Literary Fest Announcement!


The Literary Society of Miranda House is back with its annual literary festival!

Refugees: In-Between Lives and Lands

“We live in the age of the refugee and of the exile.”
Ariel Dorfman

Migrations define human history. People have always migrated for a better life. However when choice is taken away and people are forced to leave their homes, usually due to war or conflict, these migrants become refugees. Great uncertainity and precarity are the products of this loss of lives and lands hitherto known. For us in India the phenomenon of refugees is not an alien one, with our experiences of Partition, the Bangladesh War, the Sri Lankan conflict among others. Today in Delhi alone there are communities of refugees from Tibet, Afghanistan, Somalia, Myanmar, as well as those who are internally displaced such as the Kashmiri Pandits. Becoming a refugee does not mean displacement across international borders alone as is happening currently in Europe. Ours is a society where there are continuous internal displacements-born of caste or communal conflict, state violence, political conflict, or economic oppression among others. These ever increasing numbers of forced migrants i.e. ‘refugees’ in most cases are not recognised as such. Besides these very diverse histories, the multiple social, political, legal and economic dimensions of citizenship and rights, make the subject vast and complicated. Nor is the experience of being refugees either homogenous or seamless, mediated as it is by ethnicity, religion, gender and age. Women and children who form the largest percentage of refugees are also the most vulnerable. Other than these, there are the psychological costs of loss and alienation, the mental and emotional struggles to resist, survive and rebuild.
Some of these dimensions of the lives of refugees and their histories have been covered in literature, music, film, photography and the visual arts , but many still need to be recovered and documented. We do not imagine that we can do justice to the complexities of the subject or the questions it raises. However nor can we remain impassive to these experiences of loss, limbo, struggle and courage that these troubled times have thrown up. This event is a beginning towards learning, understanding and empathizing.

Refugees: In-Between Lives and Lands

Miranda House
Literary Festival 2017

Dates: 21st & 22nd February, 2017


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