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Women's Voices from Conflict Zones: Experiencing, Understanding, and Embodying Identity, Home, and Belonging in Diaspora & War Zones

Date: June 16, 2023
Time: 10:00am – 1:00pm EDT
Location: Online

Diaspora triggers an intense articulation of identity, belonging, and home. These three fundamentals are intertwined and inseparable. In the diaspora, and migration the once-considered stable identity experiences tremor as individuals or communities undergo the travail of uprooting, dispossession, displacement, marginalization, and ignorance. As the diaspora is surrendered by others who claim the shared and fluid space specifically in mainstream culture, the issue of identity comes to the forefront and becomes a contested issue. Diaspora brings instability and fluidity to the notion of self and leads to such questions as: “Who am I” or “Who are we?” or conversely “who are they?” Moreover, the question of where I belong and where is my home are critical questions, that lead to human rights, privilege, and the concept of citizenship. As the result, for many women experiencing war and conflict in their home country, the concepts of home, identity, and belonging are complicated and multi-layered.

A deep understanding of the women’s story is the first step towards solidarity and empowerment, and it strengthens the sense of global sisterhood. This one-day seminar endeavors to collate and curate the narratives and stories of female migrants and refugees from war and conflict zone countries, to create synergy and solidarity to jointly overcome the main struggles and challenges that these women are facing. To shape this solidarity, we will collaborate with academics, activists, artists, and local leaders to ethically and carefully platform the processes and plight of migration and female refugees. Consequently, this seminar, has aim to build upon the scholarship of contemporary Integrative anti-racist, anti/post-colonial feminist perspective and transnational feminism of geographers and other social scientists to discuss the relationship between women’s experience of living in conflict and war zones and their sense of belonging and identity in North American host societies, such as Canada and the United States, however, the other host societies are strongly welcome.

Our panelists will elaborate women’s experiences from Afghanistan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, Rwanda/Congo, Sudan, and Turkey, and they are in the hopes of imagining and working towards a world that is safe for women, family, and next generation.