The Radboud university’s research intiative GLOCAL kindly invited us to form part in a conversation about “Refugees and cross-border hospitality reflections on recent experiences”. Together with “Runder Tisch Kranenburg”, an expert from the COA and a former “refugee” we got together, informed the engaged public and exchanged best practices.
This video is an excerpt of our part of the talk. It draws the line of how we came into being and why we do what we do. It recalls the moment one year ago, when about 60 people met for the first time to prepare the welcoming of the later inhabitants of camp Heumensoord.
We still stand strong behind our belief that there are very much alternative ways to treat and welcome people who had to leave their countries. We have not forgotten that the conditions in camp Heumensoord were disastrous and how difficult it was made to get in contact with each other. The camp’s location in the forest was far away from the city center or any supermarkets, and bikes or buses were not provided. No privacy, no appropriate medial care, no mental help, no cocking facilities, no answers. We were there because we care, and because, as we have seen, we can’t rely on the state or the municipality to guarantee human dignity and decency in a humanitarian crisis. What we need are ordinary people and the community to step in, get in touch and to double check what is really going on.
We stand in solidarity with all our friends who used to ‘live’ in Heumensoord, and especially with those whose procedures have been rejected or that are still running. Wherever you are, we won’t forget you!
It’s been one year since we all met and we want to invite you all to celebrate with next Friday at the OnderBroek. If you live far away, contact us to talk about traveling costs.
We gladly got invited to share our experiences on hospitality and how refugees where and are received. It is an event this Thursday from 16:00 – 18:00 at the Global Lounge, a bookshop and café in the middle of the Radboud university campus.
‘Postcolonial Europe’ from our borderlands // mind map exhibition March 2016
Heumensoord: One year later. A lot of activities have taken place. Time for a knowledge exchange.
It’s organized by “the research hotspot GLOCAL“. This is a research initiative about fields of conflict, borders and development. It focuses on “transnational dimensions of ‘local’ problems related to socio-economic inequalities, (geo)political conflicts over resources”.
Sounds pretty academic- however, the talk is supposed to be a real sharing of experiences.
Apart form us, there will be:
Yannick: refugee, has lived on both the Dutch and German side of the border
Dieter Schalk: case manager at COA Nijmegen and Arnhem
Friedhelm Kahm: volunteer at Rundertisch, a citizen initiative supporting refugees in Kranenburg.
Huda Degu, who will moderate the conversation: part of University Asylum (Nijmegen Centre for Border Research).
There is also interaction planned with the audience. So, come, attend and bring in your experiences!
More info from the invite text via GLOCAL:
Not long after the refugee centre in Heumensoord was shut down, a new centre was created in Kranenburg, only 12 km’s away on the other side of the border. While the admittance of refugees is an ongoing source of public and academic debate, little attention has been paid to the possibilities for cross-border cooperation.
During this event, we will reflect on the admittance of refugees in our cross-border region and discuss the main challenges and chances. What went well? What went wrong? How can we learn from each other? In what ways can we benefit from cross-border cooperation?
The speakers are involved in these topics in very different ways and will share their personal experiences. There will also be room for the public to join the conversation. We will conclude with drinks and snacks prepared by our moderator and the refugee women group Inasako.
For the month of March you can enter another borderland right in the middle of Radboud university grounds.
The Global Lounge, a place to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee in the book shop, becomes a place for a visual border study. On the walls you find photos of the US/ Mexican border. On the tables you get invited into mind maps about that border as well as a border experience that takes place in our direct surrounding.
Last week, the exhibition’s opening happened in the course of a Radboud Public Roundtable Discussion: ‘Postcolonial Europe’ from our borderlands. Academics, students and activists shared experiences. The discussion was incredibly rich and dense. We need more of that! More opportunities and more spaces!
It makes us happy to see such talks happening that open up a reflection zone for everyone. And it also makes us happy to see the maps exhibited. Go and have a look and tell us what you think!
Location: Roelant’s ‘Global Lounge’,
Thomas van Aquinostraat 1a, Nijmegen (inside Books by Roelants <http://www.roelants.nl>)
Radboud University, Nijmegen