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Affective Geopolitics: Entanglements of Geopolitical Lives of Syrian Refugees in Turkey

September 1, 2017 @ 12:15 pm - 1:45 pm

In this talk, Dr. Banu Gökarıksel an Associate Professor of Geography at UNC-CH will address the affective geopolitics of the Syrian war from the perspective of ordinary Turkish nationals (in Istanbul, Konya, and Malatya, focus group research conducted in 2014-2016) in relation to their encounters both with Syrian refugees and the discourses that frame or contest Turkey’s official ‘open door’ policy. She will focus on feelings of uncomfortable identification that can provoke a turn away from the other for fear of becoming more alike or of allowing a repressed likeness — such as sectarianism — to come to light; 2) feelings of threatening proximity wherein the denigration of Syrian bodies and lives converges with the desire for a spatial organization of bodies that would put literal boundaries between ‘us’ and ‘them’; and 3) how the imminent, embodied, and affective challenge posed by the influx of 3 million Syrians into Turkey requires addressing the ethics of how to hear and respond to the pain of others.