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Speaking Back to a World of Checkpoints: Oral History as a Decolonizing Tool in the Study of Palestinian Refugees from Syria in Lebanon

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journal contribution
posted on 05.10.2017, 15:36 by Mette Edith Lundsfryd
This article questions the validity of conventional notions of borders as fixed territorial areas. Through oral history as a method and critique, I examine the narratives of eight persons who are Palestinian stateless refugees from Syrian who have escaped to neighboring Lebanon since 2011. Oral history has a methodological strength that allows access to narratives of past and present events, some of which link the mass eviction of people from Palestine in 1948 – known as Al-Nakba (the Catastrophe), to the currentday Syrian crisis, which is perceived by Palestinians from Syria as a new and ongoing Nakba (al Nakba al mustamirrah in Arabic). The narrators of this often experience border crossing as a pervasive part of their reality one that can be described as “social death,” a result of the limitations imposed by borders on the lives of stateless people. I argue that the accounts presented speak back to a world of borders whilst challenging the nation-state driven order of borders as fixed spaces. Through strategies of self-reflexivity, shared authority and maintaining relations, I open a discussion of how to use privilege, for example the privilege of possessing a European passport, and having the recourses to document experiences across geographical areas, as a way of speaking back to a world of checkpoints whilst advocating a process of research decolonization.

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Citation

Middle East Journal of Refugee Studies, 2017, 2 (1), pp 74 - 95.

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Middle East Journal of Refugee Studies

Publisher

The International Refugee Rights Association

issn

2149-4398

eissn

2458-8962

Acceptance date

10/01/2017

Copyright date

2017

Available date

05/10/2017

Publisher version

http://mejrs.com/en/article/speaking-back-to-a-world-of-checkpoints-oral-history-as-a-decolonizing-tool-in-the-study-of-palestinian-refugees-from-syria-in-lebanon/

Language

en

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