The military coup of February 1st, 2021, shook Myanmar, and intensified a long-standing situation of conflict-induced displacement, with a resulting dramatic increase of people seeking shelter away from their hometowns and villages. In this context, existing networks of informal support become ever more important for people’s immediate survival, and mid-term livelihoods.
In a three-year project on Protracted Displacement Economies, researchers from the School of Global Studies at Sussex University are investigating, among other things, how social networks become conduits for cross-border support; how existing modes of aid are being transformed, and how new ones come into being. These do not necessarily consist of conventional international organisations, but rather a multitude of actors which are overlooked. They include networks sustained by kinship links, ethnic solidarities, faith-based groups, and diasporic support. Many of those involved have past or current experience of displacement themselves.
This Sussex Development Lecture will discuss visible patterns of support, feminist care, and solidarity that extend among displacement-affected populations, translocally across borders, and further afield. Focusing on Aid across the Thai-Myanmar border, the lecture will show how support networks in displacement which have come into view, especially as formal actors are less prominent. Join us as Anne-Meike Fechter asks how pre-existing mechanisms of support function in crisis, what forms they take- and not least, how sustainable they may be in the long term.
Anne-Meike Fechter, Professor of Anthropology and International Development, University of Sussex
Mike Collyer, Professor of Geography, University of Sussex
How to watch
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