Friday, 28. October
City Museum of Ljubljana, 10.00 – 12.00

  • Myria Georgiou, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
  • Svetla Encheva, Centre for the Study of Democracy, Bulgaria
  • Nicos Trimikliniotis, Centre for the Study of Migration, Inter-ethnic and Labour Relations, Cyprus
  • Federico Rahola, University of Genoa, Italy

Moderator: Veronika Bajt, Peace Institute, Slovenia

Myria Georgiou teaches at the Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), UK. She has a PhD in Sociology (LSE), an MA in Journalism (Boston University, USA) and a BA in Sociology (Panteion University, Athens, Greece) and her research focuses on the broader areas of diaspora, migration, media and identity. Before joining the LSE, Myria was a Senior Lecturer in International Communications and Director of Postgraduate Taught Studies at Institute of Communication Studies, University of Leeds, UK (2003-2009). She has also worked as a journalist for BBC World Service, Greek Press, and the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation.

Her PhD was conducted under the guidance of Roger Silverstone and her doctoral thesis was ethnography of media consumption and identity construction within the London Greek Cypriot diaspora. After her PhD, she took up a postdoctoral position at the LSE, working again with Roger Silverstone, and conducting the first ever mapping of diasporic media in the EU. Myria is currently the Chair of the Ethnicity and Race in Communication (ERIC) Division of International Communication Association (ICA); she is the founder and former chair of the Diaspora, Migration and Media section of European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA). Her expertise in the area of cultural diversity and mediation has led to a number of invited consultancies and advisory roles for various organisations, including the Council of Europe, International Broadcasting Trust, Urban Communication Foundation, Panos Paris and Panos London. Her work has been published in English, French, Japanese, and Greek.

Between Citizenship and Cultural Identity: Spaces of Belonging among Migrant Audiences

The presentation focuses on everyday life as the domain where meanings of citizenship are articulated among migrant populations, often in unpredictable ways. The presentation demonstrates that interpersonal communication and media consumption, which are integral elements of everyday life, play a key role in the ways migrants construct a sense of belonging. It is in this same domain that policies of citizenship are interpreted and made sense of. The discussion will engage with some of the tensions associated with top-down understandings of citizenship among policy makers in Europe and the way citizenship and belonging is articulated among migrants. Particular attention will be paid on the way transnational experience shapes migrants’ complex sense of belonging. The presentation draws from a cross-national study with Arab-speakers living in European capital cities.

Svetla Encheva is an analyst at the Centre of the Study of Democracy (CSD), Sofia, Bulgaria. She holds a MA in Philosophy from Sofia University. At CSD she works on international and national projects mainly in the field of migration, but also related to issues such as child trafficking, cyber bullying, etc. Prior to joining CSD, she worked as an Assistant Professor of Sociology at South-West University “Neofit Rilski”, Bulgaria where she taught various courses, including Sociology of Education, Sociology of Gender, Sociology of Traditional and Modern Societies, and Introduction to Sociology. Her civic activities are in the field of defending human rights (especially the rights of the foreigners in Bulgaria), anti-discrimination, and anticorruption efforts in the educational system.

“New EU Citizen” – Identity and Attitude toward Foreigners in Bulgaria

As many Eastern European countries, Bulgaria is mainly a country of emigration. There is a relatively small amount of foreigners in the country (immigrants, refugees, asylum-seekers, etc.), which, since Bulgaria’s EU accession, is growing gradually. However, Bulgaria still does not face problems typical for countries of immigration, at least for two reasons – the small number of foreigners and the lack of social policies requiring public resources, in this area. In spite of this, from the point of view of Bulgarian “common sense”, foreigners are a threat. It seems that in Bulgaria being a citizen of the EU does not mean to live in a multicultural environment but to be as restrictive as possible. At the same time, any restrictions on Bulgarian citizen’s right by other EU countries are considered “unfair”.

Nicos Trimikliniotis is an interdisciplinary scholar and activist working in Cyprus in the fields of law and sociology. He is, since 2008, senior research consultant at PRIO Cyprus Centre. He is Assistant Professor of Law and Sociology and Director of the Centre of the Study of Migration, Inter-ethnic and Labour Relations at the University of Nicosia, Cyprus. He is the national expert for Cyprus of the European networks of experts on Free Movement of Workers (2008–) and Labour Law (2010–). He is the Cypriot national expert on Independent Network of Labour Migration and Integration Experts for the International Organization for Migration (2009–). He is a Research Associate at Swansea’s University’s Centre for Migration Policy Research (CMPR).

He has served as a research associate (national expert) with European University Institute on (a) Citizenship (EUDO, 2009–2010) and (b) on Tolerance, Pluralism and Social Cohesion (ACCEPT, 2011). He also has an association with the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He was national expert for Cyprus of the Legal Network of Independent Experts in the non-discrimination field (2004–2008). He has been Director of National Focal Point on Racism and Xenophobia (2004–2010) and the Cypriot FRALEX team (2007–2010). He has researched on ethnic conflict, reconciliation and resolution, constitutional and state theory, multi-culturalism, education, migration, racism, and discrimination and has published several articles, co-authored and co-edited books and journals.

Federico Rahola is a Senior Lecturer and an Assistant Professor of Sociology of Cultural Processes at the University of Genoa, Italy. Starting from migrations and border studies, his attention has recently converged towards current conflicts and their political and sociological impact. He is a member of the editorial board of Revista Interdisciplinar da Mobilidade Humana (REMHU), Brasilia, Etnografia e ricerca qualitative, Bologna, Italy and Conflitti globali, Genoa, Italy.

He is the author of Zone definitivamente temporanee. I luoghi dell’umanità in eccesso (Verona 2003), and, together with Massimiliano Guareschi, of Chi decide? Critica dela ragione eccezionalista (Verona 2011), and also the editor of Israele come paradigma (Milano 2008), and Palestina anno zero (Milano 2010).

Deportable Citizens

In recent years, the impressive recourse to detention centres where to “territorialize”, identify and detain displaced persons (migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers) has produced a growing amount of studies and publications. This presentation will focus on the current pervasive spreading of detention centres, both within and outside the EU territory, by assuming it as a material symptom of  a wider process of borders transformation as well as of the emerging of a new “border regime” in order to govern human mobility. In other words, it is through the lens of the dramatic redefinition involving borders ­– according to which political and physical borders no longer simply ratify a univocal separation between an inside/outside- inclusion/exclusion-based dimension of sovereignty, and rather directly produce forms of discontinuity within an apparently smooth surface – that camps and the administrative detention of displaced persons have to be conceived and placed in.

This, in turn, suggests considering both the new practices of labour mobility and the proliferation of detention and identification centres as a re-actualized version of the structural relation, described by Deleuze and Guattari, between nomadic machines and capturing apparatuses, thus identifying a specific isomorphic relation based upon mobility and de-territorializing drives. Under this perspective, within the current global “border regime”, camps are to be conceived as devices directly producing forms of differential inclusion: as specific apparatuses that redefine, in terms of precariousness and status differentiation, the (allegedly homogeneous) space of citizenship in the crisis of contemporary liberal-democracies.