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Study trip Madrid 2011

Exile – A State of Mind?

We were together for a week in Madrid aiming to find out more about the phenomenon of “exile”, talking with many different people about their very different experiences with exile, differing in reasons or places to leave. We were comparing and discussing definitions from encyclopedias from different countries, trying to frame exile, to differ it from migration or asylum. We informed ou...

Exile stories XVII: Rafael Safin, refugee from the former Soviet Union Republic – Tajikistan

Looking for a person who experienced exile, migration or something like that to interview in order to prepare for the Eustory seminar Aliya from Russia realized that she even does not have to go far away in searching: I can start from my nearest surrounding. My family experienced something similar to that in earlier 90s. That is why I decide to interview my elder brother Rafael. So here is the sum...

Exile stories XVI: A Spanish Odyssee

First Margarita was interviewed by Marta as a preparation of the seminar and her story was so amazing that we arranged another meeting with a group from during the interview. Margarita was born in Madrid in 1935. She belonged to the upper class and her father collaborated with the Republic Government as Director of Public Prosecutions. At the end of the Spanish Civil War, they had to pass the fron...

Exile stories XV: „If my kids are happy, I’m happy too”

Martyna has gone to a refugee camp in Poland. There she found people from the Caucasus who escaped from the war and conflicts in their countries. She spoke with the officials of the camp and then had the opportunity to interview A., a woman from Dagestan who has lived as a refugee since one year and two months ago. In order to prepare the summary for the academy, I visited a centre for aliens appl...

Exile stories XIV: “Just being with your people…”

The person Jelena interviewed is her brothers wife, Tanja. She is from Bosnia, but she lives in the USA. She talked to her about her life and she told her how, why and when she and her parents left Bosnia, and how they ended up in USA. Tanja was born on 30th of September, 1981 in Zenica. She was the only child of her parents Milica and Marinko till 1991, when they had they second child Vladana. It...

Exile stories XIII: “At least the children got friends” – starting a new life in Denmark

Ida, from Denmark, interviewed Georgette, a 49-year-old Catholic refugee from Palestine, and her oldest daughter Bissan. Georgette is the mother of five children (age 12, 15, 19, 19, 20), all residing in Denmark. It has been four years since the family went to Denmark to be reunited with the father, Remaz (age 50). He had traveled there three years in advance to gain Danish citizenship before brin...

Exile Stories XII: Leaving Germany after WWII – Exile in the French Foreign Legion?

Carsten found an unusual exile story, at least if you compare it to those we have already published: When I searched for interview partners for the project, a friend mentioned his great- uncle Adolf K. who went into exile to Africa and joined the French Foreign Legion. Adolf K. has already died, but his family had interviewed him due to his volatile past. They gave me an insight into their notatio...

Exile Stories XI: “Taking the decision was the most traumatic part” – from Cuba to Spain

Leopoldo is a Cuban exiled, son of Spanish parents exiled in 1936 before the beginning of the war. He was born in la Habana in 1938 and belonged to the upper medium class; when Castro’s revolution started in 1956 he decided to support it because he believed in communist ideology. However, while studying granted in Prague, he discovered Castro’s activity was no longer what he wished, and he started...

Exile stories X: Klodian, walking on a bridge between Albania and Italy

The following story is not explicitly an exile story but we learned, that this term is not that easy to define. The person Marica has decided to interview has a long and particular story as a migrant. His name is Klodian, he’s a student at the University and a musician. Now he’s 27 years old but when he came for the first time in Italy he was only 6. Our interview begun with the description of his...

Exile stories IX: Reburn into a new world

Ondrej from Czech Republic interviewed his uncle to get a story. In my first memories from the early nineties, I remember my uncle with a beard, long curly hair, a permanent cigarette in his mouth and in a leather jacket. In the following two decades, Jan has become a somewhat more settled gentleman, but his manager-like phone on the table still rings with a solo of Hendrix’ Stratocaster during ou...

Exile stories VIII: Deportation and Exile, randomly chosen?

Tamara from Slovenia interviewed her grandmother about her experience of deportation during WWII. I was firstly acquainted with the topic of exile when I was a little child, since my grandmother experienced forced exile during the Second World War. Consequently I heard many stories of her from that period in her life, but to get more detailed and accurate information I conducted an interview with ...

Exile Stories VII: From Bulgaria into the French Resistance: The life of Milka Genadieva

Kalina from Bulgaria found the person she wanted to write about while talking to a friend: Milka Genadieva was a very privileged young woman, being daughter of the famous Bulgarian politician Nikola Genadiev. Nikola Genadiev was Bulgarian politician, who was the leader of the Bulgarian liberal peoples’ party and has been very active in the party since 1892, being Minister of Justice (1903 – ...

I did not see that coming!

The last working day in Madrid was so full of summing up and putting together all the elements of the program that it is on me to write this post. The other missing posts will be published later. The Saturday started with a short presentation of the interviews from the day before, since there were two people interviewed by different groups. After that warm-up all participants started into the last...

San Pancrazzio | Photo: L. Peters

Exile – an eternal story?

Hear this tale as old as time Another soul in exile Young man is standing by the shore He cannot take it anymore The days are looking all the same nothing can take away the pain If from the regime he does not flee He surely in prison shall be Without kids, without wife He has to start a new life What is the next step for him No other choice but to swim! Home of the brave, land of the free This is ...

Exile from the premises

Our quest to explore exile in different contexts went from a macroperspective to a microperspective as we started the fourth day. The first morning block was spent in the company of Mr. Themba Nyathi, the first secretary of the South African ambassador in Spain, who vigorously spoke of his experiences as a South African exilee. He left South Africa in 1983 at the age of 16 and returned after 1994,...

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