The end of refuge in art and research – the beginning of the journey

Migration Institute of Finland (lecture hall, Hämeenkatu 13, 20500 Turku) and Zoom 1.3.2024 (at 11-13)

11:00-11:10 Welcome (Eveliina Lyytinen)

11:10-12:00 Towards an Atlas of Uncertainty: A Counter-Cartography of Migration, Displacement, and the Precarious Future – keynote by Professor Loren Landau (University of Oxford and University of the Witwatersrand)

12:00-13:00 “Endings – Refuge, Time, and Space” project presentations:

·         End of refuge as an experience (Camilla Marucco Al-Mimar)

·         Ongoing Endings (Rewan Kakil)

·         End of refuge as a legal status (Erna Bodström)

·         Monologue of a refugee camp (Ahmed Zaidan)

·         Elderly refugees and dying in refuge (Eveliina Lyytinen)

Commentary by Professor Sari Pöyhönen (University of Jyväskylä)

Towards an Atlas of Uncertainty:
A Counter-Cartography of Migration, Displacement, and the Precarious Future

Loren B Landau

Abstract for ‘Endings – Refuge, Time, and Space’ seminar at the Migration Institute of Finland, Turku (1.3.2024)

Driven by the polycrises of economic and environmental uncertainty, political instability, and social fragmentation, people are moving as never before. Most of these movements will take place in spaces that have long remained economically marginalised. They will occur into and through social and material architectures substantial different from those found in the spaces which have long served as the foundation for normative and scholarly theorising about migration, politics, and belonging.

Drawing on long-standing and ongoing work, the presentation takes inspiration from the title of Mercator’s original Atlas, Cosmographical Meditations upon the Creation of the Universe and the Universe as Created. It spans empiricism and speculation to consider the indeterminate future of citizenship, subjectivity, and belonging we now face. It suggests reconceptualising our work as a counter-cartographic ATLAS, its very form intended to challenge data visualisations that naturalise the fixity of borders and the directness of movement in ways that reinforces national narratives and the mechanical calculations of demographic theory. Qualitative and ethnographic data, mapmaking practices, and creative visualisations combine to uncover new ways of being and seeing the 21st century. It is not an effort to provide information that readers need for a policy or political debate or even facts they already know they want. Rather, it is to expand the imagination and make possible worlds outside conventional frames that offer alternative possibilities. As such, the paper is a reflection on pasts and possibilities and the modes and mechanisms employed to understand and represent these spatio-temporal journeys.

Biographical information

Loren B Landau is Professor of Migration and Development at the University of Oxford and Research Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand’s African Centre for Migration & Society. His interdisciplinary scholarship explores mobility, multi-scale governance, and the transformation of socio-political community across the global south. Publications include, Forging African Communities: Mobility, Integration, and Belonging (Palgrave); I Want to Go Home Forever: Stories of Becoming and Belonging in South Africa’s Great Metropolis (Wits Press); Contemporary Migration to South Africa (World Bank); The Humanitarian Hangover: Displacement, Aid, and Transformation in Western Tanzania (Wits Press); and Exorcising the Demons Within: Xenophobia, Violence and Statecraft in Contemporary South Africa (UN University Press/Wits Press). Together with Jean Pierre Misago, he co-founded and co-directs the Wits-Oxford Mobility Governance Lab (MGL).


Please register here by 27.2.2024

A participation link to the Zoom seminar will be emailed during the same day.

For more information: eveliina.lyytinen(a)