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Author Catherine Besteman on her book Making Refuge: Somali Bantu Refugees and Lewiston, Maine
February 2, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm EST
The Auburn Public Library will host Catherine Besteman on Thursday, February 2 at 6:00 p.m. In Making Refuge, Catherine Besteman follows the trajectory of Somali Bantus from their homes in Somalia before the onset in 1991 of Somalia’s civil war, to their displacement to Kenyan refugee camps, to their relocation in cities across the United States, to their settlement in the struggling former mill town of Lewiston, Maine. Tracking their experiences as “secondary migrants” who grapple with the struggles of xenophobia, neoliberalism, and grief, Besteman asks what humanitarianism feels like to those who are its objects and what happens when refugees move in next door. As Lewiston’s refugees and locals negotiate coresidence and find that assimilation goes both ways, their story demonstrates the efforts of diverse people to find ways to live together and create community. Besteman’s account illuminates the contemporary debates about economic and moral responsibility, security, and community that immigration provokes.
This presentation is hosted by the Auburn Public Library and offered as a free community event in in anticipation of the 30th Annual Camden Conference -Refugees and Global Migration: Humanity’s Crisis, February 17-19, 2017. The 30th Anniversary Camden Conference Community Events Series is supported in part by the Maine Humanities Council.