Kone Foundation | 2023 – 2026

Researchers and artists:

Project objectives:

One of the most urgent issues related to refugeehood is how to end it. Examining endings is also significant in that an ending is often a prerequisite or enabler for a new beginning. But does refugeehood ever end? If so, how, when, and where? With the Endings project, we seek answers to these questions by combining research and arts through four case studies on 1) the end of refugeehood as an experience, 2) the end of refuge as a legal status, 3) the end of reception centres, and 4) the end of life in refuge.

The Endings project addresses both theoretical and empirical gaps connected with refugeehood, time, and endings. Through research and arts, this project explores possible closures, ends, finishes, cancellations, afterlives, ‘post-’s, ‘no more’s, or terminations – and the spaces related to them. To do so, Endings draws on critical research into spatio-temporal facets of forced migration, with emphasis on emotional, legal, and material aspects of the endings.

By combining scientific and artistic explorations of endings, we aim to co-create new methodological and theoretical openings and creative textual, audio, and visual expression of them. Our working methods include interviews, participant observation, document analysis, and visual, audio and textual arts.

Our aim in the Endings project is to better understand the various endings in refugee contexts. For reaching this goal, we strive to develop methods and theories to study endings and to produce artistic expressions of them. For the project, we are inspired to reflect on these questions:

1)   When, where, and how do refugeehood and other refugee-related events end, if they end at all?

2)   How do these endings materialise?

3)   How do the endings feel, and how do they affect social relations?

4)   How are the endings governed legally and administratively?

To capture the broad range of human experiences and interrogate legal categorisations, this project focuses on various groups of people who have self-identified as a refugee, whether this has been formally recognised through a legal status or not.

Main outcomes:

The main outcomes of the project consist of book integrating all main elements of the project, poetry book, four peer-reviewed articles, two art exhibitions, two co-creation events, a podcast episode, and texts for popular consumption.

Key partners:

Our project’s advisory board includes leading experts in this area of research and arts: Oxford University’s Professor Loren Landau and Professor Emeritus Roger Zetter, University of Edinburgh’s Dr Georgia Cole, Bologna University’s Professor Claudio Minca, ÅAU’s Professor Magdalena Kmak, the UEF’s Professor Olga Davydova-Minguet and Dr Aija Lulle, JYU’s Professor Sari Pöyhönen, TUNI’s Dr Anitta Kynsilehto and Dr Riina Lundman; VII photo agency contributor and freelance artist Ali Arkardy, and poet and author Lauri Vanhala.

Published work:

Eveliina Lyytinen (20.6.2023) Oikeudesta turvapaikkaan ei tule tinkiä. Puheenvuoro, Turun Sanomat.

Erna Bodström (7.9.2023). Hallitusohjelma ja eriarvoistamisen politiikka. Asiantuntijakirjoitus. Rasisminvastainen tutkijaverkoston Raster.fi-blogi.

Erna Bodström (18.9.2023). Kansainvälistä suojelua hakevia kohdellaan eri tavoin. Haaste 2/2023.

Media coverage:

Eveliina Lyytinen (21.6.2023) Tutkija: Eurooppa ja Suomi sulkeutuvat. Turun Sanomat/Erika Tilander

Ahmed Zaidan & Rewan Kakil (21.6.2023) “En koskaan ajatellut, että minusta tulisi pakolainen”. Turun Sanomat/Erika Tilander

Erna Bodström (3.-4.9.2023). Turvaan Suomeen. Ylen uutiset (internet), Ylen Uudenmaan alueuutiset (TV), Radio Suomi/Paula Tiainen.


Eveliina Lyytinen & Camilla Marucco (21.4.2023) “Endings in refuge – time and temporality in refugee research”, Palmén colloquium, Helsinki & online

Ahmed Zaidan, Camilla Marucco, Erna Bodström, Linda Bäckman, Eveliina Lyytinen & Rewan Kakil (20.6.2023) “Right to refuge”, World Refugee Day event, Migration Institute of Finland, Turku