This thesis explores the experiences of everyday life in protracted displacement for refugees and migrants in Greece. In recent years, the securitization of Europe’s borders has intensified and together with the backlog in asylum application procedures this has led to further stagnation of the migration journeys of tens of thousands of people. This results in months – and sometimes years – spent in refugee camps with no clear prospect of a durable solution to their situation. By exploring this standstill from the perspective of the residents of Malakasa refugee camp in Greece, this thesis provides understanding of the daily lived experiences in protracted displacement and on the multiple ways in which the ongoing uncertainties are perceived and dealt with.
The camp and life within it can be understood as an ambiguous space where opposites such as past and present, cooperation and conflict and the known and the unknown are brought together and made to coexist. For the residents of Malakasa camp contradictions and ambivalent experiences are at the core of daily life in displacement, which together form a complex reality that can be considered a dynamic equilibrium as well as an untenable entropy.