Refugee Camps as Spatial Practices of Commons


Kobani Cadir.1; refugee camp, foto by Pelin Tan

I just stumbled upon this blogpost written by Pelin Tan as a

„diary from Suruç with bad English. fast written and images by pelin tan“

Just so you get an idea: The rural district #city of Suruç is a place near the Syrian border with plenty of refugee camps: the Kobene tent camp: 1471 (tent 257, families 257, babies*: 228), the Rojava tent camp: 1100 (tent 110, families 200, babies 117), the Arin Mirxan tent camp: 2027 (tent 442, families 488, babies 443), the so called Factory (because it’s located in a bulgur factory): 1100 (tent 40, families 170, babies 149), the Kader Ortakkaya tent camp: 4000 (tent 382, families 450, babies 393), plus villages and neighboorhoods with more than 4000 refugee families.

Let me quote:

„Just imagine you are building a small town and you need to set water, electricity, living spaces…how would you design and sustain it? Simple dwelling solutions which could create participatory public spaces or communal spaces can provide better possibilities of hosting these people who are traumatized and longing to go back to their home.“ …

„Such infrastructure problems as water and electricity cost a lot to establish in a camp but it is also an administrative issue depending on governmental department which are often uneasy. Simple design solution must be possible. Midyat bus terminal camp was one example of how a mobile kitchen was working well and how the structures of shops were covered by families.“

„Female volunteers‘ labor is incredible that manages and organized hours of everything nearly without sleeping and eating.

Read the whole article, I guess there is more to follow.

I bring it to your attention, because it illustrates how the commons as a concept – and  even more commoning – are crucial to deal with crisis and it’s humanitarian consequences. This is important to realize, because it’s something you can set up literally everywhere; and it will unfold it’s impact on the quality of common life in most situations when it’s consciously done.

* babies: 0-3 years

Ein Gedanke zu „Refugee Camps as Spatial Practices of Commons

  1. Ganz geil. Mein Promotionsprojekt soll in die Richtung gehen 🙂 Schön zu sehen, dass andere ähnliche Ideen, Lesarten und vor allem Praktiken haben!

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