Narrating Precarious Lives: Refugee Tales, African Titanics, and The Year of the Runaways

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Refugees and asylum seekers are considered by many social commentators to be the zeitgeist of our age, their statelessness and homelessness epitomising the radical unbelonging of all displaced peoples. The exponential rise in the numbers of refugees over the last decade, populations fleeing their homelands in the war torn Middle East or from famine and political crises in African nations, without papers and means of support, and the use of immigration centres for detention without legal recognition of their status and rights as refugees, have attracted widespread media attention and intense public concern. The scale of the migrant exodus and the universalising categories of labels used to discuss the humanitarian crisis means that refugees are inevitably homogenised and stereotyped, perceptions that are reinforced by saturating media images of what is now called the “Black Mediterranean” (Danewid): of desperate flight mainly from Libya, Morocco, and Senegal, upturned boats, drownings and bodies washed up on its shores. Political debate and controversy have raged about the granting of asylum in all European countries of reception, generating responses ranging from revulsion and dismissal, to heightened empathy and ethical concern, to xenophobic racist discourses and generalised fears about overcrowding and national security which cast some refugees in terms of terrorist threat.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRepresenting Poverty and Precarity in a Postcolonial World
EditorsBarbara Schmidt-Haberkampf, Marion Gymnich, Klaus P. Schneider
Place of PublicationKoninklijke, Leiden
PublisherBrill Academic Publishers
Chapter15
Pages191-206.
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)978-90-04-46565-7
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2021
EventRepresenting Poverty and Precarity in a Postcolonial World
May 25 – 27, 2017 - University of Bonn, Germany
- University of Bonn, Germany, Bonn
Duration: 25 May 201727 May 2017
http://gaps2017.wordpress.com

Publication series

NameASNEL
PublisherBrill
Number25

Conference

ConferenceRepresenting Poverty and Precarity in a Postcolonial World
May 25 – 27, 2017 - University of Bonn, Germany
Abbreviated titleRepresenting Poverty and Precarity
CityBonn
Period25/05/1727/05/17
Internet address

Keywords

  • refugees
  • narrative representation
  • Abu Bakr Khaal
  • ethical engagement
  • migration and precarity
  • mediated story telling
  • Sunjeev Sahota
  • frames of perception
  • Refugee Tales

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