SOAS University of London

Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

Producing Europe’s Geographies of Asylum: Ethnographic Reflections on Helping, Solidarity and Self-Organisation in Hamburg during and after the ‘Refugee Crisis’

Fiorenza Picozza

Date: 25 October 2017Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 25 October 2017Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B102

Type of Event: Seminar

The role of a ‘European civil society’ as a progressive force welcoming refugees and opposing state exclusionary practices has gained increasing interest in both academia and media debates. This talk seeks to problematize the purported distinction between ‘the state’ and ‘civil society’, as well as the construction of European citizenry through solidarity initiatives and discourses. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Hamburg between 2015 and 2017, the paper will analyse the politics of ‘helping’ inherent to the ‘Refugee Welcome Culture’, in connection to the politics of solidarity endeavoured by self-organised groups of the ‘Refugee Struggle’ movement. Firstly, the presentation will look at overlapping practices between the two purported realms of ‘state’ and ‘civil society’, analysing them along a spectrum between bordering and de-bordering tendencies. Secondly, the paper will offer a critique of the ideas of Europeanness and whiteness that are produced, reproduced and/or contested within experiences of refugee support and solidarity.

About the speaker

Fiorenza Picozza is a PhD student in Geography at KCL and Course Convenor of ‘Migration and Development’ in the Department of International Development at KCL. Her thesis is provisionally titled: Producing Europe’s Geographies of Asylum: Mobilities, Subjectivities and Solidarities within and against the Asylum Regime. She has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Hamburg and Rome and participated in several initiatives of refugee support and activism in both cities. She holds an MA in Migration and Diaspora Studies from SOAS and her thesis, ‘Dubliners: Unthinking Displacement, Illegality and Refugeeness within Europe's Geographies of Asylum’, has been published in the volume The Borders Of “Europe”. Autonomy of Migration, Tactics of Bordering, edited by Nicholas De Genova (Duke University Press).

Organiser: Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

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