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‘In between spaces’: experiences of asylum seekers in the ‘direct provision’ system in Ireland
O'Reilly, Zoe
People seeking protection in European countries, and elsewhere, are detained, dispersed and deported, their lives treated as ‘waste’ or ‘reject’. As part of the increasing politics of exclusion in countries of immigration, there is an increasing number of spaces, between and within borders, in which such people are detained or forced to wait, often in inhumane conditions, and often for years at a time. The Irish ‘direct provision’ system is part of this increasing network of ‘in between or ‘liminal’ spaces. This research is an interrogation and analysis of the lived experiences of asylum seekers living in the direct provision system in Ireland. Through a participatory photography project with a group of people seeking asylum and living in the direct provision system in 2010, a body of work was gradually created, consisting of images, texts and stories, based on everyday subjective experiences of living in this system. Working through a participatory visual methodology allowed for a processual approach to the research, in which the visual became a tool for dialogue, for co-creation, for the exploration of experience and for the representation of that experience beyond the research space. Both through the material outcomes, as well as through the processes and lived experiences of this collaborative project, the research is an exploration and analysis of living within the liminal space of direct provision, and the ‘microphysics of power’ that this entails. The images, text and stories created during the research project, both in themselves as well as through the processes of their creation and representation, provide a means to examine not only experiences of living in direct provision, but also the power relations which surround the asylum system. A collectively edited selection of the images, texts and stories created during the project was exhibited with the participants in 2010, and later brought together as a book in 2012, entitled New Bridges: experiences of seeking asylum in Ireland. Through the book, the work aims to represent the experiences of the participants and to create ‘counter-narratives’ to mainstream or stereotypical representations of asylum seekers, opening a space for the voices of those involved to be heard in the public realm.
Keyword(s): asylum seekers; ‘direct provision’ system; Ireland
Publication Date:
Type: Doctoral thesis
Peer-Reviewed: No
Institution: Maynooth University
Citation(s): O'Reilly, Zoe (2012) ‘In between spaces’: experiences of asylum seekers in the ‘direct provision’ system in Ireland. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.
File Format(s): other
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First Indexed: 2016-01-09 05:00:02 Last Updated: 2017-04-25 11:50:43