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‪Voicing refugeeness: Sudanese struggles for belonging in Egypt and Israel‪

Abstract : ‪This article examines the mobilization strategies used by asylum seekers and statutory refugees to counter restrictive asylum policies that deprive them of their legal status – and therefore of any political affiliation. It examines two cases of mobilization of Sudanese asylum seekers: the Mustapha Mahmoud mobilization in Cairo, Egypt (2005) and the March for Freedom, followed by various demonstrations, in Israel (2013-2014). The use of a "voice" strategy clearly reveals a decision to make a group visible and to go against orders from the powers that be to remain silent, or even invisible. The exclusion faced by asylum-seekers as a result of the denial of the right to refugee status is an initial resource that federates the individuals concerned and allows them to form a social group that shares mutual interests. This mobilization then seeks to reverse the stigma created by restrictive asylum policies (economic migrants usurping the system in the Egyptian case, and infiltrating it in the case of Israel). This reversal of stigma requires discursive strategies and a specific staging of mobilization that involves international systems of protection, international refugee and human rights laws, and the responsibilities of the UNHCR and States. The repression of the two movements by the Egyptian and Israeli security forces respectively led to a shift from a "voice" to an "exit" strategy, in which mobility seems to embody both an exit route from an aborted mobilization and a gateway to a new potential foundation for political affiliation. The article also examines the potentially transnational scope of the protest struggles of asylum seekers.‪
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Submitted on : Wednesday, October 20, 2021 - 11:39:50 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 18, 2022 - 11:42:03 AM

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Pauline Brücker. ‪Voicing refugeeness: Sudanese struggles for belonging in Egypt and Israel‪. Égypte/Monde arabe, 2017, pp.95 - 123. ⟨10.4000/ema.3671⟩. ⟨hal-03389339⟩

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