Centre for Research on Families and Relationships

 Research Project

Childhood and Youth theme

Theme: Childhood and Youth

Childhoods, networks and dispersed intimacies: a creative ethnography of Syrian refugee children in Lebanon

Lebanon currently hosts nearly 1.5 million Syrian refugees, with 53% being children under 18. Because of the protracted nature of the war, childhood years are now lived almost entirely in the vulnerabilities of forced displacement, raising policy questions around educations, futures, and the realities of social, emotional lives and relationships. This research, funded by a British Academy grant, aims at better understanding refugee youths’ emotional lives, critically investigating how forcibly displaced children are intimately connected to others and to places, near and far. This will provide new insight into displaced children’s emotional interdependencies and evaluate their role in sustaining children in these contexts of forced displacement.

Designed as participatory research, the project involves three sets of creative workshops with the same group of children (ages 8 to 16), at 6-month intervals from June 2016-May 2017. Through the use of photo-voice and video diaries, the workshops aim to explore and facilitate self-expression of their emotional ties to family, friends and places, while creating a platform for these young people to give voice to their experiences. These workshops also aim to foster creative, technical and transferrable skills, such as teamwork, communication skills and self-confidence.

Project Team

Liliana Riga, Mary Holmes, Marie-Eve Hamel, David Anderson, Katherine Baxter,
Arek Dakessian, Johannes Langer, all The University of Edinburgh