|dc.description.abstract||This thesis investigates the ways in which the complexities of living are manifested in the making and presence of multi-scalar ʻtemporary homesʼ in the context of forced migration with focus on post-2015 Athens, Greece. Following the so-called ʻsummer of migrationʼ in 2015, Greece received an unprecedented influx of migrants from southern countries which transformed the inhabited landscapes of the country significantly. Research on settlements for refugees in this period largely focused on the political ambiguities surrounding the lives of people living in those settlements, and research concerning the ways in which ʻhomeʼ is experienced throughout the production of space in overseas territories has been limited. Due to the pressing need for accommodation of incomers, however, rapid responses to the housing problems have been developed largely by military/humanitarian firms and initiatives in the form of housing units/shelters.
This thesis responds to the urgent need to explore what these practices suggest in terms of the relation of people with place in the context of forced migration. Based on a series of fieldtrips to Athens, Greece, undertaken from November 2018 to June 2019, this thesis deploys ethnographic methods and mapping practices to reveal spatio-temporal aspects of geographies of forced migration that transcend the limits of housing units and confined refugee settlements. This way, it investigates the ways in which temporary homes are produced across multiple scales. This thesis draws upon critical human geography in exploring the concept of ʻhomeʼ and posits home-making as a complex and multi-scalar process. The multi-sited ethnographic methods deployed during fieldwork borrow from feminist approaches to account for the researcherʼs being-in-the-field and the hidden aspects of the city experiences in post-2015 Athens both for forcibly displaced people and people who work with them through an analysis of nine in-depth interviews and conversations in the field, participant and non-participant observations in relevant activities across Athens, fieldnotes, sketches, photography, and mapping practices.
The fieldwork is presented in three empirical chapters in which multiple connections across human agents, physical and digital sites have been explored in forms of assemblages. Finally, this thesis 1) finds post-2015 Athens as a ʻlearning siteʼ for its human inhabitants and a ‘threshold’ which connects to transnational physical and cultural geographies, and 2) develops a methodology for analysing and representing architectures of forced migration on multiple scales to reveal hidden complexities of temporary living for refugees, positing these as historically relevant. In relation to current practices of housing for refugees, this thesis shows the limits of reductionist approaches to temporary living of refugees in host countries which are manifested in the forms of housing solutions confined to logistically convenient shelters, and sites of refuge as abstract/unhistorical places of non-experience.||en