Vortrag im Oberseminar
Prof. Dr. Tricia Hepner (University of Tennessee, Knoxville)
Pillars of Salt: Captivity and Resistance in the Eritrean Refugee Experience
Are refugees who refuse to sever ties to the worlds they left behind doomed - like Lot’s wife - to crumble like salt before the powerful regimes that shape their fate? The question itself reveals a tenacious presumption at the heart of the modern refugee regime and its humanitarian moorings. A refugee exists only by virtue of the regime’s formal recognition of her political claims, her victimhood, and moral deservingness. As such, she must willingly shed her connections to an abusive past and gratefully embrace the society that has rescued her. Building on anthropological critiques of the humanitarian refugee regime, including its international and domestic legal procedures and discourses, this talk will address the particular situation of Eritrean refugees and asylum seekers in Europe, the United States, and Ethiopia. Among the most visible of all refugee populations today, Eritreans remain ambivalently yet tenaciously connected to the sending society and its globally dispersed institutions. A deep history of transnational linkages and coercive state practices have made it impossible for Eritreans to sever ties and effectively integrate. As sources of both financial and political power for the sending government, refugees’ moral deservingness and status as victims is increasingly questioned by migration authorities and societies of refuge. Manipulated by these contending dynamics, Eritreans also seek to resist or control the various forces that hold them captive. Yet the strategies of resistance they attempt to pursue, including seeking asylum, often set new limitations on their mobility and agency. Captivity and resistance seem to fold into one another, compounding the dilemmas of a population long buffeted by war, militarism, displacement, and alienation.
Wann? Montag, 6. November 2017 , 18 Uhr
Wo? Institut für Ethnologie, Oettingenstraße 67, 80538 München
Raum L155 (Obergeschoss) Lageplan
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