Refugees and asylumseekers
This chapter examines how contemporary responses to refugees and
asylumseekers in Ireland have been shaped by a legacy of
exclusionary state practices and racism.1 As noted in the last
chapter, this legacy included overt anti-Semitism within refugee and
immigration practices from the late 1930s prior to Ireland’s
ratification in 1956 of the UN Convention on Human Rights (1951).
The arrival of increasing numbers of asylumseekers in recent years
was met by expressions of racism and intolerance within Irish
Migrants, refugees and asylumseekers: predictable arrivals
Several works exist that compare British governments’
responses to refugees over time.1 Each traces the arrival and
reception of groups of refugees, demonstrating how each was
treated differently, offering explanations for governments’
varying levels of ‘generosity’. Yet refugee movements are
not appropriate for comparison when divorced from the context of Britain’s colonial identity. The relevance of Britain’s
contemporaneous identity as an empire, and the connection between this global
, Mohammed Morei, a young eighteen-year-old man was quickly captured and taken into custody. Racist and angry comments were thrown at Mohammed as he was detained at Dundalk court. Public responses to the event were stark. Mohammed was thought to be an asylumseeker. It was reported that he had had his asylum application rejected somewhere in Great Britain; that he took the ferry to Belfast and crossed into the Republic of Ireland – sleeping rough in an abandoned site in Dundalk. Claims were also made that Mohammed travelled to Dublin but then returned to Dundalk, where on
). While first depicted as
survivors of genocide entitled to claim protection (Anteby-Yemini 2009 ; Willen 2010 ; Paz
2011 ), African asylumseekers 1 soon entered into a language of insecurity
and criminality in the Israeli political discourse. The crossing of the
Egyptian-Israeli border and the settling of asylumseekers in Israeli
cities (in particular Tel Aviv and Eilat) became a matter of concern
In the last decade Irish society has visibly changed with the emergence of new immigrant communities of black and ethnic minorities. This book draws upon a number of academic disciplines, focusing on the relationship between ideological forms of racism and its consequences upon black and ethnic minorities. Media and political debates on racism in Ireland during this period have tended to depict it as a new phenomenon and even as one imported by asylum seekers. Ireland was never immune from the racist ideologies that governed relationships between the west and the rest despite a history of colonial anti-Irish racism. Citizenship reproduced inequalities between nationals on the basis of gender and race and ethnicity. The book explores how the processes of nation-building which shaped contemporary Irish society and the Irish state were accompanied by a politics of national identity within which claims of social membership of various minority groups were discounted. It examines the exclusionary and assimilationist consequences of Irish nationbuilding for Protestant, Jewish and Traveller minority communities. The book also considers anti-Semitism in Irish society from independence in 1922 until the 1950s. It examines how contemporary responses to refugees and asylum seekers have been shaped by a legacy of exclusionary state practices. Finally, the book talks about anti-Traveller racism, the politics of Traveller exclusion, the work of SPIARSI, and the efforts to contest racism and discrimination faced by minorities in Ireland as expressions of multiculturalism.
(B)ordering Britain argues that Britain is the spoils of empire, its immigration law is colonial violence and irregular immigration is anti-colonial resistance. In announcing itself as post-colonial through immigration and nationality laws passed in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, Britain cut itself off symbolically and physically from its colonies and the Commonwealth, taking with it what it had plundered. This imperial vanishing act cast Britain’s colonial history into the shadows. The British Empire, about which Britons know little, can be remembered fondly as a moment of past glory, as a gift once given to the world. Meanwhile immigration laws are justified on the basis that they keep the undeserving hordes out. In fact, immigration laws are acts of colonial seizure and violence. They obstruct the vast majority of racialised people from accessing wealth amassed in the course of colonial conquest. Regardless of what the law, media and political discourse dictate, people with personal, ancestral or geographical links to colonialism, or those existing under the weight of its legacy of race and racism, have every right to come to Britain and take back what is theirs.
This pioneering study of migrant journeys to Britain begins with Huguenot refugees in the 1680s and continues to asylum seekers and east European workers today. Analysing the history and memory of migrant journeys, covering not only the response of politicians and the public but also literary and artistic representations, then and now, this volume sheds new light on the nature and construction of Britishness from the early modern era onwards. It helps to explain why people come to Britain (or are denied entry) and how migrants have been viewed by state and society alike. The journeys covered vary from the famous (including the Empire Windrush in 1948) to the obscure, such as the Volga German transmigrants passing through Britain in the 1870s. While employing a broadly historical approach, the book incorporates insights from many other disciplines and employs a comparative methodology to highlight the importance of the symbolic as well as the physical nature of such journeys.
Art and migration: revisioning the borders of community is a collective response to current and historic constructs of migration as disruptive of national heritage. This interplay of academic essays and art professionals’ interviews investigates how the visual arts – especially by or about migrants – create points of encounter between individuals, places, and objects. Migration has increasingly taken centre stage in contemporary art, as artists claim migration as a paradigm of artistic creation. The myriad trajectories of transnational artworks and artists’ careers outlined in the volume are reflected in the density and dynamism of fairs and biennales, itinerant museum exhibitions and shifting art centres. It analyses the vested political interests of migration terminology such as the synonymous use of ‘refugees’ and ‘asylum seekers’ or the politically constructed use of ‘diaspora’. Political and cultural narratives frame globalisation as a recent shift that reverses centuries of cultural homogeneity. Art historians and migration scholars are engaged in revisioning these narratives, with terms and methodologies shared by both fields. Both disciplines are elaborating an histoire croisée of the circulation of art that denounces the structural power of constructed borders and cultural gatekeeping, and this volume reappraises the historic formation of national identities and aesthetics heritage as constructed under transnational visual influences. This resonates with migrant artists’ own demands for self-determination in a display space that too often favours canonicity over hybridity. Centring migration – often silenced by normative archives or by nationalist attribution practices – is part of the workload of revisioning art history and decolonising museums.
This is the story of a meeting between a humanitarian operation and a conspiracy
theory, and what happened next. The operation was a search and rescue mission run on
the Mediterranean by many different non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including
Médecins Sans Frontières, 1 aiming to save the lives of migrants, refugees and asylumseekers lost at sea. The conspiracy theory 2 was that this operation was the opposite of what it
This book addresses some of the neglected problems, people and vulnerabilities of the Asia-Pacific region. It talks about emancipation, human security, 'security politics', language and threat-construction. The book is divided into three sections: agents; strategies and contexts; and futures. The first section outlines a range of possible agents or actors potentially capable of redressing individual suffering and vulnerability in the region. It examines East Asian regional institutions and dynamics of regionalism as potential sources of 'progressive' security discourses and practices. There is focus on the progressive security potential of regional institutions and regionalism has become increasingly prominent in literature on security in the Asia-Pacific. Two common interpretations of the role of epistemic communities in the construction of security are contested: that they are either passive sources of governmental legitimacy, or autonomous agents with the capacity of constructing or creating state interests. The second section reviews strategies and contexts, outlining a range of different sites of insecurity in the region, the ways in which dominant security discourses and practices emerge, and the extent to which such discourses are contested in different contexts. Indonesian government's approach to minority groups and separatism, the issue of civil unrest and human rights abuses in Burma, and the Australian government's attitude towards refugees and asylum-seekers are discussed. The third section deals with security futures, specifically discussing the question of what alternative security discourses and practices might look like. Finally, the book outlines a feminist critical security discourse and examines its applicability to the Asia-Pacific region.