Daily life and struggles of asylum-seekers living in temporary dwellings within Europe 
Ziga Podgornik-Jakil
Fazila Bhimji (University of Central Lancashire)
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ZHG 004
Start time:
28 March, 2017 at 8:30 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

The panel presents living experiences of asylum seekers housed in various forms of temporal accommodations within Europe during the 'refugee crisis'. Regardless of the conditions of such housing, asylum seekers develop daily practices to achieve agency over their lives and resist their containment.

Long Abstract

In the second half of 2015, it was impossible to overlook media images which depicted increased numbers of people entering the EU via the 'Balkan route' to claim asylum in predominantly northern wealthier Member States. During this period when increased numbers of people entered the EU via the 'Balkan route' and following its closure, asylum seekers were compelled to stay in the temporal zones, such as in organized camps, revitalized decayed buildings in Greece or Germany, and self-organized temporal settlements like the 'Jungle' in Calais. People residing in these zones of transition all shared a similar fate; they came to be located in 'temporal settings', which sometimes extended to several years.

The discourse, agency and everyday lives of refugees and asylum-seekers living in classical refugee centers and camps have been documented. However, there has been less discussion of the logic of temporal emergency accommodations and self-organized settlements from the refugees' perspective. The panel invites research papers to interrogate the following:

How do asylum seekers negotiate their lives in zones of suspension? How do they understand the notion of temporality? Can such accommodations produce affects of a 'new home'? How do their living conditions affect their perceptions of Europe? How emancipation from the camp is made possible? What bearings do their suspended ontologies have on kinship and social networks? How does such extreme temporality affect their relationships with others? How do children understand and negotiate temporal zones? What cultural meanings are produced? How is politics produced?

Accepted papers: