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Title: Speaking Back to a World of Checkpoints: Oral History as a Decolonizing Tool in the Study of Palestinian Refugees from Syria in Lebanon
Authors: Lundsfryd, Mette Edith
First Published: 15-Sep-2017
Publisher: The International Refugee Rights Association
Citation: Middle East Journal of Refugee Studies, 2017, 2 (1), pp 74 - 95.
Abstract: 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.
DOI Link: 10.12738/mejrs.2017.2.1.0110
ISSN: 2149-4398
eISSN: 2458-8962
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2017, The International Refugee Rights Association. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Media and Communication

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