Genrebilder från Tandvårdshögskolan-Tandvårdshögskolan i Malmö utgör sedan 1999 en odontologisk fakultet inom Malmö universitet.

Welcome to the Migration seminar

Syrian Families in Flux; a longitudinal study based on multi-sited,
digital and visual ethnography conducted over two decades

With Josepha Ivanka Wessels, Associate Professor in Media and Communication Studies, the School of Arts and Communication, Malmö University.

Commentator: Brigitte Suter, Associate professor, Malmö University


This paper traces migration histories of an extended patronymic Syrian family group and explores how these experiences over time define and structure the daily lives of Syrians and their transnational family bonds. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Syria, Turkey, Germany and the Netherlands and a unique archive of ethnographic film extending 21 years (1999-2020). The paper discusses trajectories of migration and an anthropology of events based on interviews with respondents between the ages of 17 and 48 of both genders, from three extended families from Aleppo and Raqqa province (northern Syria), with whom I have built and developed rapport since my long-term visual ethnographic fieldwork between 1999 and 2002 in their original village in northern Syria.

The study demonstrates how temporality and processes of migration and displacement, transformed marriage conditions and customs between extended family members across generations and geography. This study considers how communitas is maintained and affected by the violence of war, and different trajectories of younger generations in the Netherlands and Germany and their friendships with family members of the same age and the same extended family group, still living in northern Syria.

The paper analyzes how distant memories of a nostalgic place, important for a study on mobility, migration and Syrian refugees, have become a bonding force to connect the “we” from which the world is perceived, to construct the communitas.



This is a hybrid seminar, you are welcome to connect via Zoom
Meeting ID: 689 8184 5476

or join us at MIM seminar room, floor 9, Niagara, Nordenskiöldsgatan 1. To attend on campus, please gather by the reception area at 14.10.
If you have any questions, send an email