• Definitional ceremonies as rituals of hospitality— Sarah Strauven Quick View

    This paper describes the project of Abdul Shirzai, Badam Zazai, Shakila Yari, Jahangir Safi, Niaz Mohamed Miyasahib, and Sarah Strauven.

    In looking for ways to respond to the difficulties Afghan refugees are experiencing in Belgium, both related to fleeing their war-torn home country and rebuilding their lives in a new and foreign country, they have created a mobile and interactive exhibition.

    This small project is a citizen’s initiative framed within collective narrative practice and defined by volunteerism and informality. A crucial part of the exhibition is the definitional ceremonies that the group have come to understand as ‘rituals of hospitality’.

    These rituals represent an antidote to the negative effects of asylum policies: impoverished and damaged-centred single stories of their lives and identities on the one hand, and inhospitable experiences on the other hand. These rituals include the creation of receptive spaces, multi-textured stories, and art pieces that stir imagination and conversations that compel reflection. The group hopes to cultivate an active receptivity, openness, and wonderment in their ‘audiences as hosts’ that will inform how people will define their responsibility towards refugees in the future. Through visiting local communities with their exhibition, they aspire to bring about social change.

  • Speed Date a Muslim: An interview with Hana Assafiri— Sarah Strauven Quick View

    Speed Date a Muslim is a monthly event that invites interested members of the public to sit down with Muslim women and learn more about their experiences. There is no match-making involved, but there are plenty of opportunities to make meaningful connections. Hana Assa ri started Speed Date a Muslim in 2015 to provide a space for respectful conversations, which she hoped might break down some of the fear, mistrust and prejudice she saw taking root. The events take place in one of her two restaurants in Melbourne.

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