Contested Spaces of Belonging: asylum, direct provision and beyond
On 6th September the Migration and Integration research cluster hosted a symposium on ‘asylum’ and contested spaces of belonging, centering on current research exploring issues relating to integration, belonging/not-belonging and place for asylum-seekers and refugees.
The event brought together research that sheds new light on the implications of policies such as Direct Provision and dispersal and on the contested spaces of belonging/not-belonging in which asylum-seekers, refugees and their families live their lives. In particular, the symposium provided an opportunity to explore the potential for alternative imaginings of how welcome/sanctuary/asylum can be provided by host states and societies.
Presentations explored different aspects of Direct Provision, including the use of surveillance as an instrument of power; the challenging living conditions within accommodation centres and the implications for mental health; and the difficulties faced by those leaving Direct Provision, particularly in relation to securing housing.The political representation of asylum seekers by NGOs in Ireland was also considered. Dr Jonathan Darling delivered the keynote speech on the privatisation of dispersal accommodation and reception services for asylum seekers in the UK.
Dr. Jonathan Darling, Durham University: Challenging the ‘Asylum-seeking Market’: privatisation and the politics of care in the UK’s asylum dispersal system
Ms. Cecilia Amabo (City of Sanctuary member): Perspectives on Direct Provision in Ireland
Ms. Rosie Howlett-Southgate (Department of Geography, UCC): From Liminality to Precarity: The Geographies of Refugee Experiences in the Housing Market in Cork, Ireland
Dr. Dominic Hewson: “All the Time Watched”: An Analysis of Disciplinary Power within the Irish Direct Provision System
Dr. Claire Dorrity (School of Applied Social Studies, UCC): Asylum Seeker Representation: Examining spaces for voice, agency and power