1st Edition

Refugee Voices Performativity and the Struggle for Recognition

By Rob Sharp Copyright 2024
    170 Pages
    by Routledge

    170 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book explores how participatory creative production can allow refugees to be recognised in emotional, legal and social ways. It also explains how decisions around participation in these forms of creative production can equally exclude refugee voices from the public sphere, inhibit recognition, and in fact lead to refugee misrecognition.

    Building on the concept of ‘performative refugeeness’, it considers how refugee voices are ambivalently enacted in alternative forms of media and considers the differences between the refugee voices expressed in and beyond them, in contexts surrounding their creation. Furthermore, it analyses the forms of refugee voices expressed in such creative projects, which encompass fiction, photography, video, audio, and/or drawing—in linear, as well as ‘messy’ and ‘interrupted’ ways—and assesses how promises of offering a voice might claim to have been fulfilled in such cases.

    The volume will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of migration and refugee studies, media and culture studies, performance studies and communication studies.

    1. Introduction and Context 2. Methodology and Ethics 3. Refugee Self-Representation: Beyond Heroes and Villains 4. (Mis-)Recognition, Trust and Solidarity 5. Participation in Creative Mediation 6. Conclusion. Appendix.


    Rob Sharp is a Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Sussex, UK. He has degrees from Cambridge University and the University of London, and a PhD in Media and Communications from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). 

    “A truly original and important insight into refugee voice, the book calls for deeper understanding of its different manifestations and restrictions. Centred in refugees’ own creative practices and reflexive engagement with the media, Refugee Voices opens up a space for students and scholars to interrogate the politics of resettlement and recognition for those seeking safety after their forced migration.” — Myria Georgiou, Professor, Dept of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science

    “Rob Sharp’s Refugee Voices: Performativity and the Struggle for Recognition provides meaningful insights into the convoluted processes that shape the visibility of refugee voices within public institutions. Through a conceptually rich and rigorous analysis, the book opens up new research directions for a better understanding of performative refugeeness in highly regulated settings.” — Sara Marino, Senior Lecturer, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London