Living displacement

The loss and making of place in Colombia

by Mateja Celestina, Alexander Smith

Description
Focusing on two cases of resettlement in rural Cundinamarca, Colombia, this book examines how displaced campesinos make sense of their displacement and how displacement shapes their everyday lives. It is based on a ten-month fieldwork employing ethnographic methods working, living and sharing with the displaced and their host. The book calls for a longer time-frame analysis of the phenomenon of displacement, which considers people's lives both pre- and post- physical relocation. It examines how violence and terror altered people's sense of place and set off displacement process before they actually moved. It analyses the challenges the displaced are facing in their subsequent place-making endeavours, including the negotiation of social relations, consequences of categorization, engagement with the physical land, and memories of violence to challenge the notion that displacement starts with uprooting and terminates with resettlement or return.
Rights Information

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Endorsements

Focusing on two cases of resettlement in rural Cundinamarca, Colombia, this book examines how displaced campesinos make sense of their displacement and how displacement shapes their everyday lives. It is based on a ten-month fieldwork employing ethnographic methods working, living and sharing with the displaced and the receiving populations, who are all in their own ways struggling to make their place. The core of the book draws on people's narratives which are embedded in the broader socio-political and historic context of the country. These narratives depict life in violence and terror, the journeys to the current hamlets, the burden, consequences and the symbolism associated with the category desplazado (internally displaced person), the process of place negotiation between the displaced and the receiving populations who each claim their right to belonging, the challenges the displaced encounter in their attempts to tame unknown terrains, and how the nostalgic memories of the place left behind and the still present fear shape individuals' lives. The book suggests that these complex experiences are best understood through the prism of place, examining people's lives both pre- and post- physical relocation. The gradual loss of place to violence and terror and subsequent process of place-making after uprooting demonstrate that displacement is not an event which starts with movement and ends with resettlement or return, but is a process whose timeframes are difficult to define. The book is an essential reading for those who wish to better understand displacement, a phenomenon affecting an increasing number of people and regions globally.

Reviews

Focusing on two cases of resettlement in rural Cundinamarca, Colombia, this book examines how displaced campesinos make sense of their displacement and how displacement shapes their everyday lives. It is based on a ten-month fieldwork employing ethnographic methods working, living and sharing with the displaced and the receiving populations, who are all in their own ways struggling to make their place. The core of the book draws on people's narratives which are embedded in the broader socio-political and historic context of the country. These narratives depict life in violence and terror, the journeys to the current hamlets, the burden, consequences and the symbolism associated with the category desplazado (internally displaced person), the process of place negotiation between the displaced and the receiving populations who each claim their right to belonging, the challenges the displaced encounter in their attempts to tame unknown terrains, and how the nostalgic memories of the place left behind and the still present fear shape individuals' lives. The book suggests that these complex experiences are best understood through the prism of place, examining people's lives both pre- and post- physical relocation. The gradual loss of place to violence and terror and subsequent process of place-making after uprooting demonstrate that displacement is not an event which starts with movement and ends with resettlement or return, but is a process whose timeframes are difficult to define. The book is an essential reading for those who wish to better understand displacement, a phenomenon affecting an increasing number of people and regions globally.

Author Biography

Alexander Smith is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Huddersfield

Bibliographic Information
  • Pub date: August 2018
  • 9781526127655 / 1526127652
  • United Kingdom
  • ePub
  • Manchester University Press
  • Readership: College/higher education; Professional and scholarly
  • Publish State: Published
  • Series: New Ethnographies
  • Reference Code: 10382