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Refugees and Gender Violence: Media and the Arts

  • Butler Library 523, Columbia University (map)
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Refugees and Gender Violence: Media and the Arts
Thursday, March 30th, 2017, 4:10 - 6 p.m.
Butler Library 523

Bikem Ekberzade, Photojournalist, Turkey, "The Refugee Project: Anatomizing Gendered Violence"

This talk will focus on stories of individuals enduring forced migration in order to show the structural factors that produce gendered violence.  These include the politicization of ethnic identities as a justification for war; inadequate provision for safety in refugee camps; the stigmatization of those who take up sex work to survive; and inadequate media coverage of these complex situations.

Susan Meiselas, Photographer, Magnum Photos, "A Room of Their Own"

Meiselas’ most recent work that explores the lives of women who are survivors of domestic abuse in the Black Country, a post-industrial region in the UK. The book is a partnership project with Multistory, an arts organisation based in the borough of Sandwell, who commissioned and published the book. A Room of Their Own is a multilayered, visual story comprised of photographs, first hand testimonies, and original art works, created through a collaborative, participatory process. Meiselas, Multistory, women living in The Haven Wolverhampton refuge, an illustrator and a writer worked together to make the book.

Sarah Stillman, Columbia School of Journalism, The New Yorker, "Global Migration Project" 

In recent years, the U.S.-Mexico border has seen a significant surge in arrivals of unaccompanied minors and women with children fleeing violence in Central America's Northern Triangle -- the countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, which now have some of the world's highest murder rates. Many have presented themselves to Customs and Border Protection officials with the hope of seeking asylum on account of gender-based persecution, including sexual coercion or assault by gangs, only to face detention and deportation, absent access to the courts. At Columbia Journalism School, the Global Migration Program is seeking to track and narrate the resulting harms in collaboration with The New Yorker, while also interrogating how and why gender is used to validate or ignore particular asylum claims. Our current storytelling project also seeks to turn a gendered lens on mass deportations -- which disproportionately target men deemed "bad hombres," but inevitably reshape entire family networks.

Reframing Gendered Violence is a two­-year initiative of Women Creating Change at the Center for the Study of Social Difference, supported by the Dean of the Humanities, the Columbia Global Centers, and linked to the project on “Religion and the Global Reframing of Gender Violence” supported by the Henry Luce Foundation.

This event is free and open to the public. Columbia is committed to creating an environment that includes and welcomes people with disabilities. If you need accommodations because of a disability, please email in advance of the event.

Image: West end of the border, Chad. Photo by Bikem Ekberzade