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Sean Anderson discusses why refugee camps and detention centers should not act as zones of exclusion
Today, between 59 and 67.2 million refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons are trapped in a state of temporary permanence.
Shouldered by hope and the unknown, individuals and families continue to find their way across states under siege, multiple borders, and into makeshift processing centers and camps. They often reach the edges of one continent or landmass in preparation for another journey. And there, they wait. Sometimes they’re imprisoned; more often they’re exposed to the elements and police actions.
Such passages, across treacherous seas and landscapes, are haunted by a dream of permanence, of shelter.
Security has been defined as a global issue of increasing magnitude and complexity. From a need to establish safety to the desire for economic well-being, security has become a defining factor of contemporary architecture and the human condition.
Politicians, urban planners, environmentalists, terrorist groups and lawmakers have all used the issue of security to justify their actions and work.
While nations are being redefined by the unannounced arrival of millions, the effects of forced displacement continue to evolve through risk and violence in the name of security. It is troubling to see attempts at slowing down or preventing these arrivals through coercion, punishment. We are thus witness to competing interests when it comes to the definition of the refugee as human. […]