Research - Reports
SETTLING IN THE ‘HUMANITARIAN CITY’: THE SOCIAL, CULTURAL, AND POLITICAL IMPACT OF THE INTERACTION BETWEEN ASYLUM SEEKERS, HUMANITARIAN ACTORS, AND LOCAL SOCIETY (IN LESVOS AND ATHENS)
I. Objectives of the project
II. Implementation of the project and conclusions per Work Package
Work Package 1: Entrance, Skala Sykamnias (Lesvos)
Work Package 2: Settlement, Athens, Eleonas ‘Open Accommodation Facility’ and apartments of the ESTIA program
Work Package 3: The humanitarian landscape of Lesvos, a qualitative and quantitative documentation
Work Package 4: Settlement, social and religious networks in Athens
Work Package 5: Dynamic Interactive Atlas
Work Package 6: Project coordination and dissemination of results
III. Dissemination and publicity actions
IV. Impact of the project
V. Summaries of scientific presentations
I. OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT
Human(c)ity had the following goals:
1. The study of humanitarian governance as a field of social/cultural mediation, interaction and negotiation between asylum seekers, private and public, individual and collective humanitarian actors and, finally, local communities.
2. The focus on three geographical areas with particular emphasis on the third one: a) a small settlement of first reception (Skala Sykamnias, Lesvos) b) a border town (Mytilene) on an island with a Reception and Identification Center (Lesvos) and c) the capital of Greece (Athens).
3. The documentation of transformations regarding the transition from the ‘humanitarian village’ to the ‘humanitarian city.
4. The comparison of different types of settlement of incoming refugees and migrants – mainly camps, municipal or privately managed apartments, squatting of private or public spaces – and the investigation of the different impacts these have on asylum seekers, humanitarian actors and members of local communities.
5. The investigation of interaction in the humanitarian space and its social and political effects in relation to the dominant modes of sociality and the different forms of mediation (humanitarian organizations, ethno-cultural collectivities, and migrant networks).
II. PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION
The project was implemented through six Work Packages (WPs). These included two WPs on
Lesvos, two on Athens, one on the interactive atlas, which included an inventory of the
humanitarian landscape on Lesvos, and one on dissemination and publicity. The pandemic
caused serious problems in the implementation of the research, especially as regards
ethnographic fieldwork in Lesvos, and led to significant changes in methodology, the
geographical shift of WP2 from Mytilene to Athens, and two extensions of the duration of the
project. Also, during the project, it was necessary to replace the person in charge of Work
Package 5 and to add new staff to the research team. Despite the obstacles all work packages
proceeded and were completed according to the approved schedule. The successful
implementation of the project was supported by the regular meetings (every two weeks) of the
research group, which from one point onwards took place online, and the continuous
cooperation of all members of the research team. Also important was the contribution of the
members of the advisory committee who closely followed the progress of the project.
File: Extended Synopsis
The research project was supported by the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (H.F.R.I.) under the “First Call for H.F.R.I. Research Projects to support Faculty members and Researchers and the procurement of high-cost research equipment grant” (Project Number: HFRI-FM17-67)