ReROOT Output

Newsletter#1: ReROOT Welcome

Arrival Infrastructures as Sites of Integration for Recent Newcomers

Welcome to the ReROOT Newsletter!

ReROOT is the short title for a research project with the somewhat longer subtitle "Arrival Infrastructures as Sites of Integration for Recent Newcomers". Why this title? Migration and integration in Europe are often spoken of in terms of crisis and emergency. Yet migration is a crucial part of Europe's distant and recent past. The pathways of the millions of people that have moved in and often also out of Europe have created a multitude, a wealth of arrival infrastructures in Europe. This historically rich and dense infrastructure constitutes the context within which newcomers negotiate their possible futures in or outside Europe with resources provided by civil servants and volunteers, old and new friends, family members, employers, co-workers and so many others. That is where different forms of integration are negotiated. But how should we imagine these arrival infrastructures? Are they offline or online? Who shaped them in the past? How are they currently evolving? And how can policymakers, social movements and others intervene in them, make things happen, make things better?
Pilot sites
In trying to answer these questions, ReROOT is gathering knowledge in the places we are calling ‘pilot sites’. Since the fall of this year, a dozen ReROOT researchers have started exploring the pilot sites – looking for forms of arrival infrastructure and trying to carefully document them. These pilot sites are very diverse. In cities like London, Istanbul and Dortmund we are facing traditional arrival districts. We are also looking at a number of other fairly well-defined places such as fruit and vegetable plantations and greenhouses in Belgium, the Netherlands and Greece in which often highly mobile international workers have been involved for decades. Elsewhere, we look at specific infrastructures designed by the government, such as the Parisian foyers that have had an arrival function for more than half a century. Finally, we look at forms of arrival infrastructure that are perhaps less obvious, such as those for international students in Budapest but also the various forms of support for people in transit in different places in Thessaloniki as well as spread across Brussels, Amsterdam and the North Sea coast. From these very different sites we hope to build a rich but also in-depth image of the different forms and shapes that arrival infrastructure can take nowadays.
Cover image courtesy of Ilse van Liempt.
ReROOT will not only gather knowledge, we will also experiment with interventions in these different pilot sites: how can arrival infrastructure be strengthened or transformed? And who could or should do it? Based on our experiences in those pilot sites, we will offer some practical tools for local governments, social movements and others to document and intervene in arrival infrastructure.
This is the first ReROOT newsletter and this newsletter is one of the ways we will keep you informed about the ReROOT activities. If you have not yet subscribed you can easily do so here. On our website, which we will continue to develop in the future, you will be able to find reports, but also blogs written by the researchers, and of course – in the spirit of the output we are trying to create – practical tools and insights, like for example these useful tips for organising hybrid meetings. You can also follow our agenda of activities via our Twitter account, by contacting one of our researchers or by sending a mail to the general email address.
Hope to see you soon!
Karel & Bruno
ReROOT has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement number 101004704.
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