Forced displacement represents one of the most significant global challenges today, garnering international attention due to both the daunting number of refugees and the widespread dissemination of tragic images in the media. However, we rarely have insight into the day-to-day lives of refugees living in camps. Even though refugee camps are established as an ‘exceptional’ space for emergency refuge, over a prolonged period these camps gradually take on the form of villages or towns. In these artificial spaces, those who have fled their homeland build new communities and seek the means of their survival under numerous constraints.
This new book by Dr Naohiko Omata is based on 13 months of ethnographic fieldwork living inside Buduburam Refugee Camp in Ghana, which was home to more than 20,000 Liberian refugees for nearly twenty years. The aim of the research was to investigate the economic lives of people living in the camp. However, this experience also exposed Omata to the political, social, religious and familial aspects of refugees’ day-to-day lives. While refugees are typically represented as ‘faceless’ victims in the global media, the book focuses on personal accounts of everyday life as a refugee, shedding fresh light on the ‘normality’ inside the camp.
Written in Japanese only, the book was published on 20 June 2019, World Refugee Day, by Kobuna Books.