Campzenship: Rethinking the camp as a political space

nando OXCHI

Oxford, 11-12 April 2013

The podcast of the keynote address I gave at the international symposium Within and beyond citizenship: Lived experiences of contemporary membership held in Oxford in April 2013 is now available on line. In the paper, I discussed the relevance of the concept of space  and spatiality to discussions of citizenship and political membership, expounding the concept of ‘campzenship’ and articulating the importance of the camp to discussions of belonging. The camp, I argued, is a manifestation of the complexity of membership rather than the exception as which it has often been theorised. Drawing on research in Roma camps in Italy, the paper explored how the camp can be theorised as a space of autonomy; it can allow those who are in some way ‘rejected’ to position themselves within society, signifying a fragmentation of the traditional idea of citizenship. Yet similarly I explained how camps may operate a logic of public assistance and control. Occupying this paradoxical position, Roma refugee camps in Italy are not outside the normal but much more part of the ordinary that we would like to think. When conceptualising citizenship, Sigona thus stressed that we should consider not just the border, but experiences of spatiality and confinement.

Sigona, N. (2013) ‘Campzenship: Rethinking the camp as a political space’, International Symposium Within and beyond citizenship. Lived experiences of contemporary membership, Oxford, 11-12 April 2013.

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