Operatıon «Balt Cygnet». British government and
European female refugees in the postwar period
In the aftermath of the Second World War Europe comprised millions of people who had been forced to leave their home countries. It was the most serious refugee crisis in western history. In this period the figure of the refugee is established as a specific social category recognized by the international community. This category is allegedly universal, but hides a deep gender asymmetry. This asymmetry is here analysed in a specific occurrence, the programme (named «Balt Cygnet») that established the employment as janitors in British sanatoriums of women who had fled Baltic countries. This programme became in fact a sort of laboratory that defined the meaning of social and political resettlement – a process of integration deeply marked by gender differences.
Refugee women in Serbia. Forced migration, ethnicnational
identities, and gender relations
This essay, based on a oral history research, analyses the story of refugee women from Bosnia, Croatia and evacuees from Kosovo living in “collective centres” in Serbia. Forced migration to Serbia has represented a strong contradiction of nationalistic rhetoric: the non-involvement of the local Serbian population, hostile or indifferent towards the refugees, the sharing of the marginal and impoverished space of the collective centres, led refugee men and women to question the model of an homogenous and all-encompassing ethnic-national identity, and to embrace more fluid forms of identity. The experience of the war and flight, and the creation of new communities in these centres, have resulted in the bending and negotiation of gender roles and relations, and have offered to women specific resources linked to their caring role as mothers.
For a gender interpretation of the definition of refugee
By using a methodology typical of gender studies, that is, by taking as a starting point the experiences of women and analysing their stories of persecution and flight, this essay examines to what extent the international law on refugees, which has its roots in a male definition of human rights, is today able to provide an adequate protection to women who are – or are in danger to be – victims of a persecution. From this point of view gender becomes an issue that concerns the whole international law on refugees exposing contradictions and gaps and pointing to a divergence between women’s experience and their interpretation in the asylum politics and practice. Through a contrast between women’s experience and current regulations, this essay advances a gender interpretation of the law.
Family, patriarchy, and nationalism. Lives of Palestinian
female refugees and Jewish women from Arabic countries (1948-1958)
This essay draws a parallel between the paths of Palestinian refugee women and those of Jewish women from Yemen and Iraq who arrived in Israel in the aftermath of the 1948 war. Relying on photographs, TV documentaries, and other visual sources, this article suggests that these two stories of displacement offer a viable comparison, provided that we bring to the forefront of the analysis the refugees' family and personal histories rather than the political, diplomatic and international implications of such parallel. Focusing on forced migration, on refugee/transit camps, and on the slow and difficult integration that both groups underwent from a personal, linguistic, social and economic point of view, this article argues that these experiences resulted in a temporary disruption of the patriarchal order that had ruled both societies before their forced migration, which reappeared strengthened once the two refugee communities began to settle within the new societies and once the dynamics of the Arab-Israeli conflict became more defined.
Laura Orvieto: un’intellettuale del Novecento
Ricordo di Letizia Gianformaggio
Andreina De Clementi
giugno 2005, 254 p. ISBN-10: 88-8334-165-1 ISBN-13: 978-88-8334-165-6 € 21,00