This is a presentation about sediment and humanitarian violence. It will examine the response of the Bangladesh government to the influx of 600,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar in 2017. I will focus on the proposed relocation of the Rohingya from refugee camps on the Teknaf Peninsula to a newly constructed facility on a char island in the Megnha Estuary. Char islands are unconsolidated sedimentary deposits that tends to wander around and disappear or reappear without notice, driven by turbid monsoon-led riverine and oceanic dynamics. Mobilising suspension as analytical method I will argue that this proposal enlists or, in the words of this series, ‘weaponises’ sediment, to both offer and undercut hospitality to the Rohingya, un-grounding them, heightening their political and material precariousness and ensuring that their return is not possible and limbo has no end.
This event is part of the Visual Cultures Spring 2019 Public Programme 'Hostile Environments', organised by Lorenzo Pezzani and Nishat Awan in collaboration with the Migration Research Network.
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