Begüm Ergün

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Boston U.

Grant number

Gr. 10681

Approve Date

April 15, 2024

Project Title

Ergün, Begüm (Boston U.) "Care and Belonging in Ambiguity: Homemaking Practices of Syrian Families Affected by the Earthquake in Turkey"

This proposal seeks to examine the meanings of “home” and homemaking practices among Syrian migrants as they navigate intricate layers of displacement, disaster, and ambiguous hospitality in Turkey. Following the catastrophic earthquake in February 2023 which left an estimated 1.5 million people homeless in southern Turkey, many Syrian families relocated to peripheral neighborhoods in Istanbul. I investigate how Syrian families experience home as a combination of affects, material sites and care relationships pertaining to the interplay between macro-level disaster aid politics and micro-level family care dynamics. Over fifteen months of fieldwork conducted with diverse methodologies combining psychological and visual techniques with a family-centered approach, this research aims to explore how Syrian families challenge or complicate the ambivalent care policies of the NGOs and Turkish state. What theories regarding home, care, power, and belonging emerge from exploring Syrian families’ homemaking practices and disaster rebuilding? How can we utilize “home” to transcend its romanticized representation as a site of solidarity or merely as a realm of governance? What insights does this provide us regarding national belonging and marginalization within ambiguously close relationships? Drawing on these inquiries, this proposed research seeks to understand the unique temporality of the times of disaster.