Title

Are Refugees Guests?

Abstract

On March 9, 2016, the Macedonian government closed its borders to all but a small number of asylum seekers entering from the Greek border. As a result, more than 55,000 individuals were unable to complete the journey along the Balkan Peninsula and into central Europe. Many such groups put up camp where they could, only to be forcefully evacuated from these refugee sites to government-authorized facilities. One month before evacuations began, the Greek Ministry of Interior released a statement to one such camp informing its residents of the approaching evacuation. In analyzing this statement, I argue that the Greek Ministry’s use of signification to constitute asylum seekers as “guests” expropriates the agency and power of those individuals to whom the statement is addressed. This expropriation occurs through the Ministry’s constitution of asylum seekers into the mold of “guests” within Greece, a role subject to certain expectations and obligations.

Faculty Sponsor

Heather Hayes

Tracks

Discrimination and Incarceration

Terms of Use

ARMINDA Terms of Use

Location

Olin 138

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

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Apr 11th, 11:00 AM Apr 11th, 11:15 AM

Are Refugees Guests?

Olin 138

On March 9, 2016, the Macedonian government closed its borders to all but a small number of asylum seekers entering from the Greek border. As a result, more than 55,000 individuals were unable to complete the journey along the Balkan Peninsula and into central Europe. Many such groups put up camp where they could, only to be forcefully evacuated from these refugee sites to government-authorized facilities. One month before evacuations began, the Greek Ministry of Interior released a statement to one such camp informing its residents of the approaching evacuation. In analyzing this statement, I argue that the Greek Ministry’s use of signification to constitute asylum seekers as “guests” expropriates the agency and power of those individuals to whom the statement is addressed. This expropriation occurs through the Ministry’s constitution of asylum seekers into the mold of “guests” within Greece, a role subject to certain expectations and obligations.

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