Dealing with the violent past in the diaspora:
perspective of the second-generation youth from ex-Yugoslav and Turkish-Kurdish communities in Switzerland.
At a glance
- Project leader : Dr. Dilyara Müller-Suleymanova
- Project team : Hanna Ziegler
- Project status : ongoing
- Funding partner : SNSF (Ambizione / Projekt Nr. 174164), Foundation (Landis & Gyr Stiftung)
- Project partner : Universität Zürich / Institut für Sozialanthropologie und Empirische Kulturwissenschaft, Tampere University / Tampere Peace Research Institute TAPRI, Zentrum für Osteuropa- und internationale Studien ZOiS
- Contact person : Dilyara Müller-Suleymanova
The project explores the way young people of ex-Yugoslav and
Turkish-Kurdish origin in Switzerland deal with the history of
their origin countries’ violent past and war/conflict-related
migratory experiences of their parents and what repercussions these
have for various facets of their (post-)migrant lives. It looks
into the ways young people engage with the memories and the
narratives of violent past (and present) as communicated and
practiced within family and the diasporic spaces. At the center of
the project are life-story (narrative-biographic) interviews
conducted with young people belonging to the so-called second
generation (born and/or raised in Switzerland) from former
Yugoslavia (Bosnia) and Turkey. These interviews are complemented
by ethnographic fieldwork in diasporic spaces and in the context of
young peoples’ engagement in diaspora-related activities thus
disclosing the second-generation perspective on migrant organized
live. Biographic analysis reveals how homeland’s conflictual past
and family migration experience is integrated into own biographic
narration, interpreted and made meaningful in the context of
socio-cultural positioning, life strategies and personal choices.
By bringing together biographic and ethnographic approaches, this
research project reveals what role political past (and present) of
the homeland country plays in the way young people of the
- imagine and construct the concept of “home”, “homeland” and negotiate one’s relation to it;
- construct and negotiate of the feeling of belonging at the backdrop of public/political discourses surrounding migrant population in Switzerland;
- deal with ethnic, religious and ethno-political divisions and tensions in the diaspora context (migrant organizations/spaces and narratives circulating there) and in interpersonal relations;
- participate in and position themselves towards commemorative practices, discursive framings and reiterations of the homeland conflict/past in the diaspora;
- articulate civic and political stances and future visions; participate in civic activities related to homeland.
This project thus contributes to the question about the long-term and transnational impact of political conflicts and gives insights into the (multiple) positioning of the second-generation youth within various narrative frameworks.
Müller-Suleymanova, Dilyara. “Shadows of the Past: Violent Conflict and Its Repercussions for Second-Generation Bosnians in the Diaspora.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, (September 3, 2021): 1–17. doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2021.1973392
15th International Interdisciplinary Conference "Comparative Studies in Modern Society; Balkans in European and Global Context", Prizren, Kosovo, 19-20 March 2021.
Memory as a Dialogue? History for Young People, Online, 9-11 September 2020.
GISo : Gesellschaft - Individuum - Sozialisation. Zeitschrift für Sozialisationsforschung.
1(2), pp. 1-15.
Available from: https://doi.org/10.26043/GISo.2020.2.3
Müller-Suleymanova, Dilyara; Scherer, Mareike,
16th EASA Biennial Conference, Online, 20-24 July 2020.
Migration. Erinnern. Praktiken des Erzählens und Erinnerns in der Migrationsgesellschaft : Internationale Fachtagung, Zürich, 24.-25. Oktober 2019.