Migration in the Movies

Last week, we had our first event in our series “Migration in the Movies”. Our screening of “For a Moment, Freedom” was attended by both EMMIR students and other students and friends from Stavanger.

This week’s film will be: “Va, Vis et Deviens – Live and Become” (2005) by Radu Mihăileanu.
The film follows a Christian Ethopian boy who disguises himself as an Ethopian Jew of the Beta Israel in order to escape the famine and draught in Ethopia. It follows his life in Israel after he is airlifted to Israel as part of the Operation Moses (Mivtza Moshe) in 1984.

You can find the trailer here:

If you’re in Stavanger, please join us on March 8, 2012 at 7pm in Room KA-051 (Kjell Arholm Hus) and join the facebook group or the facebook event for this week’s screening of “Live and Become”.


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Migration News Digest

Week of February 27, 2012

Mainland Chinese Flock to Hong Kong to Give Birth
In the New York Times, a look a pregnant mothers traveling to Hong Kong in order to secure better medical care, schooling and visa-free travel for their children.

Hong Kong residents, though, are outraged that local pregnant women are being shut out of maternity wards because mainlanders have snapped up the beds. Despite official quotas on maternity care for nonresidents, nearly 4 in 10 births in Hong Kong last year were to mainland parents. Residents are demanding a crackdown, and a hard look at the residency rights law.

Europe at Bay
Jeremy Harding, author of “The Univited: Refugees at the Rich Man’s Gate” and “MotherCountry”, on migrants and the battle for borders in the London Review of Books.

There were those who saw the point of diversity, and even equal rights, but who objected to equality-in-diversity, a fatal combination in their view, with its suggestion that the case for homegrown, European values must now be heard on its relative merits, as one idiom among others.

Matzo Ball Memories
In the Financial Times, Historian Simon Schama remembers growing up as Jewish boy in 1950s London.

I was happy to be a Brylcreem boy, a jiving Jew of the Green, from my gleaming winkle-pickers to the white knitted ties and the snap-brim trilby, worn with an attitude on the way to shul. Mind you, I didn’t want to be in the company of the frum, either, the ultra-orthodox with their deep swaying and knee-bobbing, the corkscrew sidelocks and fringed tzitzit worn on the outside; the pallor peeping from beneath the homburgs.

Griswold on Immigration and the Welfare State
At the Library of Economics and Liberty, a summary of Dan Griswold’s (of the Cato Institute) article “Immigration and the Welfare State”, in Cato Journal. Find the entire article, from Cato’s immigration symposium, here.

The typical foreign-born adult resident of the United States today is more likely to participate in the work force than the typical native-born American. According to the U.S. Department of Labor (2011), the labor-force participation rate of the foreign-born in 2010 was 67.9 percent, compared to the native-born rate of 64.1 percent.
At the Oxford University Press Blog, Anatoly Liberman takes a look at the etymology of the word ‘dude’. It might have been brought to the New World by immigrants.
 Thus, in the eyes of an etymologist the fact of dude being slang is not a stigma. Fuddy-duddy and dodder are as interesting as hodden “the coarse woolen cloth of farmhands’ dress” or the humble hodmandod “snail.” And yet dude might have been a mere “sound gesture,” as German scholars called such expressive formations.

Italy violated human rights by returning migrants to Libya, court rules
Perhaps the biggest news of today’s digest. The European Court of Human Rights ruled that Italy violated the human rights of 24 Somali and Eritrean migrants, when it returned them to Lybia in 2009.

Lawyers for the migrants argued that such interception violated their rights to seek political asylum and also exposed them to the risk of torture or degrading treatment in detention camps in Libya, or to expulsion back to home countries where they risked further persecution.

You can find a fact sheet on collective expulsion by the ECHR here and read the official press release about the ruling here.
Also, find a comment on Antoine Buyse’s (From Utrecht Univerity) blog. You can also look at the UNHCR response.

Do you have a suggestion for an article? Please comment or email.

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Migration in the Movies

We’re really excited to announce a new EMMIR event: “Migration in the Movies”:

Fancy watching a movie about migration, integration, refugees, displacement, diaspora, … ?

Fancy having a chat about it afterwards?

Good times. The EMMIR students invite you to a series of movie screenings and discussions. There’ll even be snacks and refreshments.
The screenings will happen every Thursday at 7pm in Room KA-051.

We will try to show a variety of films from across the globe and look at the different ways in which migration, migrant, refugees and the like are represented on the big screen.

If you’re in Stavanger, please join us on March 1, 2012 at 7pm in Room KA-051 (Kjell Arholm Hus) and join the facebook group or the facebook event for this week’s screening of “For a Moment, Freedom”.

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Rising Brazil tackles immigration question

Recently crowned the world’s sixth-largest economy, Brazil has become an immigration magnet, both to low-skilled workers –some of whom enter illegally — and high-skilled workers looking for opportunities in the country’s thriving sectors.


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EMMIR in the news.

Finally, our fifteen minutes of fame (albeit just in South-West Norway) have arrived.

Check out a full page on EMMIR in the Stavanger Aftenblad of February 16: Click Me!

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Migration News Digest

Week of February 8, 2012

Can Rubio Control the Candidates?
From the New Yorker, a piece on Florida Senator Marc Rubio and inflammatory language on immigration used by GOP candidates.

When the survey probed beneath the surface, more than half of Hispanic voters said that they would be less likely to support a Republican candidate who pledged to veto the Dream Act, which would give college students who came to America illegally as children a path to citizenship.

What’s Left Out of Black History Month Celebrations
In The Nation, an article on Black History Month, celebrated in the US in February, and how it is in danger of loosing sight of the present.

And the progress made in the last four decades has been limited by the fact that over the same period of time major economic changes have concentrated wealth in the hands of a few and out of reach of most black people.

Europe’s narrative bias
As part of Eurozine’s focal point “concord and conflict”, Erik Hammar reflects on the troubles with European cultural policy (or the lack thereof).

For years, cultural issues were left at the bottom of the EU pile. András Bozóki, the Hungarian academic and former Minister of Culture, has shown that culture has entered the agenda whenever the EU has been worried about its legitimacy and about the waning of popular confidence.

Greece to Build Border Fence to Deter Illegal Immigrants
In the NY Times, a short AP piece on Greece’s plans to erect a fence along its border with Turkey.
In the Wall Street Journal, a response from the EU, calling the fence ‘pointless’.
At the same time, a situation update from FRONTEX on the Joint Operation “Poseidon Land” at the Turkish-Greek land border.

Denmark: Integrating Immigrants into a Homogeneous Welfare State
From the Migration Information Source, a country profile on Denmark.

At the same time, the benchmark of successful integration has always been one of successful individual inclusion and acculturation to the mores of Danish life, since the Danish political system — unlike the systems of other Nordic countries — does not base itself on the recognition of minorities and only in exceptional cases makes juridical or political allowance for minority rights and cultural claims based on minority status. In this sense, Denmark is similar to France: egalitarian, secular, and assimilationist.

India to take up child custody dispute with Norway
Staying in the Nordic countries, a BBC news article on the case of two children placed in foster care because of ‘cultural differences’:

The children were taken under protective care by Barnevarne (Norwegian Child Welfare Services), which claimed there was an emotional disconnect with the parents.
Anurup Bhattacharya, a geo-scientist, who came to work and live in Stavanger in Norway in 2007, said: “We have been honest and perfect parents. There could be upbringing issues because of cultural differences.”

See also, an op-ed piece in The Hindu titled: Leave the kids alone, Norway.

Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland have stringent state welfare policies for their nationals which empower them to place children in foster homes to live with strangers. The Norwegian Child Protection Services, however, ought not to have exercised such rights over Indian children whose religious, ethnic, cultural and linguistic milieu was different and distinct.

If you have any suggestions for articles, please comment below or email.


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What’s in your suitcase, Jan Kühnemund?

(As professional migrants, we pack a lot of suitcases. But what’s the one item that you always take with you, wherever you go? That’s the question we ask our lecturers in this series.)

Pt.6 Jan Kühnemund

I love noise, in fact I need it. Anywhere, any time. At work, at home, on the bike, in the car – and even more when I travel. As I’m not pleased with just any noise I use to take along my own. The security personnel at airports always seems to be a bit worried about the sheer number of technincal devices in my suitcase: music players of different size, portable hard discs, numerous cables and chargers, and – by far most important – tremendous head phones [and, well, you know, one is not enough as it might go west…]

In my dreams I own a portable record player (record as in vinyl record, i.e. real record). I would have to do without a second set of cloths to bring at least some of my favourite records… Well.

Jan Kühnemund, MA, is Academic Assistant in the Working Group “Migration – Gender – Politics” at the Cultural Studies Department since 2008 and has been involved in the design and implementation of EMMIR. He is also a very talented DJ. 

Previously in “What’s in your suitcase?”

– Pt.1 Renu Modi
– Pt.2  Lydia Potts
– Pt.3  Ahmed Gamal Eldin
Pt.4 Alissa Tolstokorova
– Pt.5 Roberts Muriisa

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