Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 16

Search results for: repatriation

16 Not Suitable for Repatriation nor Refugee Status: How Undocumented Immigrant Women Survives Street Policing

Authors: Angel Mabudusha

Abstract:

The impression created by the high volume of foreign nationals being deported by the South African Home Affairs and the police departments is that all undocumented foreign nationals insist on staying in South Africa and voluntary repatriation is open for every person. However, those foreign nationals whose request for deportation has been rejected are often not reported on especially their everyday survival as undocumented immigrant women and their encounter with the police on the street. As a result, this paper aims at exploring the everyday experiences of these women on the street and on why the number of undocumented immigrant women in this country will remain a challenge to the police department. The research was conducted in two cities in South Africa, namely: Johannesburg and Pretoria where the police, the undocumented immigrant women, the human rights lawyers and NGO officials were interviewed on this matter. Based on the idea that voluntary repatriation is open for every immigrant, this study has found that some women’ request for voluntary repatriation remain a dream that never came true. Furthermore, this article proposes more humanitarian ways of dealing with undocumented immigrant women.

Keywords: repatriation, refugee status, undocumented foreign nationals, humanitarian

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15 Managing Expatriates' Return: Repatriation Practices in a Sample of Firms in Portugal

Authors: Ana Pinheiro, Fatima Suleman

Abstract:

Literature has revealed strong awareness of companies in regard of expatriation, but issues associated with repatriation of employees after an international assignment have been overlooked. Repatriation is one of the most challenging human resource practices that affect how companies benefit from acquired skills and high potential employees; and gain competitive advantage through network developed during expatriation. However, empirical evidence achieved so far suggests that expatriates have been disappointed because companies lack an effective repatriation strategy. Repatriates’ professional and emotional needs are often unrecognized, while repatriation is perceived as a non-issue by companies. The underlying assumption is that the return to parent company, and original country, culture and language does not demand for any particular support. Unfortunately, this basic view has non-negligible consequences on repatriates, especially on expatriate retention and turnover rates after expatriation. The goal of our study is to examine the specific policies and practices adopted by companies to support employees after an international assignment. We assume that expatriation is process which ends with repatriation. The latter is such a crucial issue as the expatriation and require due attention through appropriate design of human resource management policies and tools. For this purpose, we use data from a qualitative research based on interviews to a sample of firms operating in Portugal. We attempt to compare how firms accommodate the concerns with repatriation in their policies and practices. Therefore, the interviews collect data on both expatriation and repatriation process, namely the selection and skills of candidates to expatriation, training, mentoring, communication and pay policies. Portuguese labor market seems to be an interesting case study for mainly two reasons. On the one hand, Portuguese Government is encouraging companies to internationalize in the context of an external market-oriented growth model. On the other hand, expatriation is being perceived as a job opportunity in the context of high unemployment rates of both skilled and non-skilled. This is an ongoing research and the data collected until now indicate that companies follow the pattern described in the literature. The interviewed companies recognize the higher relevance of repatriation process than expatriation, but disregard specific human resource policies. They have perceived that unfavorable labor market conditions discourage mobility across companies. It should be stressed that companies underline that employees enhanced the relevance of stable jobs and attach far less importance to career development and other benefits after expatriation. However, there are still cases of turnover and difficulties of retention. Managers’ report non-negligible cases of turnover associated with lack of effective repatriation programs and non-recognition of good performance. Repatriates seem to having acquired entrepreneurial spirit and skills and often create their own company. These results suggest that even in the context of worsening labor market conditions, there should be greater awareness of the need to retain talents, experienced and highly skills employees. Ultimately, other companies poach invaluable assets, while internationalized companies risk being training providers.

Keywords: expatriates, expatriation, international management, repatriation

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14 Rethinking Peace Journalism in Pakistan: A Critical Analysis of News Discourse on the Afghan Refugee Repatriation Conflict

Authors: Ayesha Hasan

Abstract:

This study offers unique perspectives and analyses of peace and conflict journalism through interpretative repertoire, media frames, and critical discourse analyses. Two major English publications in Pakistan, representing both long and short-form journalism, are investigated to uncover how the Afghan refugee repatriation from Pakistan in 2016-17 has been framed in Pakistani English media. Peace journalism focuses on concepts such as peace initiatives and peace building, finding common ground, and preventing further conflict. This study applies Jake Lynch’s Coding Criteria to guide the critical discourse analysis and Lee and Maslog’s Peace Journalism Quotient to examine the extent of peace journalism in each text. This study finds that peace journalism is missing in Pakistani English press, but represented, to an extent, in long-form print and online coverage. Two new alternative frames are also proposed. This study gives an in-depth understanding of if and how journalists in Pakistan are covering conflicts and framing stories that can be identified as peace journalism. This study represents significant contributions to the remarkably limited scholarship on peace and conflict journalism in Pakistan and extends Shabbir Hussain’s work on critical pragmatic perspectives on peace journalism in Pakistan.

Keywords: Afghan refugee repatriation, Critical discourse analysis, Media framing , Peace and conflict journalism

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13 A Comparative Study of Resilience in Third Culture Kids and Non Third Culture Kids

Authors: Shahanaz Aboobacker Ahmed, P. Ajilal

Abstract:

We live in the ‘age of migration’ where global migration and repatriation is the stark reality of human lives in the contemporary world. With increasing number of people migrating and repatriating for education, work, or crisis situations, there is an ever-growing need for active research into the effects of repatriation and migration on the psychological well-being of the migrants and expatriates. Moving across borders has resulted in individual developing a third culture and hence such individual are known as Third Culture Kids (TCKs). The aim of the study was to understand the difference in the resilience between Third Culture Kids and Non- Third Culture Kids and gain an insight into how resilience is shaped by migratory experience. The sample comprised of 200 participants that included 100 TCKs and 100 Non-TCKs. The participants were in the age range group of 17-26 years and were pursuing their college education in various parts of the world. The variable of Resilience was measured using the Resilience scale developed and standardized on TCK population which included subtests; Emotional Regulation, Impulse Control, Causal Analysis, Self Efficacy, Realistic Optimism, Empathy and Reaching Out. The data was obtained from in-person sessions and over Skype. The data was analyzed using independent sample t-tests. Results indicated that there is a significant difference between TCKs and Non-TCKs on Impulse Control, Causal Analysis, Realistic Optimism, Empathy and Reaching Out. However, no significant difference was found on the sub-variables of Self Efficacy and Emotional Regulation.

Keywords: third culture kids, resilience, immigration, cross-cultural psychology, repatriation, emotional maturity, emotional regulation, impulse control, causal analysis, self-efficacy, realistic optimism, empathy, reaching out

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12 The Quest for Identity among African Americans: Life History of Imahkus Nzinga

Authors: Felicia Masenu

Abstract:

Identity formation remains central to diaspora populations as they are known to have multiple attachments to places, including the 'ancestral homeland.' This paper emphasizes the potency of the ancestral homeland in the imagination of diaspora populations and a 'yearning' for an eventual return. This has led to the repatriation and visits of many Diasporan Africans to Africa. What have also been highlighted are the motivations, experiences, and challenges associated with the return of African Americans to Africa, as well as some of the idealistic expectations that Diasporan Africans have regarding the ancestral homeland. When Diasporan Africans visit Africa, they are faced with different kinds of situations that are challenging. Yet, the number of visits to Africa by Diasporan Africans, particularly, African Americans, keep increasing. This paper draws on the life history of Imahkus Nzinga, an African American who repatriated to Ghana in the 1990s, as a case study of African Americans’ relentless quest to pursue the ancestral homeland, despite the challenges involved. The paper argues that the quest for identity construction remains the overriding motivation for African Americans in their decision to repatriate to Africa, and discusses how in this case, Imahkus Nzinga attempts to reconcile what is called in this paper 'identity struggle.'

Keywords: African Americans, Diaspora, identity formation, identity struggle, repatriation

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11 Development of Regional Cooperation to Sustainable Implementation of Customary Refugee Solutions in International Arena

Authors: Md. Reduanul Haque

Abstract:

In recent time, more and more refugees are emerging in the international arena than the times ever that has come into the notice of world scholars. The prevailing customary solutions such as voluntary repatriation, local integration, and resettlement of refugee problem have been reflected unsustainable one for the lack of regional cooperation. In the international arena, the protraction of refugee problems is seen, and refugees are suffering due to the outrageous process of customary refugee solutions. If the regional cooperation can be developed, then the suffering of the refugees can be mitigated by the contribution of neighboring country and international and regional organizations. Data collected from the various secondary sources have been used throughout the research. It has been discussing in the refugee academia for a long time to develop regional cooperation mechanisms to ensure the sustainability of this solution and to make the environment of the country of origin for suitable voluntary repatriation as well as a durable solution. It is mainly qualitative research based on primary and secondary data will be studied on library-based project. Data collected by such methodology on this study indicates to make a bridge between the gaps of the cooperation mechanism and to make a more regional approach to share the burden and to strengthen the customary refugee solution. Hence, the importance of questing for a regional mechanism is to ensure the responsible countries to be more responsible towards refugees, their human rights, and durable solution under the mandate of the UNHCR. To implement effectively all the customary durable solutions, country to country or regional organization to organization based regional cooperation can be developed where the countries and regional organizations will work together to draw a sustainable solution to this problem in international context.

Keywords: refugee, regional cooperation, sustainable implementation, customary solutions, international arena

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10 Missing Narratives and Their Potential Impact on Resettlement Strategies

Authors: Natina Roberts, Hanhee Lee

Abstract:

The existing and emerging refugee research reports unfavorable resettlement outcomes in multiple domains. The proposed paper highlights trends in refugee research in which empirical studies investigate resettlement of former refugees from individual and culturally homogeneous perspectives. The proposed paper then aims to examine the reality of the lived experience of resettlement from family and cross-cultural viewpoints. Proponents for this focus include the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The UNHCR is responsible for leading resettlement efforts for refugees through the durable solutions of repatriation, local integration and resettlement. Life experiences with refugee families, and a report of literary findings on former refugee resettlement from various cultural backgrounds – that highlight similarities and differences among various ethnic groups, will be discussed. The proposed paper is expected to frame underrepresented refugee perspectives, and review policy implications in healthcare, education, and public support systems.

Keywords: refugee, cross-cultural, families, resettlement policy

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9 Appraisal of Shipping Trade Influence on Economic Growth in Nigeria

Authors: Ikpechukwu Njoku

Abstract:

The study examined appraisal of shipping trade influence on the economic growth in Nigeria from 1981-2016 by the use of secondary data collected from the Central Bank of Nigeria. The main objectives are to examine the trend of shipping trade in Nigeria as well as determine the influence of economic growth on gross domestic product (GDP). The study employed both descriptive and influential tools. The study adopted cointegration regression method for the analysis of each of the variables (shipping trade, external reserves and external debts). The results show that there is a statistically significant relationship between GDP and external reserves with p-value 0.0190. Also the result revealed that there is a statistically significant relationship between GDP and shipping trade with p-value 0.000. However, shipping trade and external reserves contributed positively at 1% and 5% level of significance respectively while external debts impacted negatively to GDP at 5% level of significance with a long run variance of cointegration regression. Therefore, the study suggests that government should do all it can to curtail foreign dominance and repatriation of profit for a more sustainable economy as well as upgrade port facilities, prevent unnecessary delays and encourage exportable goods for maximum deployment of ships.

Keywords: external debts, external reserve, GDP, shipping trade

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8 Status and Rights of Rohingya Migrants in Bangladesh: A Critical Analysis

Authors: Md Nur Uddin

Abstract:

The Rohingya people are one of the world's most oppressed and persecuted refugee populations, having been stateless for over six generations and still are. In recent years, more than half-million Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar (Burma) for neighboring nations. This article discusses the Status and Rights of Rohingya Migrants in Bangladesh, with a focus on the living conditions of this vulnerable population. A lot of information has been studied about Rohingya refugees states that violence in Rakhine state has sent an estimated 615,500 Rohingya across the border into Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar since August 25, 2017. In Cox's Bazar, a total of 33,131 Rohingya refugees are housed in two registered camps, with an additional 854,024 living in informal settlements nearby. The living conditions of Rohingya refugees in overcrowded camps remain dismal. Mental health is bad, cleanliness is poor, malnutrition is common, and physical and sexual abuse is endemic. A coordinated diplomatic effort involving Bangladesh and Myanmar, as well as international mediators such as the Organization of Islamic Countries and the United Nations, is essential to adequately resolve this complex matter. Bangladeshi officials must ensure the safety of the Rohingyas in the camps and use available humanitarian aid to give the refugees basic amenities such as food, shelter, sanitation, and medical treatment. UNHCR officials should keep an eye on the actual repatriation process to ensure that refugees who have expressed a desire to stay in Bangladesh are not deported against their choice.

Keywords: international refugee laws, united nations, Rohingya, stateless, humanitarian

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7 A Retrospective Study of the Effects of Xenophobia on South Africa-Nigeria Relations

Authors: O. Fayomi, F. Chidozie, C. Ayo

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The underlying causes of xenophobia are complex and varied. Xenophobia has to do with being contemptuous of that which is foreign, especially of strangers or of people from different countries or cultures. Unemployment and mounting poverty among South Africans at the bottom of the economic ladder have provoked fears of the competition that better educated and experienced migrants can represent. South Africa’s long track-record of violence as a means of protest and the targeting of foreigners in particular, and, the documented tensions over migration policy and the scale of repatriation serve a very good explanation for its xenophobia. It was clear that while most of the attacks were directed against foreign, primarily African, migrants, this was not the rule. Attacks were also noted against Chinese-speakers, Pakistani migrants as well as against South Africans from minority language groups (in the conflict areas). Settlements that have recently experienced the expression of ‘xenophobic’ violence have also been the site of violent and other forms of protest around other issues, most notably service delivery. The failure of government in service delivery was vexed on this form of xenophobia. Due to the increase in migration, this conflict is certainly not temporary in nature. Xenophobia manifests in different regions and communities with devastating effects on the affected nationals. Nigerians living in South Africa have been objects of severe attacks and assault as a result of this xenophobic attitude. It is against this background that this study seeks to investigate the xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in South Africa. The methodology is basically qualitative with the use of secondary sources such as books, journals, newspapers and internet sources.

Keywords: xenophobia, unemployment, poverty, Nigeria, South Africa

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6 Disentangling an Ethnographic Study of the Imagined Inca: How the Yale-Peruvian Expedition of 1911 Created an Inca Heritage

Authors: Charlotte Williams

Abstract:

Yale University Professor Hiram Bingham’s discovery of Machu Picchu in 1911 spurred an international interest in the Inca Empire, and with it, a dispute with the Peruvian government over who had rightful jurisdiction and curatorship over Inca history. By 2011, the Peruvian government initiated a legal battle for the return of artifacts that Bingham had removed from Machu Picchu, successfully returning them not to the site of Machu Picchu, but to Cusco, employing the rationale that the ancient Inca capital housed descendants of the Inca empire. This conflation of the past and present can be traced to a largely unanalyzed study that accompanied Bingham’s expedition: an ethnographic analysis of Inca descendants, which at the time portrayed indigenous Peruvian Andean peoples as remnants of a lost civilization, using Cusco as an assumed repository for people with 'Inca' characteristics. This study draws from the original Yale Peruvian Expedition archives, the Cusco Library archives, and in-depth interviews with curators of the Inca Museum and Machu Picchu Museum to analyze both the political conflict that emerged as a reaction to the ethnographic study, and how the study articulated with an inflating tourism market attempting to define what it meant to be Inca to an international public. The construction of the modern Inca as both directors of tourism management and purveyors of their archaeological material culture points to a unique case in which modern Peruvian citizens could claim heritage to an Inca past despite a lack of recognition as a legally defined group. The result has far-reaching implications, since Bingham’s artifacts returned not necessarily to a traditional nation-state, but to an imagined one, broadening the conditions under which informal repatriations can occur.

Keywords: archaeology of memory, imagined communities, Incanismo, repatriation

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5 Adsorption of Chlorinated Pesticides in Drinking Water by Carbon Nanotubes

Authors: Hacer Sule Gonul, Vedat Uyak

Abstract:

Intensive use of pesticides in agricultural activity causes mixing of these compounds into water sources with surface flow. Especially after the 1970s, a number of limitations imposed on the use of chlorinated pesticides that have a carcinogenic risk potential and regulatory limit have been established. These chlorinated pesticides discharge to water resources, transport in the water and land environment and accumulation in the human body through the food chain raises serious health concerns. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have attracted considerable attention from on all because of their excellent mechanical, electrical, and environmental characteristics. Due to CNT particles' high degree of hydrophobic surfaces, these nanoparticles play critical role in the removal of water contaminants of natural organic matters, pesticides and phenolic compounds in water sources. Health concerns associated with chlorinated pesticides requires the removal of such contaminants from aquatic environment. Although the use of aldrin and atrazine was restricted in our country, repatriation of illegal entry and widespread use of such chemicals in agricultural areas cause increases for the concentration of these chemicals in the water supply. In this study, the compounds of chlorinated pesticides such as aldrin and atrazine compounds would be tried to eliminate from drinking water with carbon nanotube adsorption method. Within this study, 2 different types of CNT would be used including single-wall (SWCNT) and multi-wall (MWCNT) carbon nanotubes. Adsorption isotherms within the scope of work, the parameters affecting the adsorption of chlorinated pesticides in water are considered as pH, contact time, CNT type, CNT dose and initial concentration of pesticides. As a result, under conditions of neutral pH conditions with MWCNT respectively for atrazine and aldrin obtained adsorption capacity of determined as 2.24 µg/mg ve 3.84 µg/mg. On the other hand, the determined adsorption capacity rates for SWCNT for aldrin and atrazine has identified as 3.91 µg/mg ve 3.92 µg/mg. After all, each type of pesticide that provides superior performance in relieving SWCNT particles has emerged.

Keywords: pesticide, drinking water, carbon nanotube, adsorption

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4 Rohingya Refugees and Bangladesh: Balance of Human Rights and Rationalization

Authors: Kudrat-E-Khuda Babu

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Rohingya refugees are the most marginalized and persecuted section of people in the world. The heinous brutality of Myanmar has forced the Muslim minority community to flee themselves to their neighboring country, Bangladesh for quite a few times now. The recent atrocity of the Buddhist country has added insult to injury on the existing crisis. In lieu of protection, the rights of the Rohingya community in Myanmar are being violated through exclusion from citizenship and steamroller of persecution. The mass influx of Rohingya refugees to Bangladesh basically took place in 1978, 1992, 2012, and 2017. At present, there are around one million Rohingyas staying at Teknaf, Ukhiya of Cox’s Bazar, the southern part of Bangladesh. The country, despite being a poverty-stricken one, has shown unprecedented generosity in sheltering the Rohingya people. For sheltering half of the total refugees in 2017, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina is now being regarded as the lighthouse of humanity or the mother of humanity. Though Bangladesh is not a ratifying state of the UN Refugee Convention, 1951 and its Additional Protocol, 1967, the country cannot escape its obligation under international human rights jurisprudence. Bangladesh is a party to eight human rights instruments out of nine core instruments, and thus, the country has an indirect obligation to protect and promote the rights of the refugees. Pressure from international bodies has also made Bangladesh bound to provide refuge to Rohingya people. Even though the demographic vulnerability and socio-economic condition of the country do not suggest taking over extra responsibility, the principle of non-refoulment as a part of customary international law reminds us to stay beside those persecuted or believed to have well-founded fear of persecution. In the case of HM Ershad v. Bangladesh and Others, 7 BLC (AD) 67, it was held that any international treaty or document after signing or ratification is not directly enforceable unless and until the parliament enacts a similar statute howsoever sweet the document is. As per Article 33(2) of the 1951 Refugee Convention, there are even exceptions for a state party in case of serious consequences like threat to national security, apprehension of serious crime and danger to safeguard state population. Bangladesh is now at a cross-road of human rights and national interest. The world community should come forward to resolve the crisis of the persecuted Rohingya people through repatriation, resettlement, and reintegration.

Keywords: Rohingya refugees, human rights, Bangladesh, Myanmar

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3 Analysis of Urban Flooding in Wazirabad Catchment of Kabul City with Help of Geo-SWMM

Authors: Fazli Rahim Shinwari, Ulrich Dittmer

Abstract:

Like many megacities around the world, Kabul is facing severe problems due to the rising frequency of urban flooding. Since 2001, Kabul is experiencing rapid population growth because of the repatriation of refugees and internal migration. Due to unplanned development, green areas inside city and hilly areas within and around the city are converted into new housing towns that had increased runoff. Trenches along the roadside comprise the unplanned drainage network of the city that drains the combined sewer flow. In rainy season overflow occurs, and after streets become dry, the dust particles contaminate the air which is a major cause of air pollution in Kabul city. In this study, a stormwater management model is introduced as a basis for a systematic approach to urban drainage planning in Kabul. For this purpose, Kabul city is delineated into 8 watersheds with the help of one-meter resolution LIDAR DEM. Storm, water management model, is developed for Wazirabad catchment by using available data and literature values. Due to lack of long term metrological data, the model is only run for hourly rainfall data of a rain event that occurred in April 2016. The rain event from 1st to 3rd April with maximum intensity of 3mm/hr caused huge flooding in Wazirabad Catchment of Kabul City. Model-estimated flooding at some points of the catchment as an actual measurement of flooding was not possible; results were compared with information obtained from local people, Kabul Municipality and Capital Region Independent Development Authority. The model helped to identify areas where flooding occurred because of less capacity of drainage system and areas where the main reason for flooding is due to blockage in the drainage canals. The model was used for further analysis to find a sustainable solution to the problem. The option to construct new canals was analyzed, and two new canals were proposed that will reduce the flooding frequency in Wazirabad catchment of Kabul city. By developing the methodology to develop a stormwater management model from digital data and information, the study had fulfilled the primary objective, and similar methodology can be used for other catchments of Kabul city to prepare an emergency and long-term plan for drainage system of Kabul city.

Keywords: urban hydrology, storm water management, modeling, SWMM, GEO-SWMM, GIS, identification of flood vulnerable areas, urban flooding analysis, sustainable urban drainage

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2 UNHCR and the International Refugee Protection: An Analysis of Its Actions in Protecting Mozambican Refugees in Malawi

Authors: Marcia Teresa Gildo

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The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is responsible to provide international protection and humanitarian assistance to refugees and to seek permanent solutions to their situation. To fulfil this mandate, the agency works in collaboration with its partners and governments. This paper aims to analyse the agency's actions to protect and provide assistance to Mozambican refugees in Malawi. Since July 2015, approximately 12.000 people have fled Mozambique to neighbouring Malawi due to the political-military conflict between the government of Mozambique and RENAMO (the country’s largest opposition party). This led to a series of military clashes between the two parties and the consequent flight of some Mozambicans to Malawi, in search of asylum. Most arrived from the province of Tete, in the central region of Mozambique, and, to a lesser extent, from the province of Zambezia. The asylum seekers arrived in small groups and settled in the village of Kapise in the Mwanza district of Thambani, as well as in Chikwawa and Nsanje districts in Malawi. UNHCR led an interinstitutional response action to manage the flow of Mozambican asylum seekers to Malawi. In view of these aspects and the ongoing challenge of protecting refugees and finding permanent solutions to their situation, UNHCR remains an indispensable international organization. However, there are significant gaps in the international refugee protection regime, and there have been many occasions when UNHCR has failed to fulfill its mandate. The analysis was carried out through qualitative research methods and techniques based essentially on consultation of books, newspapers and scientific articles, television and journalistic reports and interviews with the people who were involved in the process. From the data obtained, it was concluded that UNHCR worked in coordination with its partners and the government of Malawi to provide protection and emergency assistance to the refugees. However, existing funds covered only the immediate needs of refugees, more funds had to be allocated. That was made through an interinstitutional appeal. Although the funds allocated were not sufficient, they allowed the agency to protect and assist the refugees until a permanent solution was found. UNHCR also worked in coordination with the governments of Malawi and Mozambique so that a tripartite agreement was signed between the parties for the voluntary repatriation of Mozambican refugees, since security conditions were guaranteed and the refugees had expressed their willingness to return to their country of origin. UNHCR's actions to protect Mozambican refugees in Malawi have enabled humanitarian conditions to be respected and the rights of refugees to be guaranteed. Cooperation with the different actors involved in the response has allowed UNHCR to fulfil its mandate.

Keywords: assistance , cooperation, international protection, refugees

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1 RE:SOUNDING a 2000-Year-Old Vietnamese Dong Son Bronze Drum; Artist-Led Collaborations outside the Museum to Challenge the Impasse of Repatriating and Rematriating Cultural Instruments

Authors: H. A. J. Nguyen, V. A. Pham

Abstract:

RE:SOUNDING is an ongoing research project and artwork seeking to return the sound and knowledge of Dong Son bronze drums back to contemporary musicians. Colonial collections of ethnographic instruments are problematic in how they commit acts of conceptual, cultural, and acoustic silencing. The collection (or more honestly), the plagiarism, and pillaging of these instruments have systemically separated them from living and breathing cultures. This includes diasporic communities, who have come to resettle in close proximity - but still have little access - to the museums and galleries that display their cultural objects. Despite recent attempts to 'open up' and 'recognise' the tensions and violence of these ethnographic collections, many museums continue to structurally organize and reproduce knowledge with the same procedural distance and limitations of imperial condescension. Impatient with the slowness of these museums, our diaspora led collaborations participated in the opaque economy of the auction market to gain access and begin the process of digitally recording and archiving the actual sounds of the ancient Dong Son drum. This self-directed, self-initiated artwork not only acoustically reinvigorated an ancient instrument but redistributed these sonic materials back to contemporary musicians, composers, and their diasporic communities throughout Vietnam, South East Asia, and Australia. Our methodologies not only highlight the persistent inflexibility of museum infrastructures but demand that museums refrain from their paternalistic practice of risk-averse ownership, to seriously engage with new technologies and political formations that require all public institutions to be held accountable for the ethical and intellectual viability of their colonial collections. The integrated and practical resolve of diasporic artists and their communities are more than capable of working with new technologies to reclaim and reinvigorate what is culturally and spiritually theirs. The motivation to rematriate – as opposed to merely repatriate – the acoustic legacies of these instruments to contemporary musicians and artists is a new model for decolonial and restorative practices. Exposing the inadequacies of western scholarship that continues to treat these instruments as discreet, disembodied, and detached artifacts, these collaborative strategies have thus far produced a wealth of new knowledge – new to the west perhaps – but not that new to these, our own communities. This includes the little-acknowledged fact that the Dong Son drum were political instruments of war and technology, rather than their simplistic description in the museum and western academia as agrarian instruments of fertility and harvest. Through the collective and continued sharing of knowledge and sound materials produced from this research, these drums are gaining a contemporary relevance beyond the cultural silencing of the museum display cabinet. Acknowledgement: We acknowledge the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung of the Kulin Nation and the Gadigal of the Eora Nation where we began this project. We pay our respects to the Peoples, Lands, Traditional Custodians, Practices, and Creator Ancestors of these Great Nations, as well as those First Nations peoples throughout Australia, Vietnam, and Indonesia, where this research continues, and upon whose stolen lands and waterways were never ceded.

Keywords: acoustic archaeology, decolonisation, museum collections, rematriation, repatriation, Dong Son, experimental music, digital recording

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