Forced Displacement Urbanisms: Territorial Biographies and Contemporary Narratives in the Syrian Refugee Camps in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq
The past decade has witnessed one of the largest forced movements (internal and external) produced by armed conflict recorded, in particular, Syria (armed conflict) and Iraq (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and internal feuds). The anthropologist Michel Agier (2008) read this phenomenon as the image of the 21st century where “a world of displaced and refugees (is) being created before our eyes” (Agier, 2008). This ‘world’ has a spatial reality, and in these receiving sites of forced displacements, urbanization processes still occur in the most ‘exceptional’ situations. This research explores refugee camps as seeds for urbanity in their hosting geographies. It is essential to understand the spatial set that reforms and reproduces urbanity's articulation factors and what intertwines with it, namely the social, economic, and political. Hence, give an ‘alien space’ a meaning, to become undoubtedly, a place in the making.
This study focuses on the spatial processes (reforming the given) in refugee camps to unfold the complexity of the extent of progression to urbanity. The research seeks to analyze Syrian Kurdish refugee camps in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and reads/situates the camps in light of the history and the future of the ‘Kurdish Question’ ; its diasporic relations that are still shaping and reshaping the region's urban scene (Recchia, 2012a). This study places itself within disciplines of forced displacement, urbanism, human cultural geography, Kurdish Studies, and Political Geography.