(re) Assembling Home after Asylum: Exploring the intimate geographies of home re-making with refugees leaving Direct Provision in Cork, Ireland

Authors: Rosie Howlett-Southgate*, University College CORK
Topics: Immigration/Transnationalism, Social Geography, Qualitative Methods
Keywords: Asylum, Direct Provision, Ireland, Home, Feminist Geography, Integration.
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Madison B, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Since 2001, asylum seekers in Ireland have been received through a system of Direct Provision, which provides a small allowance, food and shelter in a chain of thirty-two hostel-esque buildings across the island of Ireland. The system has been critiqued as an exclusionary policy in academic and activist fields, as it leads to isolation, decreased feelings of social belonging and a loss of homeliness (Lentin, 2016; Reilly, 2018). Less is written however about the period after leaving the Direct Provision system, when newly-recognized refugees must emerge from an institutionalized and often protracted reception setting and integrate into mainstream Irish life. My PhD research fills this gap as it investigates the process of re-assembling home after asylum. Drawing from feminist ethnographic interviews conducted in participant’s new homes between October 2017 and October 2018 I ask; How do spatial arrangements of home relate to time spent inside Direct Provision? How can objects and artworks within the home connect to prior experiences of domicide i.e. the violent loss of home? And finally why should we, as critical feminist geographers think and re-frame the debates about integration around the notion of ‘home’ and carry that into our methodologies? From answering these three questions, my paper brings forward a narrative of those disrupted transnational and marginalized voices re-building life after asylum in contemporary Ireland.

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