ReROOT Output

Newsletter #3: ReROOT

Dear ReROOT friends,
Over the past winter, research within ReROOT has slowly changed shape. The first phase of the ethnographic research into the nature and functioning of arrival infrastructure in the different sites, supported by Susanne Wessendorf and Kristen Biehl, was completed in Autumn 2022. Updates with summaries on the results of the site-research will soon be available on our website. Since then, the nine (teams of) site researchers have been working on building 'platforms', coached by Dennis Zilke, Heike Hanhörster, Luce Beeckmans & Dounia Salamé. Below, we share a bit more about what exactly that platform-building entails and we also invite you to go and see some of the platforms under construction.
In the past months, Tina Gudrun-Jensen has been coaching the site researchers to think about how our ethnographic vantage point and its focus on the processes and actors involved in ‘infrastructuring arrival’ provide entry-points for the description and analysis of regimes of mobility and settlement in various contexts. Their collective work will also shed new light on the variety of integration ideologies that exist across and around the EU.
Karel Arnaut & Bruno Meeus wrote a short piece on the four conceptual pillars of ReROOT which you can find here. ReROOT has the huge ambition to revolutionise the way we think about migration, and above all, the way we, as migration societies, 'do' migration and integration. The text is a working paper that will be discussed with policymakers active within European migration and integration policy in Autumn 2023. The four pillars of ReROOT will be documented in the coming months with the material collected by the site researchers, but we would already like to invite you for feedback on this draft. You can do so by contacting us directly.
This week, the research team comes together again in Budapest. The event is organised by local ReROOT partner and civil society organisation Menedek. Check out the crucial work Menedek is and has been doing here. The meeting in Budapest is dedicated to the ongoing platform building is but also to how the material gathered by the site researchers will be incorporated into the final output of ReROOT: the ReROOT toolbox, the training and MOOC and the later set of policy briefs.
"Je moet hoog reiken voor de mooiste vruchten / You have to reach high for the most beautiful fruits." - Wiktoria, 2023, Zepperen, BE. Image from the participatory exhibition "Picking Fruit, Sowing Stories" organized by Carolien Lubberhuizen.
What does platform building mean within ReROOT?
Platform builders create the conditions for inclusive, interactive and reflexive deliberation between what they see as crucial 'stakeholders' in each site. Who are these 'stakeholders'? They are the ones who help shape the arrival infrastructure of each site and as a result they also immediately shape the future prospects of newcomers in these sites. By presenting the insights from the earlier site research to them, they are immediately aware of that role, if that were not already the case.
But the ambition of platform building extends further. ReROOT is looking for ways to understand and possibly even co-initiate change processes. After all, in a lot of cases we see that the dominant infrastructuring processes push people - newcomers - into precarious living conditions which limit their further prospects. The platforms aim to initiate processes of questioning existing structures and of going beyond established networks focused on day-to-day activities by critically, exploratively and experimentally changing established rules, routines, pathways and models in governing arrival. Furthermore, it is ReROOT´s ambition to change the narratives connected to migration towards emphasizing the potentials and the process of arrival infrastructuring. Changing stakeholders´ narratives and public discourses on migration and the perception of arrival infrastructures may lead to an increased commitment from various actors.
There are no blueprints for the platform building within ReROOT. In some sites, the platform has an important public dimension, one that tends to publicly voice and visibilise certain issues to wider audiences who are stakeholders themselves. In other sites the platforms have a more limited public reach. One example of ReROOT’s platform building is researcher Carolien Lubberhuizen’s participatory exhibition “Picking Fruit, Sowing Stories” which has its opening this coming Sunday, April 23, 2023 in Sint-Truiden, Belgium.
During the annual blossom blessing festival in Sint-Truiden, Belgium, fruit horticulture in Haspengouw is celebrated for its importance for local history, nature, culture and community. More globalized and industrialized than ever, fruit horticulture and agriculture currently connect people and places from all over Europe. The pop-up exhibition 'Picking Fruit, Sowing Stories' – curated by Carolien Lubberhuizen - explores how contemporary seasonal labour mobility relates the orchards of Haspengouw and the greenhouses of Westland (NL) with celebrations and blessings of agriculture taking place elsewhere in Europe. Moreover, the exhibition also shows the emergence of new stories and rituals in these orchards and greenhouses.. Come look, listen and respond to other perspectives on agricultural heritage through existing and new rituals.
As the remaining eight ReROOT platforms take root, we will be sharing reflections and when appropriate, invitations to participate.
Karel & Bruno
by Martina Bovo (Post-Doc researcher, Dept. Architecture and Urban Studies, Politecnico di Milano) and Dounia Salamé (PhD Candidate, Dept. Architecture, KU Leuven).
Mapping is increasingly being used outside its usual disciplinary boundaries of geography, urban planning, and architecture. As a result, more and more interdisciplinary research projects attempt to integrate elements of mapping in their methodologies and dissemination. Mapped to See was born from the encounter of some of these projects with Martina Bovo and Dounia Salamé, which sprung the interest of exploring empirically why and how mapping can be a useful tool for research. These projects all have a link with the Department of Anthropology of KULeuven, where Martina was an invited scholar during the Fall of 2021, and are concerned primarily with newcomer arrival infrastructures in Europe.
Letters From The Field
‘We are like children here’: The ‘crossroads’ of legal and moral aspects of indeterminacy
Aimilia Voulvouli University of Thessaly
Charalampos Tsavdaroglou & Zachos Valiantzas
University of Thessaly
ReROOT will be present at the IMISCOE conference in Warsaw, 3 - 6.7.2023.
Charalampos Tsavdaroglou will participate in the RSA MICaRD Research Network Practice and Research Symposium: Social Service Responses to Migration. Democritus University of Thrace, Komotini, Greece, 11-12 May 2023
NIEWSBLAD: In beslag genomen meubilair Fedasil gaat naar Brussels kraakpand om er “salon van schaamte” te maken
OP-ed in DE MORGEN: De brand bij MolenGeek moet een wake-up call zijn
Hanhoerster, Heike, Annegret Haase, Nils Hans, Dieter Rink, Antonie Schmiz, and Sebastian Schrader. 2022. “The (Co-)Production of Arrival Neighbourhoods. Processes Governing Housing Markets in Three German Cities.” Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, December.
Monson, Tamlyn,2023.‘Fighting a Fictional Invasion via the English Channel: Self-defeating discursive performances of sovereignty in response to irregular migration’, at the conference Rethinking Sovereignty at the Radical Fringe – Pirates, Proxies and Post-state Philosophies,30 March 2023.
---2022.‘Arrival Infrastructures as infrastructures of transit, temporariness and settlement’, panel discussant. Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS) Conference, 16 September 2022.
Tsavdaroglou, C. (2023). Refugees' housing commons vs gentrification: The street of kastroplikta - refugees' wall houses in Thessaloniki. Conference: Borders, Edges and Interfaces, Association for Borderlands Studies, Ben-Gurion University, Eilat, Israel, 13-18 February 2023.
van Liempt, I. (2023). Book review: Making Home(s) in Displacement: Critical Reflections on a Spatial Practice. Urban Studies, 60(5), 990–992.
ReROOT has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement number 101004704
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