What is it really like to live in a refugee camp? British author Ben Rawlence spent five years at the biggest refugee camp in the world: Dadaab, Kenya. He wrote the recently published book City of Thorns and will give an inside look into life at this camp hosting half a million people. How does his account compare to those of a refugee who experienced it first-hand? Or to visual artist Jan Rothuizen’s drawings of camp Domiz, Iraq, and photographer Henk Wildschut’s photos of ‘the jungle’ near Calais, France?
These speakers will tell the hidden story of life in these dangerous, improvised cities. They will moreover engage in a conversation on the future of refugee camps with mayor Luc Winants of Brunssum, Limburg (amongst others), who’s municipality hosts 200 Syrian refugees and who took some of his concerned citizens to a Lebanese refugee camp. How should Europe, the Netherlands and our border regions deal with refugee settlements? Is it even possible to prevent these improvised cities from taking shape?