Movement, Migration and Refugees NUBS 2.05
Jul 05, 2023 13:30 - 15:00(Europe/London)
20230705T1330 20230705T1500 Europe/London 4.4. Trauma, solidarity and justice NUBS 2.05 MSA Conference Newcastle 2023
29 attendees saved this session
Resilience and Trauma Recovery for Child Survivors of the Genocide Against the Tutsi
Individual paperConflict, Violence and Memory 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/05 13:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/05 14:30:00 UTC
Psychosocial programs established for children traumatized by wars preconize early reunification with family members and the broader community. In Rwanda, however, the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi resulted, for the most part, in the annihilation of entire families. As for most of the child survivors, these genocide orphans, reunification was out of the question given the loss of their close family members. Based on two testimonial accounts by survivors[1], who were adolescents at the time of the genocide, this paper examines the possibilities and/or impossibilities of reunification, and alternatives to communities in post-genocide Rwanda. Drawing on scholarship on resilience (e.g., Boris Cyrulnik) and trauma recovery (e.g., Judith Butler), I argue that the two narratives challenge the requirements of family reunification to trauma recovery, what community means to genocide orphans, and how resilience plays out for child survivors. Where literature assumes the fixity of family and community, these narratives argue for the consideration of alternative means to recovery in contexts where families and communities have been remarkably altered or damaged. Whether with other orphans in the same situation, cross-border correspondences, host families not related by blood, or sometimes the constant feeling of non-belonging, the authors challenge us to consider how their unique situations reinforce or challenge resilience and trauma recovery. More importantly, against the usual dismissal of child survivors as bad witnesses for history, I contend that these narratives have the ability to shape history, and therefore deserve critical attention in studies on trauma and genocide. 
[1] Kayitesi, Berthe. Demain ma vie: Enfants chefs de famille dans le Rwanda d'après. Editions de Corlevour, 2009 ; and Rurangwa, Révérien. Génocidé. Presses de la Renaissance, 2013.

Irene Momanyi
Graduate Student, The Pennsylvania State University
Spaces of Memory for Syrian Diaspora - How Experience of Dissidence become a Base for New Solidarities in Post-Migration Society
Individual paperMovement, Migration and Refugees 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/04 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/05 22:00:00 UTC
The conflict in Syria can be considered one of the biggest crises since World War II. In the past decade, it not only took over half a million dead and hundreds of thousands of forcibly disappeared people but also over 13 million refugees. Not least it is the untouched re-manifestation of the Al-Assad regime as the ruling power, which is one of the main parties to the conflict, that leads to political stagnation, an unresolved status quo, and impunity for war crimes. Since the roads to a transitional justice process are blocked within the country itself, a huge exiled Syrian Diaspora is seeking new ways of dealing with justice and memory from a diasporic position instead. While focusing on Syrians in dissidence to the Assad regime, I argue that this landscape of memory culture through which the diaspora negotiates its narratives can be considered a continuum of the revolutionary demands of 2011 in its call for change. But how can space of belonging for a diasporic history look like within its arrival country? For Germany as a migration society, this question means fundamentally rethinking its own memory culture. In my research project, I look at this question from the lens of postmigration theory. I ask, what relational spaces of empathic connectedness emerge when considering the history of the Syrian dissidents from the perspective of cosmopolitan memory and as experiences with dissidence and resistance against an authoritarian regime. In a field study based on an exchange project with dissidents from Syria and the former GDR, I analyze the potential of dialogical experiences with dissidence, revolution, and (state) violence as a basis for new alliances of solidarity in post-migration societies.
Maria Hartmann
PhD Candidate, Uni Marburg, Centre For Conflict Studies
Living with Inherited Trauma: An Introspective Look Into Palestinian Resilience Building and Well-Being in Egypt
Individual paperMovement, Migration and Refugees 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/04 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/05 22:00:00 UTC
Egypt is host to tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees. Their situation in Egypt is unique and different to other Arab host countries due to the absence of refugee camps. Questions of Palestinian integration always arise especially in light of restrictive national laws to work and education. In 2008, we (three political science students at Cairo University) led an oral history research project on the "Diaspora impact on Palestinian national identity in Egypt". Through the research different generations were interviewed within four Palestinian families to understand the effects of storytelling in keeping their national identity alive through inherited (and lack of) intergenerational family narratives. 
In this paper, we offer an introspective look (fourteen years after) into our understanding of how living with inherited trauma and building resilience has developed over time. We start by reviewing our previous research project's findings and defining our positionality as researchers at the time. We afterwards follow an introspective critique of our research approach; moving beyond questions of national identity preservation in exile to reflecting on processes of resilience building and well-being. This comes in lieu of continuous political and social instability in both Egypt and Palestine. As researchers, we also revisit our own expectations of identity preservation when survival and well-being are to be made a priority. We expand on our understanding of trauma as a result of failing formal structures in light of systemic changes that have been taking place in Egypt over the past eleven years. 
Applying the concept "inherited trauma" allows us to study the ways by which descendent future generations' health and well-being can be affected by the traumas once experienced by their parents and grandparents. Through storytelling, they hope to keep family memories alive as part of preserving their national identity, but with it also, the heaviness of trauma is transmitted to the next generations. In what ways are resilience efforts in accord with or disaccord with individual well-being and survival? We are asking the question of whether resilience, as a practice, can include individuals' survival and well-being, and not just a means to preserve the national identity and memory in aims of keeping the political and cultural cause alive.
Presenters Nairy AbdElShafy
Independent Oral Historian & Researcher
Nihal Ragab
PhD Candidate
Uni Marburg, Centre for Conflict Studies
Independent Oral Historian & Researcher
Graduate Student
The Pennsylvania State University
University of Bremen
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