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Barak Kalir

Thousands of asylum seekers annually apply for protection from the Dutch state. The number of asylum applicants fluctuates across time and ranges from 50,000 per annum in the early 1990s, in the midst of the Balkan wars, to around 10,000 to 15

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Re/Making Immigration Policy through Practice

How Social Workers Influence What It Means to Be a Refused Asylum Seeker

Kathryn Tomko Dennler

Upon the UK Border Agency’s (UKBA’s) 1 refusal of an asylum claim, the offer of temporary, state-sanctioned hospitality is revoked, leaving non-detained refused asylum seekers to navigate a complex landscape of hostility, disinterest, tolerance

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Paying the Price of War

Narratives of Trauma of Iraqi Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Jordan

Laure Bjawi-Levine

The occupation of Iraq and the ensuing sectarian violence have created an Iraqi refugee community, estimated at 700,000 to 1 million, which Jordan has hosted for several years. Residing for the most part in Amman's low-rent neighbourhoods, many Iraqis have overstayed their visas and live in fear of deportation. Marginalised both economically and socially, and forgotten by the U.S. and the international community, poverty-stricken Iraqi refugees and asylum seekers suffer not only from the traumatic experience of sectarian persecution and their escape from Iraq, but also from the stress and fatigue of their long-lasting transit to nowhere. Their narratives show a profound distress and a struggle for survival that is both psychological and economical, since their (il)legal status as 'guests' denies them the possibility of obtaining work permits.

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Refugee Hospitality Encounters in Northern Portugal

“Cultural Orientations” and “Contextual Protection”

Elizabeth Challinor

the worthy guest, reproduced by volunteers in the camp, depoliticized asylum seekers, limiting their agency, by representing them as apolitical beings in need who should comply with the rules of hospitality. Asylum seekers are commonly referred to as

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Carol Bohmer and Amy Shuman

For immigration authorities, the goal of asylum hearings is to differentiate between economic migrants and legitimate political asylum seekers. However, in the stories asylum seekers tell, these categories often blur. Nevertheless, the asylum process uses this differentiation to conceal inequities in the system, and to justify denials. This article examines political asylum as a transnational and culturally local process and argues that contradictions between protection and control underlie some of the seemingly absurd denials of asylum applications.

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Over Under Sideways Down

An Interview with Karrie Fransman

Ann Miller

In this interview Karrie Fransman discusses some of the aesthetic choices that she made in creating her comic book Over Under Sideways Down, the story of a young asylum seeker, which deals with a series of harrowing events: exile, journey and displacement, and then the struggle to attain the right to remain in the UK. Fransman considers the ethical and artistic issues raised by the telling of Ebrahim's story, which includes episodes of pain and loss and which, moreover, he had already recounted many times over to disbelieving interviewers, who had the power to grant or refuse him refugee status. Fransman expresses her pleasure in discovering that the rendering of his story into comics form has helped Ebrahim to feel that he has gained control over it. She reflects on the process of condensing the narrative and heightening key moments, her concern to avoid turning violence into spectacle, and her use of resources of the medium, such as symbolism and metonymy, to convey the intensity of emotion.

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Kingsley Garbett

On 4 July 2003, a one-day “Cultural Research and Refugee Studies” workshop was held in Sydney. Greg Gow and Amanda Wise organized the workshop, a cooperative venture between the cultural research centers of the University of Western Sydney and the Australian National University. It brought together a large group of researchers, practitioners, and community representatives to exchange ideas about cultural research among refugees and asylum seekers in Australia. The three articles that follow, by Gow, Wise, and Glazebrook, present a particular perspective on the methodology of studying and analyzing refugee behavior in Cultural Studies, stressing the significance of considering the emotive and affective aspects of their status and position. Wise’s material considers East Timorese refugees, many of whom now have residence in Australia, while Gow and Glazebrook examine more recent refugees and asylum seekers from Iraq and Central Afghanistan, respectively, many of whom still have uncertain futures. Comments from a panel discussion by Khalid Koser, Pnina Werbner, and Ien Ang complete this thematic section.

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Governing through Uncertainty

Experiences of Being a Refugee in Turkey as a Country for Temporary Asylum

Kristen Sarah Biehl

This article addresses the question of how to theorize the relation between uncertainty and governmentality with regard to displacement and its consequences. It explores the experiences of asylum seekers in Turkey and the bureaucratic processes of refugee status determination, local dispersal, and third country resettlement, illustrating two main points throughout. First, 'protracted uncertainty', characterized by indefinite waiting, limited knowledge, and unpredictable legal status, is a central element of the experience of being an asylum seeker in Turkey. Second, this uncertainty serves to demobilize, contain, and criminalize asylum seekers through the production of protracted uncertainty, which in turn is normalized as a necessity of bureaucracy and/or security. The article invites readers to question the governmentalities of asylum and border regimes that not only discipline refugees' everyday movements but also determine the uncertainty of 'refugeeness'.

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‘Refugees Are Welcome Here!’

How Public Opinion Got Ahead of Government in Summer 2015 and Stayed There

Maurice Wren

tourists, or bogus asylum seekers, or simply ‘illegals’, might prevail; or that public sympathy would be corroded by what happened in Paris and Cologne. But my sense is that this has not been the case. Indeed, from the perspective of the Refugee Council

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“Coaching” Queer

Hospitality and the Categorical Imperative of LGBTQ Asylum Seeking in Lebanon and Turkey

Aydan Greatrick

This article argues that Northern responses to, and recognition of, LGBTQ refugees bind queer organizations in Lebanon and Turkey, which support such refugees, in a state of contradiction. This contradiction is defined both by the failure of Northern LGBTQ rights discourses to account for Southern ways of being queer, but also by the categorical imperative of hospitality, which asks that the “right” refugee appears in line with the moral, political, raced, and gendered assumptions of Northern host states. In recognizing this imperative, this article observes how queer organizations in Lebanon and Turkey navigate this contradiction by simultaneously “coaching” their beneficiaries on how to appear “credible” in line with Northern assumptions about sexual difference, while working to accommodate the alterity of those they support.