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Thursday June 8th 2017.
Organiser: Alexandra Koptyaeva.
Theme: Home-Making Practices of People Who Are in the Move
In the situation of transit when going back and moving forward is impossible, people are trying to construct a shelter even on the temporal ground. The occupation of vacant city buildings by activists and solidarians in Athens and its transformation to squats for refugees and their families is a good alternative to detention centers, camps, and hotspots. When I was volunteering in the Refugee Accommodation Center “City Plaza” in Athens in this year, I was trying to understand how the ‘feeling of home’ is created by refugees and supported by volunteers and activists in this place. What makes people call squat their ‘home’ and why they don’t want to leave it when they are relocated to another place? How ‘home’ is experienced in the situation of uncertainty by people on the move? I argue that the daily activities of the residents and volunteers and the organisation of the space help to construct a positive notion of ‘home’ even despite the attempts of the government to evict such buildings.
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