The Ongoing Catastrophe: Erosion of Life in the Danish Camps

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    The majority of Palestinians in Denmark have followed a route from villages in
    Palestine via camps in Lebanon to housing projects in Denmark. Whereas it is
    well known that the camps were modelled after the villages, it is less well known
    that the housing projects are referred to and enacted as camps. Based on
    fieldwork among Palestinians in the Danish camps, this article explores why
    my interlocutors describe their current lives as a catastrophe. Al-Nakba literally
    means the catastrophe and, in Palestinian national discourse, it is used to
    designate the event of 1948, when the Palestinians were expelled from their
    homeland. However, according to my interlocutors, al-Nakba never stopped,
    but continues in the present. To understand this phenomenon, I suggest that it
    is conducive to think of al-Nakba as a reverse national myth, a figure of
    un-becoming, which is replicated in the present. I argue that, unlike the
    spectacular catastrophes in Palestine and later in Lebanon, life in the Danish
    camps is characterized by minor mundane catastrophes that are each so small
    that they barely register or elicit a moral response, but nevertheless erode the
    lives of my interlocutors.
    TidsskriftJournal of Refugee Studies
    Udgave nummer2
    Sider (fra-til)229-249
    Antal sider21
    StatusUdgivet - 27 nov. 2015


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