Brown Bag Lecture \ Deprovincialising Kurdish Politics: Forced Migration and Activism Across Kurdistan, Turkey and Europe (auf Englisch)

In a conjuncture of the record-high number of displaced people across the globe, increasing normalisation of nation-states’ colonial demographic policies in times of war accompanied by border imperialism and criminalisation of migrant justice movements, there is a dire need to understand how migrants respond to these developments as political agents. Looking at the two recent episodes of mass displacement of Kurds (1990s and mid-2010s) carried out by the Turkish state, the presentation will shed light on how forced displacement influences the dynamics of political mobilisation in Kurdish contentious politics. Gülay Kilicaslan will discuss the role of forced displacement in transforming the dynamics of contentious politics and the politics of scale in the processes of actors’ mobilisation in a settler–colonial context.  
In this talk, she will demonstrate the centrality of the issue of displacement and migrant activism for anti-colonial social movements in achieving scale shift, self-rule, and decolonisation. By centring actors’ accounts and agency in her approach, challenging methodological nationalism, and analysing forced migrants’ contentious strategies, her talk will provide a nuanced account of forced migration that is often studied in the context of marginalisation and victimisation in forced migration studies.  
Gülay Kilicaslan is a political sociologist holding a PhD from the Department of Sociology at York University where she works as a research fellow at the Global Digital Citizenship Lab. She is currently a fellow in the project Forced Migration and Refugee Studies: Networking and Knowledge Transfer (FFVT) at BICC. Her writings on Kurdish forced migrants, Kurdish political movement, migrant agency, gender-based online violence and digital feminist activism have appeared in academic journals and scholarly edited books. 

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The talk on 24 May 2022 is taking place in the framework of BICC’s Brown Bag Lecture Series “Displacement and Development” which aims to interlink conflict and displacement studies on the one hand and development respectively humanitarian aid-oriented analyses on the other. It takes place in cooperation with the project Forced Migration and Refugee Studies: Networking and Knowledge Transfer (FFVT), funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). 

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