Young Refugees and Forced Displacement: Navigating Everyday Life in Beirut
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Riga, L., Holmes, M., Dakessian, A., Langer, J. and Anderson, D. (2021) Young Refugees and Forced Displacement: Navigating Everyday Life in Beirut. London: Routledge.
Young Refugees and Forced Displacement is about young Syrian and Iraqi refugees navigating the complex realities of forced displacement in Beirut. It is based on a British Academy funded two-year project with 51 displaced youths aged 8 to 17 and under the care of three local humanitarian organisations. Focus groups, interviews and innovative arts-based methods were used to learn about their everyday lives. At the end of the project, we coproduced with them a public mural, allowing unexpected epistemological and methodological reflections on researching refugees and the "right to opacity." Families and friendships, humanitarian caregiving, racism, discrimination and everyday decencies and civilities make up the stuff of their ordinary, everyday encounters within refugeedom, defining both its sharper edges and its more inadvertent and quietly political ones. Thus, refugeedom, as we conceive it, includes "the humanitarian condition" but goes a little beyond it, to become also a human condition of political alterity. In navigating refugeedom, the young Syrians and Iraqis become sophisticated political and moral actors, using emotional reflexivity as they engage layered subjectivities to define the terms of their own forced displacement. This book will be of interest to policymakers, humanitarian organisations, social science scholars and students working on refugees, displacement, humanitarianism, intimacies and emotions, racism and discrimination. It may also be of interest to displaced youth.