CANCELLED - Diaspora Humanitarian Infrastructures and Mobilities: Moving Bodies, Ideas and Goods in Somali Crisis Relief

04.06.2020 18:15 - 20:00

Mobility Lecture V mit Nauja Kleist (Danish Institute for International Studies, DIIS)

In this talk, Nauja Kleist will discuss a new research project on diaspora humanitarianism between Scandinavia, Kenya and Somalia, exploring how Somali diaspora groups mobilize, channel and deliver relief during complex crises. Diaspora groups have emerged as key humanitarian actors in situations of protracted displacement and conflict. Somali diaspora organizations and individuals are often among the first to assist in acute emergencies, such as drought and flooding, and remain engaged during lengthy crises. Their engagement is part of long-established practices of affect and care and a sense of moral obligation to help and support, often conducted through networks spanning Somalia, neighbouring countries, the Middle East and Western countries. It thus takes place at transnational and translocal scales where peoples, things, ideas move or are blocked in and between different spaces and locations. 

Methodologically, Kleist explores how diaspora humanitarianism can be studies through multi-sited fieldwork and proposes the concept of humanitarian infrastructures to refer to material, communicative and social facilitation of humanitarian support. Likewise, she considers the theoretical and methodological challenges of this concept: what does it enable us to analyze, what is highlighted or slips outside the analytical gaze, how does it frame the analysis, and what methods does it call for? And what is the relationship between an infrastructure and a mobilities approach? 

The paper is based on her longitudinal research engagement on Somali diaspora mobilization as well as a new collective research project on 'Diaspora Humanitarianism in Complex Crises' (D-Hum) carried out by the Danish Institute of International Studies; Institute of Development Studies, University of Nairobi; Rako Research and Communication Centre, Hargeisa; and Rift Valley Institute, Nairobi. 

Schreyvogelsaal, Hofburg, Batthyanystiege 26