Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

4 - Displaced “Karen-ness”: Rebuilding Karen Nationalist Consciousness in Exile

Saturday, July 7
10:20 AM - 11:50 AM
Location: Chinar, First Floor

Homelands of refugees are the places where their cultures take root. Refugees are perceived as people severing their ties with their cultures because they are forced to take shelter in neighboring countries. However, in the Karen refugee camps at the Thai-Burma border, thanks to Thai authorities’ border and refugee management policies, international refugee assistance NGOs’ involvements in the humanitarian assistance works, the collective memories of religious conflict between Christian and Buddhist groups, as well as the upcoming resettlement by Thai government, the Karen refugees not only rebuild their culture in refugee camps but the K-organizations also use the rebuilt-culture to reshape ordinary people’s nationalist consciousness. In this paper, I examine how Karen refugees rebuild their culture in such a space and at the same use the rebuilt culture to mobilize people’s nationalist consciousness. 

Chung-chi Chao

National Chi Nan University, Taiwan

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4 - Displaced “Karen-ness”: Rebuilding Karen Nationalist Consciousness in Exile



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