Fiori Berhane

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Brown U.

Grant number

Gr. 9450

Approve Date

April 25, 2017

Project Title

Berhane, Fiori S., Brown U., Providence, RI - To aid resesarch on 'Eritrea: A Diaspora in Two Parts; Memory, Political Organizing & Refugee Experiences amongst Eritrean Exiles in Italy,' supervised by Dr. Lina Fruzzetti

Preliminary abstract: This project looks to emerging political practices surrounding the politics of memory for recent Eritrean refugees in Bologna, Italy. Since the mid-2000’s Eritrea’s young have been leaving in droves, in numbers as high as 2,000 to 7,000 people monthly. Traversing one of the deadliest migrant trails in the world, Eritreans constitute the second largest refugee group entering the EU by boat. I focus on the experiences of recent Eritrean refugees, in relation to the established Eritrean diaspora, to examine national history, identity and politics as it is experienced and practiced within this critical juncture. My work engages theories on forced migration, refugeeism, crisis and conflict and collective memory to understand how communal bonds are reconstitution following experiences of protracted political violence (Theidon 2012), with an understanding that violence has reverberations across time, space, and generation (Bourgois 2001; Feldman 1991). Finally, it looks to how new migrants are incorporated within existing migrant networks, with an added attention to the particular post-colonial dynamics between Eritrea’s liberation movement and the Italian left, which was a partner to the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front, the guerilla group that would claim national independence and the current ruling party of the state.