Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

“Going back, coming home? Future and return perspectives among Sahrawi youth abroad.” by Rita Reis

“Going back, coming home? Future and return perspectives among Sahrawi youth abroad.” by Rita Reis
November 5, 2021
– November 5, 2021
12:30 pm
Pre-register here: bit.ly/CMCZ_Reis

Rita Reis is a Ph.D. Candidate in Social Anthropology at the Institute of Social Sciences through the University of Lisbon in Portugal.

The event is hosted by Yael Warshel, Founding Director of the Children, Media and Conflict Zones Lab


Register here for the event: bit.ly/CMCZ_Reis 

Abstract: Living amidst a failed decolonisation process and a chronic exile, Sahrawis remain widely neglected among the academic and humanitarian debates regarding (post)colonialism, protracted situations, and (im)mobilities among camp-based populations. As such, analysing their survival strategies after four decades in exile is of the utmost relevance, especially from the youth point of view: those who were born in exile and leave the refugee camps to study.

Based on a 24-month ethnographic research in Extremadura Community (Spain) and Algiers (Algeria), this talk focuses on how second generations of Sahrawi students shape their future perspectives based on their transnational educational trajectories, belonging both to the origin and host societies. It analyses how return is perceived after graduation and how youngsters negotiate the transition from refugee-students to migrants.


Biography: Rita Reis is a PhD Candidate in Social Anthropology at the Institute of Social Sciences – University of Lisbon (ICS-ULisboa). Her MSc’s thesis (ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon) started the academic interest in contexts of refugees and forced migrations, with special emphasis on the Western Sahara conflict, through the analysis of the daily life of borders among Sahrawi refugees. Her on-going PhD research explores the ambiguity experienced by young people and how future is perceived, through Sahrawi students’ migrations from the refugee camps (Tindouf, Algeria) to Extremadura Community (Spain) and Algiers (Algeria). Reis’ research is financed by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (SFRH/BD/128517/2017).


Co-sponsored by: African Studies, Anthropology, Geography, Middle Eastern Studies, School of International Affairs