Living in Refugee Camps in Berlin: Women's Perspectives and Experiences
In the summer and fall of 2015, the year that marked the beginning of what later became known as the “refugee crisis,” 1.1 million people arrived in Germany with the goal of seeking asylum. When taking a critical look at the way refugees are portrayed in media and public discourses in Germany, it is striking to note that the diversity – and the individuality – of these newly arrived persons is often reduced to certain stereotypes that go hand in hand with specific privileges and (moral) rights that are granted or denied them. Furthermore, women* are often absent in these images and discussions, and hence their specific experiences, realities, vulnerabilities and needs – not only during their flight but also after their arrival while living in refugee camps – often remain unaddressed. This is all the more critical as according to the UNHCR, the percentage of refugee women* and children arriving in Greece and seeking asylum in the European Union increased from an estimated 27% in June 2015 to 55% in January 2016.
This book provides insights into the various ways in which women* perceive of and experience their living conditions in five different asylum accommodation centers in Berlin. In particular, it explores how women* – who have fled from countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea and Albania, and who have diverse socio-economic, linguistic and educational backgrounds – describe their lives in the camps with regard to health and care, administration and registration, social interactions and support, and safety and privacy. The ethnographic research on which this book is based resulted from a collaboration between students and lecturers of the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Freie Universität Berlin and the Berlin-based group International Women’s Space. In this regard, the book aims to contribute to the improvement of the living conditions of refugee women* in Berlin and simultaneously hopes to provide a model for anthropological engagement in the face of increasingly complex socio-political challenges..
Hansjörg Dilger and Kristina Dohrn (Hg), in Collaboration with International Women Space: Living in Refugee Camps in Berlin: Women's Perspectives and Experiences. Berliner Beiträge zur Ethnologie, Bd. 40. Weißensee Verlag Berlin.
Kristina Dohrn and Hansjörg Dilger: Engaging Anthropology in the “Refugee Crisis” in Berlin – The Need for New Collaborations in Teaching and Research. In: Hansjörg Dilger and Kristina Dohrn (Hg), in Collaboration with International Women Space: Living in Refugee Camps in Berlin: Women's Perspectives and Experiences. Berliner Beiträge zur Ethnologie, Bd. 40. Weißensee Verlag Berlin, pp 9-11.