Monday, December 22, 2008

Anthropological Fieldwork in Refugee Camps

Culture Matters has an interview with Dr. Alice Corbet about fieldwork in refugee camps. We know so little about the everyday life of these camps that such accounts are indeed necessary to raise awareness. I especially appreciated the point made about the reasoning behind food rations: avoid making people 'want to stay' in camps. The underlying assumptions of such reasoning are so far away from humanitarian principles and so hypocritical, that it is hard to believe we do nothing to challenge them:

"Dr Corbet has spent over five years performing research with the Sahrawis in refugee camps along the Moroccan/Algerian border. She has faced cholera epidemics, landmines, dehydration, flying sand scorpions, faced slavery and even assisted in births and deaths in the most unsterile of conditions."

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