Call for Papers: Untold Experiences of Vulnerable Refugees
Forced migration is not a new phenomenon. Today we are witness to a situation where forced migration puts many people in terrible and life threatening conditions, with severe consequences for several generations. The recent wars in Syria and Iraq, labelled as the worst human disaster since WWII, have had incalculable effects for the civilian populations in terms of forced displacement and human suffering.
The effects of forced migration are also challenging for the receiving societies. At the same time human beings have an unexpected resilience capacity and much refugee help and community work is taking place, on many levels and in many areas of need.
Proportionally a big number of refugees from the Middle East have an ethno-religious minority background, such as Assyrians (including the different branches), Armenians, Mandaeans, and Yazidis. In some cases their numbers in Iraq and Syria have gone down with 80%. These vulnerable groups, being politically marginalised and less resourceful in terms of political power, have been targeted by many and different violent groups.
They have been confronted with different forms of persecution, such as expulsions from their houses, imposing the Jizya tax, or conversion to Islam, became victims of mass raids, kidnappings, killings and destruction of their cultural heritage. This added to their collectively experienced suffering resulting from earlier similar forms of persecution, for example the genocide of Assyrians in 1915, massacres and persecutions before and during the Saddam regime, and their en mass emigration resulting in becoming uprooted from their historical homelands.
Based on research among these populations, we conclude that the presence of discourses of having become uprooted and fearing cultural extinction is embedded in individual and collective narratives and that these narratives and meaning systems influence adaptive responses and help-seeking behaviour today in their new host countries. The same groups fear for their extinction and associate today’s sufferings with past experiences. We argue that this manner of being is produced and reproduced throughout migration and is a core narrative for comprehending the current existence of these groups in Western countries.
This workshop aims to bring researchers, practitioners, community stakeholders and policy makers together in order to
• develop an interdisciplinary discussion and knowledge exchange about the ‘untold’, mainly ignored experiences of minority refugee populations with departure from the case of Assyrian, Armenian, Yazidi and Mandaean refugees;
• form a highly needed international network among researchers working on these and similar topics
• establish dialogue channels between the scientific community, practitioners, community organizations and policy makers.
The organizers invite researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to present their latest studies and partake in discussions on these or similar themes, delaminated to vulnerable refugee populations:
• Traumatic experiences, memory, and uprootedness
• Dealing with displacement, pre- and post-migration
• Fear of extinction
• Resilience and coping mechanisms
• Processes of reconciliation and liberation from past experiences and trauma
• The idea of “return to home”
We invite you to this workshop and ask you to prepare a 20 minutes presentation. The presentations will be organised in different sessions and moderated by an external discussant, who will also chair the sessions. Selected papers presented at this workshop will be considered for publication as individual chapters. Abstracts and full texts need to be written in English.
Those interested are asked to send their abstract of about 500 words to Dr. Önver Cetrez no later than August 15, 2017.
Attach also a short biography and a CV, in total maximum 3 pages.
The organizing team can substitute parts of the travel and accommodation costs for those who can’t cover their own costs. If so, please explain why you need the substitute.
This workshop is financed by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and will take place at Centre on Global Migration, University of Gothenburg on 22-23 September 2017.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Önver Cetrez, Associate Professor, Uppsala University
Dr. Naures Atto, University of Cambridge
Soner O. Barthoma, Free University of Berlin