Personal

Jelena Macura: Sharing is not caring

The media is dangerous. It has this innate power to persuade and perpetuate certain mentalities. It thrives off of one sensational word, or line, and it strings together elaborate prose that attracts the attention of readers around the globe. This proves to be an issue when looking at the coverage of the current European Union migrant crisis. There is this profound ignorance abundant that fails to recognize the heterogeneous composition of this mass influx of migrants. Yes, there are refugees...

Posted by Jelena Macura on

Anna Trofimova: Refugees in Europe: a crisis of gratitude?

Political discourse of the refugee crisis seems to be the leading framework of analysis, with some attention to the institutional dimension of the problem. The social perspective of experiences of the newcomers entering local communities, preoccupied with their fears and daily struggle with their own economic issues, is often a puzzle left to the people to solve it themselves. New ethical questions regarding the meaning of sharing and mercy do not find an easy answer in political speeches and legal formulations...

Posted by Anna Trofimova on

Megan and Shayne Woodsmith: Without a voice

On a recent trip to Paris, we visited a migrant camp in an abandoned high school in northern Paris on Rue Jean Quarre. A friend helps migrants and refugees with paperwork and he offered to escort us to the school to meet a few of the migrants. The former school now houses about 250 migrants and is separated into two halves—one side for men and the other side for women and children.

When we enter a classroom, we see about twenty men sitting and lying on the mattress-lined floor. Their kitchen is in one corner of the room—it consists of two portable tables, a few plastic bowls full of water, and a collection of packaged food that was donated by local Parisians...

Posted by Megan and Shayne Woodsmith on

Lorna Sutherland: Keleti Station, and a presentation in Budapest (September 2015)

I was to present in Budapest. I have recently travelled to several countries to talk about my research on friendship, and on the way to Hungary I would meet with family in Scotland. Two days prior to my departure I made a decision not to go. I pulled out of the conference, which seemed to send shock waves across the ocean when my relatives who were going to pick me up at Edinburgh airport heard of my decision. My timing was off perhaps, but whatever the reason, it didn’t feel right; my decision to withdraw was sudden, intuitive...

Posted by Lorna Sutherland on

Megan Butler: Traveling through South Eastern and Central Europe during the refugee crisis

I am sharing a personal experience that I had over the summer as a simple tourist. I am a third-generation Canadian-born nursing student, in my third year at the University of Alberta. I traveled alone from Greece to Poland, taking mainly trains and buses, which allowed me to see a raw part of the countries that many tourists miss. On July 12, 2015 I set off for Budapest, a city recommended by handfuls of other tourists like myself: white, English-speaking, fun-seeking and privileged. What I learned from my experience on a train from Belgrade, Serbia to Budapest, Hungary was completely unexpected and mind-blowing...

Posted by Megan Butler on