Moving Camps: Refugee Villages Between Denmark and Bosnia, 1993-2017

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This paper traces a cluster of asylum housing units that were shipped from Denmark to Bosnia in 1996, ostensibly to house repatriated Bosnians, and which remain in place today. That is to say, camps that were literally moved. These buildings and the logistics surrounding their movement served to structure a range of humanitarian and administrative connections both in and between Denmark and Bosnia. Instead of tracing movements, networks, and careers of migrants, we present an ethnographic and archival account of the trajectories of these housing modules, designed as temporary shelter solutions for Bosnians in Denmark in the late 90s. Exploring the sentimental and relational in the commonplaces of infrastructural logistics, we deploy the idea of moving camps in its double meaning to shed light on how infrastructural and logistical operations may also generate a spillover that works in surprising and unintended ways. Designed as temporary, the camps endured, and the mobility of the camps at once reached in to the past and the future. Conceived of as isolating, the camps and not least the logistics involved in their movement engendered extensive connections, which reached well beyond the use of the housing modules themselves.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
Publication statusSubmitted - Aug 2020


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