State self-destruction in refugee spaces: Informality at the margins, mutual aid, and anarchist places [slides]

Background

This piece of exploratory comparative research was presented at the 2021 conference of the American Association of Geographers, as part of the ‘Refugees and the right to the city: perspectives from the Global South (Part II)’ panel organized by Diala Lteif.

Abstract

Evidence from recent large-scale displacement situations suggests that state responses to forced displacement are increasingly politically motivated, rather than resulting from a humanitarian duty to protect. As the securitization and criminalization of migration become further entrenched in law and policy, the instrumentalization of refugees is quickly becoming a staple of political playbooks worldwide. Externally, refugees have become peons to foreign policy. Internally, they are placeholders made responsible for the ills of society, an agreeable accusation in emerging ethnonationalist landscapes. As a result, refugee rights, needs, and claims have been occluded. The state’s central role in creating conditions of uncertainty, marginalization, and informality, however, are leading to its own demise and self-destruction in refugee spaces. Effectively, frustrations and dwindling faith in host country governments are providing a substratum for the production of refugee livelihoods, relationships, and identities that coalesce around shared acrimony toward state institutions that have abandoned them. Based on extensive fieldwork in Turkey and Peru, this article shows how some refugee communities have adapted to difficult material and existential conditions by creating geographic spaces and places of meaning that are beyond the state. Where subjectivities and performances converge upon subversion, autonomy, and mutual aid, the ethnographic cases of refugee placemaking presented are ontologically explored through the prism of anarchist philosophy and praxis. The observations are evocative, asking us to reflect on how displacement and resulting reformulations of space and place intersect with notions of futurities that are beyond the state.

Availability

Presentation slides are available here.

Maps, ethnography, and forced migration [guest lecture]

Background

mcgill crest

This guest lecture was prepared for INTD 358 Ethnographic Approaches to Development, taught by Diana Allan at the Department of Anthropology and Institute for the Study of International Development, McGill University. During this lecture, I explore maps as method to augment traditional ethnographic approaches (as similarly described by Low, 2014) . Working hand in hand, cartography and descriptive-observational writing make up what I call ‘ethnographic mapping’ (Parent, 2020).

Availability

Presentation slides are available here.

La liminalité et l’exile: Au-delà de l’étiquette [article]

Contexte

Cet article a été écrite pour la revue annuelle Perceptions, ayant la « liminalité » comme thème choisi. Perceptions est une revue publiée par l’École de design, Faculté de l’aménagement, Université de Montréal.

Référence

Parent, Nicolas et Sarazin, François. « La liminalité et l’exile : Au-delà de l’étiquette ». Perceptions, no. 2 (Automne 2020) : 25-29.

Disponibilité

Vous pouvez télécharger l’article en suivant ce lien.

Migration et refuge vénézuélien: Réponses politiques en Amérique Latine [diapositives]

Contexte

Ces diapositives ont été présentées dans le cadre de l’école d’été intitulé « Immigration, intégration et diversité sur le marché du travail », organisée par le Centre d’études et de recherches internationales à l’Université de Montréal (CÉRIUM).

Résumé

Il est désormais évident que l’exode vénézuélien qui a débuté en 2014 est le plus grand déplacement de personnes dans l’histoire de l’Amérique latine. Cette conférence vise à donner un aperçu compréhensif de ce phénomène migratoire. Elle fournira des éléments-clés sur les causes de cette migration, les flux géographiques et les réponses politiques à travers la région. L’identification des Vénézuéliens comme des migrants économiques ou comme des réfugiés sera également discutée. Les réponses politiques seront explorées conjointement avec les réalités du terrain, concernant entre autres l’intégration et l’emploi.

Disponibilité

Les diapositives sont disponibles ici.

From Exile to Homeland Return: Ethnographic Mapping to Inform Peacebuilding from Afar [article]

Abstract

When violent conflict flares up, forced migration often follows. Ethnographic data shows that forced migrants remain attached to their places of origin and often express a desire to return once conflict has abated, be it after weeks, months, or years. Conversely, peacebuilders in the homeland have not effectively integrated displaced persons within their strategic programming. This is cause for concern considering the literature connecting the collapse of fragile peace to ‘refugee spoilers.’ There is a critical gap in peacebuilders’ commitment to understanding refugees’ needs and claims, and the implications these pose on peace stability following repatriation. This article argues that ethnography of refugees still living in exile can generate rich datasets useful to the development of peacebuilding programming. More than this, it proposes a methodology — ethnographic mapping — that can collect both spatial (maps) and narrative (descriptions) information in tandem and across cultural groups living in refugee camps.

Citation

Parent, N., 2020. From Exile to Homeland Return: Ethnographic Mapping to Inform Peacebuilding from Afar. Stability: International Journal of Security and Development, 9(1), p.7. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/sta.772

Availability

This article is published through Stability: International Journal of Security and Development, a publication based out of the Centre for Security Governance (CSG). It is available for viewing and download here.

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