• Emerald Ayla Robertson-Rose
4. semester, Global Refugee Studies, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
This research looks at experiences of home after forced migration from Afghanistan to the UK as refugees. Through conducting interviews with seven Afghan people in the UK, and collecting secondary data from the lived experiences of UK Afghans that has already been published, I argue there are three central elements of home for the people in this research. The most important is ‘people as home’, where you are home if the people you care about are there, and for some, home directly means people. The primary ‘building block’ (Hage 1997) here is family, as well as friends, community, and other social networks such as academic and professional circles. The second element is ‘safety as home’, where physical and psychological safety are key building blocks of home, and peace, freedom, choice, security, and hope are all parts of this. The third element is ‘culture as home’, where being able to see and retain some of your culture after forced migration is central to being able to feel at home. Food, traditions, community, multiculturalism, freedom from discrimination, and a sense of identity and belonging are all building blocks within this. To explain what happens to experiences of home after becoming a refugee, I present a theoretical framework that there are four potential states of being after forced migration: the ‘double absence’ (Sayad 2004), the ‘double presence’, the ‘single absence’, and the ‘single presence’. I argue that if the building blocks discussed are present, it can enable the ability to grow and retain roots, to feel more present where you are, where some UK Afghans experience a double or single presence, or at least feel more at home in the UK. Meanwhile, the absence of these building blocks can prohibit the ability to feel at home and grow new roots in the UK, which leads to a ‘double absence’ (Sayad 2004). Through providing a historical, policy, and lived experience perspective of British-Afghan relations, I additionally address how British actions have attributed to the crisis in Afghanistan, thereby shaping experiences of home after forced migration from Afghanistan to the UK.
ID: 497367208