Cristin-resultat-ID: 1689751
Sist endret: 2. april 2019, 13:48
Vitenskapelig foredrag

Between Utopia and Dystopia: Bridging a violent past with future hopes in Syrian refugee narratives

  • Ingrid Løland


Navn på arrangementet: Memories of the Future
Sted: London
Dato fra: 29. mars 2019
Dato til: 30. mars 2019


Arrangørnavn: School of Advanced Study, University of London

Om resultatet

Vitenskapelig foredrag
Publiseringsår: 2019

Beskrivelse Beskrivelse


Between Utopia and Dystopia: Bridging a violent past with future hopes in Syrian refugee narratives


Abstract: The Arab spring that initially offered much hope and promise to the Syrian people, quickly descended into a brutal conflict and outright war between the Syrian state and multiple competing actors – causing a displacement crisis unprecedented in history. With this background in mind, my research looks at the intersection between migration, religion and identity discourses in a conflict-induced Syrian refugee context. The purpose of my study is to understand, interpret and compare in which ways religious identifications are shaped by conflict and negotiated within the boundaries of forced migration. In this paper, I intend to address fragments of this empirical research and focus the attention on the ways in which idealized versions of the past in pre-war Syria are challenged by post-revolutionary experiences of war and violence. Added to my own qualitative material the paper will make use of literary memoirs published by various Syrian authors. Mnemonic images of the homeland, of former ways of life and of memorable moments, relations and identities, prove especially pervasive in refugee discourses. Crossing the abyss of war, many Syrian refugee stories reach back to a paradise lost, embracing memories of a nostalgic time and space with longing and belonging. Tales of a common cultural heritage and coexistence reverberate in many of these stories. Yet, deeper tensions revealing ethno-religious schisms and inter-relational sectarian divides are also sifting through. Whereas soothing images of the past may point forward towards possible paths of future reconciliation, war experiences of massive trauma, death and destruction have inevitably brought about stumbling blocks which, both on individual and collective levels, are barriers for on any such path to materialize. Investigating the possibility of bridging divided and fragmented refugee stories with new narratives of future hope, this paper will move in the space between utopia and dystopia – two extreme metaphors paraphrasing the discursive plurality with which narrative memory is continuously engaged.


Aktiv cristin-person

Ingrid Løland

  • Tilknyttet:
    ved Senter for misjon og globale studier ved VID vitenskapelige høgskole
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