Universidade Lusófona do Porto

Conferência online dia 11/03, 16:00h Faten Kikano


Faten holds a PhD from the Faculty of Environmental Studies at the Université de Montréal. She is a practitioner, former university professor and author of numerous scientific publications. She has an extensive expertise in space appropriation and governance in vulnerable human settlements, particularly in contexts of migration and forced displacement. She has developed workshops on humanitarian architecture and post-disaster reconstruction in Turkey and Jordan with the Arab Reform Initiative and McGill University, and in Canada with McGill university. She is an associate researcher in Adapto, a Canadian government-funded project that focuses on climate change adaptation in informal contexts in Colombia, Chile, Haiti and Cuba. She is also a member of the Canadian Research Institute on Humanitarian Crises and Aid (OCCAH). She is currently leading projects on homelessness in Montreal and on urban vulnerability in Aboriginal territories at Cérsé, a research center specialised in social innovation and eco-citizenship. 
Hostipitality, place identity and appropriation of refugee spaces
The case of Syrian refugees in Lebanon
With 80 million people uprooted around the world, refuge spaces are coming to be the most visible urban transformations of modern times. These spaces, whose primary function is to shelter, often house refugees for decades. Yet, host states, mostly developing countries, continue to host refugees without adopting comprehensive, long-term strategies for their integration, causing acute political, socio-economic and humanitarian problems. The lack of a long-term solution is explicitly revealed by the conceptions of refugee spaces, often designed as temporary solutions. From a theoretical perspective, while social scientists and geographers have widely documented the geopolitical and anthropological aspects of forced migrationsthey have neglected the concept of space appropriation and the production of place identity. Indeed, their classification of space/place are often based on dichotomous conceptualizations and differs from refugees’ lived experiences.
This research examines refugee spaces through the lenses of power, culture and space. It provides new evidence on the appropriation of these spaces through refugees’ social, economic and political practices, their interventions on space, and their perceptions of their new living environments. It also examines the impact of the strategies adopted by the international community, host governments, humanitarian organizations, and local communities.