Speaker: Dr Heather Johnson, Queen’s University Belfast
Social and Political Sciences Seminar Series
In refugee camps, an inability to meet the basic needs of refugees is mirrored by active policies of confinement and refusal at the borders of Europe. Emergency implies the need for urgent response, and above all for control, and these responses are shaped within the already dominant and inadequate frameworks of the state. However, there is an overwhelming focus on mobility as the fount of this contestation.
In this lecture, Dr Johnson suggests that this focus has implications that are troubling, and which neglect presence and stillness in belonging. We run the risk of rendering migrants as temporary and normalizing separation. Reflecting on field research in the ‘hotspot’ of Kos, she will argue that rethinking political subjectivities, and countering the exclusionary frameworks that are blocking humane responses to migration requires that we think outside of citizenship. Further, she will argue that considering presence and stillness offers us tools to begin such a venture.
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