The closure of borders along the “Balkan route” and the EU-Turkey agreement
in 2016 resulted in the involuntary immobility of thousands of refugees in Greece.
Since then, the large-scale emergency relief aid on the Greek shores has been replaced
by the development of provisions for the gradual integration of refugees within wider
European society. In such a context, education comes to the fore in the management
of Europe’s so-called “refugee crisis.” This article explores refugee youths’ educational
engagements in the framework of their “temporary” accommodation in a Transit Shelter
for Unaccompanied (Male) Minors on the island of Lesvos. The article discusses
how the youths themselves act upon educational arrangements made by their caretakers
within a context of limited agency inscribed in a “code” of filoxenia (hospitality to
foreigners). This code positions refugee youths both as temporary “guests” and simultaneously
as “subjects” of discipline in the residency and in wider society.
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