Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) work closely with refugees by providing services and assistance. However, refugees might also be subjected to misconduct by NGOs. In such a scenario, how can NGOs be held accountable for wrongful acts?
For this IMER lunch seminar, Marianne Nerland from the Faculty of Law at UiB will present preliminary findings from her PhD project which explores recourses available to refugees seeking justice against NGOs. By drawing on interviews conducted with refugees as well as aid workers in Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, Marianne will argue that there are serious legal obstacles that refugees face when wanting to file complaints against NGOs. This case highlights the need for an enhanced structure for NGO accountability in refugee camps.
A light lunch will be served! All welcome!
In this seminar, Mahmoud Keshavarz will present his recently published book, The Design of the Passport: Materiality, Immobility and Dissent. It is an interdisciplinary study of the passport and practices as a means of uncovering the workings of what he calls ‘design politics’. It traces the histories, technologies, power relations and contestations around this small but powerful artefact to establish a framework for understanding how design is always enmeshed in the political and how politics can be understood in terms of material objects.
Combining design studies with critical border studies, alongside ethnographic work among undocumented migrants, border transgressors and passport forgers, this book shows how a world made and designed as open and hospitable to some is strictly enclosed, confined and demarcated for many others – and how those affected by such injustices dissent from the immobilities imposed on them through the same capacity of design and artifice.
Mahmoud Keshavarz is a postdoctoral researcher at the Engaging Vulnerability Research Program, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Uppsala University. He is the co-founder of Decolonizing Design group and co-editor-in-chief of Design and Cultural Journal.
This seminar is organized by IMER in cooperation with the at the WAIT-project at the Centre for Women’s and Gender Research (SKOK).
In Finland, like in other European countries, civic mobilization for supporting migrants and defending the right to asylum have proliferated since the so-called asylum ‘crisis’. Since the autumn of 2015, home accommodation of asylum seekers has become a popular way to assist asylum seekers and express solidarity amongst Finnish people.
For this IMER lunch seminar, Paula Merikoski from the University of Helsinki, examines this form of hospitality as a way for people to contest tightening asylum policies. By drawing on interviews with hosts, she argues that this phenomenon blurs the boundaries between public and private, and consolidates the understanding of the private home as a political site. She will present findings focusing on what motivated people to open their homes, and show how hosting can be a politicising experience for hosts. By opening their doors to asylum seekers, citizens take part in the debate over who is welcome to the country.
A light lunch will be served!
Paula Merikoski is a PhD candidate in sociology at University of Helsinki. In her PhD project she is investigating the hospitable social movement of home accommodation of asylum seekers in Finland. Paula is part of the research project Struggles over Home and Citizenship. Neighborhood Solidarities as a response to Asylum ‘Crisis’ (University of Helsinki) and the NORDHOST research project (University of Oslo).
Torreiro-Casal will describe findings from an online survey developed by UC Davis students using a psychological strength-based perspective. Monica will describe cultural constructs, migration experiences and immigrant’s perceptions on current anti-migrant rhetoric. The rational for using this survey will be discussed as well as the relevance of collecting qualitative data. Further, Monica will describe the current analysis of data and purpose of codifying themes from those narratives. The analysis of these narratives so far has helped to identify immigrant’s strengths and psychological protective factors. These findings contribute to voice counter narratives to the current political climate in the USA.
Lunch will be served on first-come first-served basis.
Dr. Monica Torreiro-Casal holds a PhD in counseling psychology from Northeastern University, Boston, MA. Currently, Monica is affiliated with the Chicano/a studies Department at the University of California in Davis where she teaches and researches on mental health-related issues with vulnerable communities. Her research focuses on collecting narratives (survey, interviews, art/media) and conducting qualitative research to document the undocumented narratives of marginalized individuals.
The event is organized by IMER and DIGSSCORE.
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Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, more than 45% of the population has been forced into displacement, of which almost half are children. For a large part of the Syrian population, access to education has been interrupted.
In her study, Mirey tries to identify the opportunities that could be offered by information and communications technology to guarantee access to formal and non-formal education to Syrian children affected by the armed conflict. Based on fieldwork in Lebanon between 2013 and 2018, Mirey will present findings on how ICTs can facilitate access to education for Syrian children in different ways, both physically and remotely. She will also highlight the role of these technologies in improving and facilitating communication between different actors including teachers, parents, and formal educational administrations. In addition, she will explain how ICTs is used in emergency situations to share information on the safety of children.
These findings can offer a pathway to find more stable and long-term solutions for children with limited access to education due to armed conflicts and in other emergency situations.
A light lunch will be served! All welcome!
Mirey is a PhD candidate at the Autonumus University of Barcelona and her research focuses on the role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in education in emergencies.
In recent years, sociologists have called attention to the everyday dynamics of ‘lived’ multiculture – the ‘local negotiations’ and ‘processes of cohabitation’ that have, it has been argued, made ethnic diversity an ‘ordinary feature’ of urban life – in Britain, and across mainland Europe. In this seminar, Kieran Connell from Queen’s University Belfast will explore how we might interrogate the historical dimensions of these themes by focusing on Balsall Heath, an inner-city area of Birmingham, Britain’s second city. As part of a wider project to examine the multicultural inner-city, Kieran makes the case for the importance of space in relation to what the cultural theorist Stuart Hall has called the process of multicultural ‘drift’. In this respect, sources such as photography offer a particularly useful way of getting at the topographical changes to the inner-city landscape brought about in the context of mass migration.
A light lunch will be served! All welcome!
Kieran Connell is Lecturer in Contemporary British History at Queen’s University Belfast. He is a Fulbright Scholar and the co-editor of Cultural Studies 50 Years On. His first monograph, Black Handsworth: race in 1980s Britain, was published by the University of California Press in February 2019.
How has the Scandinavian press covered immigration over the years? What themes, framings and agents have been emphasized in the media coverage of immigration in the last 50 years, and how this has changed? What differences are there across Scandinavian countries? As part of the SCANPUB project at UiB, Jan Fredrik Hovden and Hilmar Mjelde have studied and analyzed the immigration debate in 7 Scandinavian newspapers. While the results support the general claims about national differences in Scandinavian immigration debate including Danish press as more critical of immigration in contrast to Sweden which focuses more on racism, they also suggest some major developments, in particular the rise of immigration as an increasingly contentious issue debated by politicians. In his presentation, Jan will also discuss how the “immigration crisis” has been covered in Scandinavian and European press, highlighting the similarities and differences between the different cases
Jan Fredrik Hovden is a professor at the Department Information Science and Media Studies at UiB.
Human movement has been predicted to be one of the major consequences of climate change. This prediction has led to a renewed interest in the relationship between human movement and the environment. The expected negative consequences of climate change have also led to new development initiatives aimed to reduce the impact of these hazards through so-called adaptation initiatives. These initiatives have become to be increasingly implemented in Bangladesh which is considered one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change.
How does aid initiatives meant to help people adapt to the consequences of climate change influence migration patterns. Do such initiatives have different effects on men’s and women’s perceptions of what adaptation strategies are available to them? How is gender mainstreaming understood among aid actors in Bangladesh and how are women migrants perceived in the country? Some of these questions will be touched upon in Kathinka’s presentation.
A light lunch will be served! All welcome.
Kathinka Fossum Evertsen is a PhD Fellow in Sociology at Nord University, Faculty of Social Sciences. She was recently a visiting student researcher at Centre of Gender and Disasters at UCL, after which she co-founded the Nordic hub of the Gender and Disaster Network. She is currently a visiting researcher at International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Since the refugee reception crisis in 2015, asylum seekers and refugees have often been at the centre of public and scholarly debate. However, the focus has frequently been on the problems they bring about for host countries. Less attention has been placed on asylum seekers’ aspirations, dreams and plans after arrival. Yet these are meaningful to study given that aspirations can have a significant impact on people’s future trajectories and hence, the ways they incorporate into their new homes. Furthermore, desire, despite having a strong agentic nature, is deeply entangled in the social structures and discourses that newcomers are surrounded by.
In this seminar, Zubia Willmann, will be presenting her article in which she explores how the aspirations of women who came to Norway as asylum seekers change over time, the elements that may be involved in such changes as well as how these women go about pursuing their aspirations. She draws on intermittent fieldwork for one and a half years (2017-2019) in which she followed women seeking asylum in Norway, from the stages in which they lived in asylum centres to the early stages of settlement in a Norwegian municipality.
A light lunch will be served! All welcome.
Zubia Willmann is a currently a PhD candidate at VID Specialized University, Stavanger with a project exploring how women seeking asylum in Norway go about starting their life in their new home. She has an interdisciplinary background, her main fields of interest being migration studies but also gender and religion studies among others. She has been recently a visiting scholar at the Migration and Diversity Centre at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. Zubia is also a member of the IMER Junior Scholars Network.
Jordan has enacted some of the world’s strongest lockdown and quarantine measures. These measures have been received quite well domestically, but their impact on the country’s most vulnerable refugees is only beginning to be understood.
The majority of Syrian refugees in Jordan live in urban areas in addition to a significant number also residing in camps. As living conditions are linked to the effectiveness of prevention measures, different populations may experience different outcomes.
In this webinar, Sarah Tobin will explore the situation of the Syrian refugees in Jordan, while also examining the political consequences of the pandemic response in the country.
Sarah Tobin is a senior researcher at Chr. Michelsen Institute. Her latest research projects examine questions of religious and economic life and identity construction with Syrian refugees in Jordanian camps of Za’atari, Azraq, and Cyber City.
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