University of London Institute in Paris

9-11 rue de Constantine
75007 Paris

Join Victoria Tecca (UCL) for a presentation of her research, "No Sleep 'til the UK": Home-making and emplacement among Kurdish refugees in Grande-Synthe

Common narratives relating to refugees in the EU have shifted from emergency humanitarian response to questions of inclusion and integration. Civil society and state-funded projects now often aim to create spaces in which 'newcomers' and 'locals' enter into relationships of mutual understanding and support. Yet these projects are predicated upon a level of permanence and stability, and do not offer suitable models for community-building in transit camps dotted along the borders within and just outside the EU. In a makeshift tent settlement in Grande-Synthe, multiple actors are engaged in making the camp space overwhelmingly transitory: French authorities destroy material dwellings, grassroots organisations struggle to offer consistent meals and other support, and those living in the camp themselves conceptualise it as a temporary space from which to attempt to reach the UK. Yet despite its present-oriented conditions, many remain in the camp for months or years. The camp itself is marked by insecurity and movement, while simultaneously offering an imagined future of security and stasis across the channel.

Victoria Tecca is a PhD anthropology student at University College London, currently engaged in fieldwork research in Grande-Synthe and Dunkerque. Her research explores the tensions between temporality and mobility by examining home-making practices and community spaces. In this talk she will present her research thus far, including the theoretical foundation for her questions, how she has navigated particular methodological challenges, and the direction in which her research is moving.