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Les midis-séminaires: Espaces de refuge, espaces d’exception ou lieux de vie identitaires?

Danielle Labbe

For the fourth lunchtime seminar of the semester, Faten Kikano presents ‘’Espaces de refuge, espaces d’exception ou lieux de vie identitaires? ‘’.

Following the Syrian conflict that erupted in 2011, Lebanon, a small country bordering Syria, hosts more than one million Syrian refugees, a number that represents about 30% of its original population. For number of reasons, the Lebanese government has adopted a non-camp policy. As a result, Syrian refugees are informally housed in several types of shelter and housing. The Lebanese government gives the management of the crisis to municipalities and humanitarian organizations. Each municipality has adopted a hospitality policy of complete exclusion to hospitality and socio-economic inclusion, as well as disparities in the living conditions of refugees on many levels. These disparities affect the relationship of refugees with the occupants and the degree of power and control they have over these spaces. This translates into visible differences in the transformations that refugees undertake to adapt their shelters and homes to their needs and aspirations.

Through multiple case studies, this presentation proceeds with a taxonomy of shelters and dwellings of Syrian refugees in Lebanon based on their structural characteristics. Through the lens of spatial appropriation, it explores the process of transforming these spaces into socio-cultural and identity-based places of life, according to the opportunities and constraints imposed by the different reception policies; the intersection of multiple layers of governance formed by political and humanitarian actors and by the refugees themselves; structural and physical aspects; and the institutional, socio-political and economic context.

Bring your lunch and join the discussion on Thursday, April 5th, at room 3073 of the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Montreal, starting at noon. Arrive early, places are limited!

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