Scholar

Uncanny Hospitality

By: Stathis Papastathopoulos  

As the person responsible of the non-formal educational program for refugees by the University of Ioannina for one and a half years, I experienced on various occasions a strange reversal of the expected roles in the relations between us locals (including the personnel of the NGO's) and the incoming refugees. Refugees frequently invited us in their tents, containers, or apartments to have "tsai" or share food. This uncanny reversal, where the refugee from a stranger becomes the local-as-host and the personnel from the humanitarian organizations become strangers-as-guests, this shift in power balance is the main focus of this study. Questions explored include: How can we think diversity and difference as unstable emergent products of meetings? How can this mutual creation of difference become the enabling condition of the future meetings sustainability? How can we think this reversal of strangeness as a transgressive intercorporeal act of community building?

Refugees, Hospitality, Reversal, Difference, Community
Identity and Belonging
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session



Stathis Papastathopoulos

Assistant Professor , Department of Philosophy, Education, Psychology, University of Ioannina, Greece
Greece

Assistant professor of Developmental Psychology in the University of Ioannina. Former scientific responsible of the non-formal educational program for refugees by the University of Ioannina. Research interests: intersubjectivity, intersectionality, racism, refugees.