Summer’s end

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For various reasons—the usual, too much to do, too little time—I haven’t been very active on this blog recently. But things have been quite lively elsewhere. Earlier in the summer my article on ‘Humans and animals in a refugee camp: Baquba, Iraq, 1918-20’ came out in Journal of Refugee Studies (online advance access: the print edition is still forthcoming). If you’re at an institution that subscribes, you can find it by clicking this link; otherwise, by all means email me for a PDF.

A few weeks later, Forced Migration Review published a mini-dossier that I coordinated, made up of seven short articles on the same subject—humans and animals in refugee camps—but with a more contemporary focus. FMR is aimed at policymakers and practitioners rather than academics, and the mini-dossier was an output of the Wellcome Trust seed award project I’ve been running over the past year. The articles are:

  • an introduction by me, which also sets out some key themes for future research on the subject
  • a piece on the role of livestock in refugee–host community relations by Charles Hoots, a vet who ran field operations at a refugee camp in South Sudan for Vets Without Borders in 2013-14
  • a piece on working equids in refugee camps by Patrick Pollock, an academic veterinary surgeon who works with people in the global south who rely on working horses, donkeys and mules for their livelihoods
  • ‘Sheltering animals in refugee camps’, a look at how the architecture of shelter needs to accommodate animals as well as humans, by Lara Alshawawreh, whose research is on the architecture of emergency
  • a piece on understanding the different contexts that create risk in human–animal interactions in camps, by Sara Owczarczak-Garstecka, who works with vets, engineers, and statisticians (her own research focuses on dog bites)
  • ‘Animal and human health in the Sahrawi refugee camps’, a look at the ways in which animal and human health intersect, by Giorgia Angeloni (who works with Vets Without Borders) and Jennifer Carr (who is researching the history of medical humanitarianism in refugee camps)
  • and finally, a piece by Scottish wildlife artist Derek Robertson about the creative work he has done on the connections between bird migrations and human forced migrations across the Mediterranean basin and all the way to Scotland

Forced Migration Review is entirely open access. You can download the entire issue in which the mini-dossier appears here, where there are also links to the individual articles and to a standalone PDF of the mini-dossier, as well as audio versions. The issue is now also available in Spanish and in Arabic, if you prefer, though these don’t have audio versions.

I also wrote a blog post for Refugee History that summarizes my own historical research on the camp at Baquba and connects it to the place of animals in camps today. You can find that here.

There will be some other updates shortly, I hope, about writing on related and unrelated topics. But for now, the start of term is about to hit…

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