Historical tools and current societal challenges: reflections on a collection of environmental migration cases
Through considering a "Geo Archive" as a tool of history, this paper explores several conundrums concerning environmental migration in social sciences. It demonstrates how historical perspectives can problematize and unsettle various automatisms that are widely present in journalistic, public, and policy discourses. Through examples from the Geo Archive, the article illustrates how unavoidable historical dimensions can enrich our understandings on the interaction between environmental issues and migration flows. This paper engages with an open access "archive in-the-making". This Geo Archive includes case studies of migration flows and puts those flows in conversation with environmental transformations and climatic changes. The analysed collection presents high-profile stories which are representative samples of different approaches, temporalities, geographies, sources of information, narratives, and scales. This endeavour encompasses different disciplines and fields of expertise: environmental humanities, IT and communication experts, and political ecology. The archive places itself within the realms of public history, environmental history, and history of the present and aims to reach out to wider audiences. This digital humanities project stemmed from a support action funded by the EU initiative Horizon 2020 titled CLISEL whose overarching goal was to analyse and better inform institutional responses and policies addressing climate refugees and migrants.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Roberta Biasillo
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