The issue of large numbers of refugees arriving by boat has recently made headlines both in Europe and in Asia. Anthropologists at VU University will reflect on both these cases in the coming weeks.
In Southeast Asia, many of the boat refugees arriving in Malaysia, Thailand and elsewhere are Muslims fleeing persecution and discrimination in Myanmar (also known as Burma). The plight of this Rohingya population in Myanmar will be discussed as part of a broader seminar on religious violence and intolerance towards Muslim minorities in South(East) Asia on Monday 15 June 2015. At this seminar, co-organised by the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of VU University and the International Institute for Asian Studies, two experts from the University of Oxford will present their findings from recent fieldwork in Myanmar. Additionally, prominent researchers from various European universities will present on the position of Muslim minorities in Sri Lanka, India and Thailand, and discuss the presumed transnational drivers behind the recent increase in religious intolerance in the region. Attention will also be paid to religion-based peacemaking efforts that have been initiated in response.
Attendance is free of charge, but registration is requested by 10 June through the following form
Later this month, Professor Thomas Hylland Eriksen will be giving a lecture titled “Boat refugees in the Mediterranean: An anthropological perspective on the global situation” as part of the closing workshop of a NWO/Wotro project on Migration, Conflict and Development. This lecture will take place in the afternoon on Thursday 25 June.