The 4 sessions on Camps and the Spatialities of Exception that I have co-organised with Irit Katz and Diana Martin at the Annual RGS-IBG Conference in London on August 31st went very well. We had a series of interesting presentations during which both theoretical and empirical material was discussed. Despite the obvious differences among the respective research projects, some common themes/topics emerged. First, the awareness of what we could define as the ‘camp effect’, that is, the fact that camps ‘do things’: people are subjected to their spatio-temporal regime, but also camps produce new geographies at various scales. Communities take shape in camps because of the camps rationalities, while new forms of mobility or immobility are related to camp agency. Camps are also sites for experimental biopolitics, often marked by an interplay between invasive forms of biometrics and strategies of deliberate abandonment on the part of the authorities. Finally, camps produce different forms of custody and care, they are highly hierarchical and gendered spaces where at times violence is either not sanctioned or sanctioned according to ‘special’ rules. This is what makes camps studies an interesting and challenging field of research for geographers.
We are grateful to all the presenters for their contribution to what has been a rich and fruitful day of work in London. Abstracts of all the presentations in each of the four sessions can be found here:
- The Spaces In-Between: Investigating Camps and the Spatialities of Exception (1): Refugee camps in the Middle East and African contexts
- The Spaces In-Between: Investigating Camps and the Spatialities of Exception (2): The refugee crisis and its spaces
- The Spaces In-Between: Investigating Camps and the Spatialities of Exception (3): Camp experimental thinking
- The Spaces In-Between: Investigating Camps and the Spatialities of Exception (4): Space of exception experimental thinking