The International Conference on “War, Gender, and the Displacement of Refugees” was launched yesterday, which discusses the impact of forced migration on families in the Middle East and North Africa, which is organized by the Social Work Department of the Faculty of Applied Humanities and Languages at the German University
The event was sponsored by the Taghyeer association under a grant from the University of Birmingham
And Lund University.
The interdisciplinary conference seeks to show the extent to which the emergence of new concepts of gender socialization, informed by grass-roots and top-down approaches, can contribute to securing sustainable community well-being.
It also explores the changing demographics of host societies caused by the increasing number of refugees, in addition to researching the various types of challenges -social, religious, economic, and legal challenges- that the host societies have been facing in various countries in the Middle East since the beginning of the twenty-first century, where the focus of the conference lies in the changing nature of current family structures, and gender roles in families affected by migration processes.
The conference comes as part of the ongoing project, funded by the British Academy, entitled “Negotiating Relationships and Redefining Traditions: Syrian and Iraqi Refugees in Jordan” implemented by the British University of Birmingham in cooperation with Al-Balqa Applied University, the non-profit Association Taghyeer in Jordan and the German Jordanian University.
The project uses innovative and creative methods, such as art and new technology, to bring the experiences of displacement closer to the viewer.
The conference included also a live performance, a short film, and a music session (Jordanian and Syrian musicians) followed by the art exhibition and the VR experience.
The art was produced by the refugees and Jordanians themselves in collaboration with the renowned British artist Rachel Gadsden. They used the body-mapping technique which is an artistic technique for creating life-sized images that trace the contours of one’s own body on canvas. Refugees have used body mapping to share their experiences of escaping war and settling into new countries. The augmented-reality platform was used to allow viewers to gain deeper insights into lived experiences of refugees., Through virtual reality, viewers can step into the shoes of refugees and experience their narratives of war, displacement, and settlement from their own points of view.
It is noteworthy that Change Association – We Love Reading Program had launched earlier this year the National Reading Campaign in cooperation with the Jordanian Ministry of Culture and under the patronage of Her Excellency Minister Haifa Al-Najjar