SOAS University of London

Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

En Route: Europe’s Flickering Border Migrant Camps

Dr Irit Katz

Date: 31 January 2018Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 31 January 2018Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B102

Type of Event: Seminar

Refugee and migrant camps are often analysed as enduring spaces of containment, creating together a global archipelago which enables to maintain the ‘national order of things’. Yet institutional and makeshift migrant camps could also be described as part of an ever-changing network, a versatile global infrastructure in which unwanted populations are not only suspended and internally circulated but are also moving through to their desired destinations. Rather than making part of stable border apparatuses, these camps often compose turbulent borderscapes transformed by different state and non-state powers, including the shifting vectors of global migration flows, the rapid fortification of borders that block them, and the mobile humanitarian and material networks that support forced migrants during their transnational journeys.

With a particular focus on the migrant camps in Northern France created and altered between spring 2015 and fall 2017, this seminar will discuss the flickering border migrant camps which make part of Europe’s ephemeral borderscapes. The specific examples of border camps in and near Calais, Dunkirk and Paris, would also allow to uncover the broader meanings of the camp, a space in which practices of control, care and abandonment are mixed with the agency of the migrants, creating complex environments which not only host ‘people on the move’ but are also moving themselves – spatially, geographically, socially and politically – in relation to the different actors and powers that act within and on them.

About the speaker

Irit Katz is an architect who specialises in camp studies and critical urban studies, with a particular focus on spaces of displacement, migration and refuge. She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House, where she works on the theme ‘Global Shifts: Urbanization, Migration, and Demography’, and an Affiliated Lecturer in the Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge.

Organiser: Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

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