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Sharma Avi

Sharma, Avi

Theme-group Fellow

Seasons of Displacement and Refuge. Seasonality, Refugees and the Everyday State in Global Perspective

Research Question

Seeking refuge – from conflict, persecution, natural or anthropogenic disaster – means being vulnerable in new ways.  Whether close to or far from homes evacuated, the environment is experienced differently when in (trans)situ.  Why then do we know so little about the environmental experience of displaced persons?  Using the novel perspective of “seasonality”, this project tries to understand how displaced persons and other actors experience, manage and negotiate environments of displacement and refuge.

Research Project

Seasonality plays a life-defining role in the experiences of vulnerable migrants displaced from their homes by war, extreme poverty or persecution.  This has always been the case, because the logic of human displacement is defined in fundamental ways by exposure – to human violence, to hunger and uncertainty, to the sun, rain, snow, heat, cold, and wet.   In my project I argue that we need to “think” Seasons and Displacement together. My project explores the everyday life and fractured governmentalities of mass displacement in the past present and future. Focusing on select examples in India and Germany, I explore ways that urban seasonality can help us to understand the processes of resettlement and home-making that attend cases of long-term displacement.

Selected Publications

2020 Contesting Resilience.  Negotiating Shared Urban Futures. In Dorothee Brantz and Avi Sharma (eds.). Urban Resilience. Historical and Contemporary Practices in a Global Context. Bielefeld: Transcript

2020  Mass Displacement in Post-Catastrophic Societies. Vulnerability, Learning, and Adaptation in Germany and India, 1945-52. Bulletin of the German Historical Institute, Vol. 64: 1-35.

2018 Green Cities. A Dialogue. Written with Dorothee Brantz. Transformations in Environment and Society, Vol. 1: 15-25.


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