In current public and academic discussions it is said that a common European identity has yet to fully emerge. It is being challenged by recent crises such as the conflicts in Syria andthe Ukraine, and by migrants and asylum seekers that come to Europe. While at the same time acknowledging the supranational aspirations for common Europeanness this project will be focusing more on locallevel, where different communities live together and are still governed by national regimes. In an age of increasing migrations (forced and voluntary), we will investigate how displaced people can eventually become accepted in their host societies.

We will be looking at how the forced migrants of World War II narrated their experiences of recognition and misrecognition in the communities that received them. This should enable a more holistic understanding of the processes of social and political inclusion, and of the different levels, forms, and mechanisms involved. Our aim is to increase knowledge of what works and what is problematic in how both representatives of the state, and ordinary citizens relate to immigrants. In this way we will also be able to contribute to discussions about current immigration policies and interaction between migrants and locals in the host society.


The photo on top by Outi Autti depicts piece of Strijdom van der Merwe’s Diaspora, on display in X-border Art Biennale in Rovaniemi, Finland.