“Us and Them” – Approaching the Refugee Other? Cultural Anthropological Rethinking of the Fieldwork Experience in Slavonia


  • Iva Grubiša


In this paper the author rethinks her experience of volunteering and interaction with refugees at border crossings, as well as in temporary accommodation centers, in Slavonia. The paper is mainly based on the author’s experience of participant observation conducted on several occasions between September and December of 2015, while volunteering for the Welcome Initiative. The author draws attention to the problems with two of the most common discourses on refugee crisis, securitization on the one hand, and humanitarianism on the other, which although seemingly diametrically opposed, share the very same starting point of refugees as radical Others. Furthermore, the last part of the paper deals with the question of power inscribed into the spaces of temporary accommodation of refugees. Here, the author argues that the spatial and functional organization of the temporary accommodation centers was not a coincidence, but was rather deliberately designed so that the power relations of those who managed and monitored over the centers, and those who temporarily stayed in them, remained clear at any time.

humanitarian and securitarian discourse, Us-Them, approaching refugees, Slavonia




Broj časopisa