Friday, November 9, 2018
9:15 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Joukowsky Forum, Watson Institute
Registration on Eventbrite required
With generous cofunding from the Departments of History and Anthropology
Warzones as Displacement in the Middle East: the Kurdish Case
The ‘displaced’ marks our times both in origins and destinations. Forced movements across borders awash by conflict compel us to re-think displacement and re-settlement. This is particularly imminent in the case of the Middle East. This workshop aims at tackling only the particularity of the Kurdish warzones and its ripples in the Middle East and beyond. Kurds have been living in a perpetual warzone since the last decades of the nineteenth century. Ever since the 1980s, however, displacement of Kurds has been a major strategy for the states that divided the Kurdish lands among themselves as the Kurdish uprising turned into armed conflict. Therefore, Kurdish displacement precedes the global refugee crisis of the 2010s.
Kurds, as the ephemeral displaced, have been and are subjects of ecological destruction, institutional (non-)operations, trafficking and evacuation, as well as making diaspora lives predominantly in Europe but also more recently in the US. Displacement is not simply coerced movement, yet we still lack the conceptual toolbox as well as grounded research to extend our perspectives beyond the physical conditions of these mass movements in search of new lives. The landscape of displacement and the involvement of various institutions varying from local to global along the course of displacement is thus not adequately analyzed in the case of Kurdish displacement, in which every step is also compounded by the fact that a stateless people is on a coerced move.