This collaboration emphasizes the critical needt o rethink the contemporary refugee crisis in Africa and beyond by approaching it as a social and historical formation with the potential to solve the very problems it represents. Building bridges between infrastructure, sustainability, political representation and narrative, this collaborative seminar and workshop series and keynote lecture will explore the generative potentials of refugees as camps develop into communities.
With over 65 million internally displaced peoples and refugees worldwide, we are currently facing the highest levels of human displacement in our history. Over a quarter of the total refugee population resides in sub-Saharan Africa alone. "Refugee Worlds" will draw upon case studies in Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya, African countries that have accepted refugees from three "waves" of regional violence since the late 1950s. Extending "out of Africa," we will follow the global pathways of migration through refugee resettlement programs in the Middle East, Europe, and North America. In each of these settings, motivated by necessity, refugees implement innovative ways of thinking, acting and creating. To understand their worlds and develop tools to help them flourish, it is equally imperative that scholars and practitioners from all fields address their solutions as points of departure. With this guiding principle, our collaborative project will engage experts from STEM fields, professional schools, social sciences, humanities, and institutions outside the university.
The keynote speaker will be Dr. Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.