Picturing precarity: Diasporic belonging and camp life in Leila Abdelrazaq’s Baddawi

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Abstract

Leila Abdelrazaq’s Baddawi (2015) tells the story of her father Ahmad’s childhood spent in Baddawi, a camp for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Given that the refugee status of Palestinians has now lasted over 70 years, Palestine occupies a unique position in refugee studies. Camps like Baddawi form a distinctive model of refugee diasporic space where a temporary, liminal space becomes a diasporic “home” for millions. Contrary to the Agambenian depiction of “bare life” in camps, Abdelrazaq’s graphic novel portrays Baddawi as a communal space where families live together, preserving cultural traditions and performing daily rituals of life. Despite its depictions of the precarity and violence, Abdelrazaq portrays Baddawi as a space of belonging and, ultimately, of solace and return. Considering questions of diasporic belonging and agency of refugees in precarious and liminal spaces like Baddawi, the article calls for a renewed understanding of diasporic identity and belonging in conflict settings. Copyright © 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-30
JournalJournal of Postcolonial Writing
Volume57
Issue number1
Early online date11 Jan 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Citation

Banerjee, B. (2021). Picturing precarity: Diasporic belonging and camp life in Leila Abdelrazaq’s Baddawi. Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 57(1), 13-30. doi: 10.1080/17449855.2020.1866258

Keywords

  • Refugee camps
  • Diaspora
  • Palestine
  • Leila Abdelrazaq
  • Baddawi
  • Belonging

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