Introduction: Writing in times of displacement

Mbuh, Mbuh Tennu, Chakravorty, Meera and Clammer, John (2022) Introduction: Writing in times of displacement. In: Writing in Times of Displacement. Routledge, Oxon, pp. 1-9. ISBN 9781003333234

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The subject of displacement is unfortunately not a new one in human history. Over millennia people have been displaced, often forcibly, as a result of war, natural disasters, religious strife, political differences and shifts in local and global economies. This is not a phenomenon that has disappeared: to the contrary, it is estimated that the contemporary world is the theatre for some of the largest displacements in modern history. Waves of refugees almost daily attempt the crossing of the Mediterranean from North Africa to Europe, and others from Venezuela to other parts of Latin America or further north. The brutal conflict in Syria has brought about one of the biggest refugee flows in recent history. Tragically, almost anywhere one looks on the contemporary world map, some variation on this forced or effectively forced displacement can be found: Muslim Rohingya refugees in India, Bangladesh and South-East Asia escaping religious persecution in Myanmar, an ostensibly Buddhist nation; migrants from Bangladesh in Assam, India; Hindu Pandits in north India, displaced from their former homeland in Kashmir which is largely Muslim; South Sudanese fleeing tribal strife in their newly minted homeland and arriving in culturally alien areas as far away as the United States; or equally desperate and only less commented upon, the actuality of displacement in Cameroon, occasioned by differences in colonial cultures—English or French, which were imposed on the country through the medium of European imperialism. These transborder migrants represent those who can move abroad: internally displaced people as a result of civil war and intra-national conflicts represent another huge category of the displaced. The world is now seeing the phenomenon of “environmental refugees”—people displaced by global warming and attendant rise in sea levels, storm surges, salination of farm lands as the result of salt water flooding following cyclones and other extreme weather events and as the result of declining agricultural productivity as the result of drought and rising temperatures. The evidence points to the conclusion that such circumstances, environmental and political, are all too likely to increase in number and intensity in the near future. Displacement rather than security is now a central fact of contemporary life globally.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Social Sciences (General)
JGU School/Centre: Jindal School of Liberal Arts & Humanities
Depositing User: Amees Mohammad
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2022 06:39
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2022 04:12
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