners, including looking at the place and perspectives of the young and second generation Kurds who were born in Britain. This part will discuss the notion of "identity" and the idea of "home" and "belonging" in the light of contemporary theories of Refugee and Diaspora Studies and where necessary challenge them. Furthermore, I also aim to uncover the gaps in the existing literature and critically highlight the dominance of policy and politics driven research and thereby justifying the need for a new approach. This will include looking at the living experience of members of the Kurdish diaspora communities in London; a critical analysis of history and identity, considering the perspectives of both groups and individuals.
Migration and transition: utopian imaginaries on the move