Hutu Rwandan Refugees of Dzaleka: Double-exile and Its Impact on Conceptions of Home and Identity

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Title: Hutu Rwandan Refugees of Dzaleka: Double-exile and Its Impact on Conceptions of Home and Identity
Authors: Sievert, Caitlin
Date: 2016
Abstract: The majority of empirical literature on refugee identity and homeland attachment focuses on single exile trajectories: one migratory movement out of the homeland and possibly repatriation. It largely neglects more complex experiences of exile and their implications. Double-exile, a second fleeing of one’s homeland after repatriation, adds complexity to our conventional understanding of refugee perceptions of home and identity. This study explores double-exile experiences of the Rwandan Hutu refugee population of Dzaleka refugee camp to examine its impacts on notions of home and identity construction. This ethnographic study found that the Rwandan Hutu refugees have a unique relationship to home and identity. Double-exile ended their sense of belonging to Rwandan society. Thus causing a break in the conventional longing for home and deterritorializing their identity. These impacts are apparent through the juxtaposition of study participants’ notions of home and their experiences of return and double-exile, a lack of connection or desire to return to Rwanda, and an absence of pride in their Rwandan identity and cultural practices. These findings suggest that more importance must be placed on the role of pre-flight experience of refugees as an integral element to their construction of notions of home. It also indicates that, contrary to more conventional exile trajectories where refugee identity is derived from a historical consciousness, double-exile refugees construct identity through a present-focus.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/34451
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-5525
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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