Living in between: how refugees and volunteers in negotiation (reàconstruct citizenship and humanitarian care in the camps of Grande-Synthe, France
Woensel Kooy, E. van
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"This thesis will discuss the limitations and possibilities of sustainable citizenship and hospitality in the refugee camps of Grande-Synthe, France. It will contribute to a two-fold theoretical debate on border politics and humanitarian politics . Both European border policies and humanitarian aid organizations focus on the here and the now and ignore the shared histories and future dreams of full (legal) and bare (illegal) citizens. They reduce the last group to an anonymous mass of either criminals or suffering victims and stimulate thinking in terms of exclusion, enlarging the gap between us and them . Having spent one month in camp Basroch (the Jungle of Grande-Synthe ) and two months in camp La Linière ( the first official refugee camp of Europe ), I will draw on my own ethnographic experiences and daily conversations as a volunteer in the camp to illustrate the complex and nuanced ways in which both refugees and volunteers question the concepts of statelessness and national belonging and in negotiation (re)construct citizenship and care in relation to each other. It s a story about the numerous challenges that limit their hospitality and their powerful attempts to cross the borders that hold them apart."