Media discours en de beleving van kinderen van terugkeerders

Activiteit: Talk at a public lecture/debate


Jihane Sliti’s presentation offered a comprehensive overview of how the portrayal of Belgian men who went to Syria and Iraq in Flemish media evolved over the years. She highlighted a shift from the existence of a more humane, nuanced and diverse narrative to the dominance of a dehumanizing and abjectifing narrative. The latter narrative particularly prevailed after the 2015 and 2016 attacks in Paris and Brussels. They are reduced to being perceived as ‘war waging monsters’ and ‘barbarians’. This shift has stripped these men of their right to a fair trial and a return to their home-country, hindering their potential for recovery and reintegration. Moreover, due to social prejudices, these men are often denied recognition as fathers, partners -or simply other non-violent roles, which also leads to unfairly perceiving them as unimportant and perilous to the well-being of their children.

Building upon these insights, Hannan Jamaï, presented findings from research involving returned mothers and their children. This research culminated in two animated short films offering a poignant reflection of the children’s perspectives. Through five workshops with two families, we collaboratively reconstructed the children’s life stories in a therapeutic and creative manner. This idea stems from the families’ need to jointly give words and meaning to the events of the past years. A recurring theme emerged – the profound impact of fathers and the loss experienced by the children. Recognizing the lack of societal support for an alternative narrative about fathers, we emphasized the importance of creating a space wherein families are assisted in navigating this complex subject. This approach aims to foster a more nuanced and balanced understanding of the fathers, detention camps, and life in the caliphate. Granting space and recognition to the children’s stories is imperative for integrating their experiences into their evolving identities without negating their former identities.
Periode4 mei 2023
EvenementstitelPanelgesprek: Terugkeer van Belgische Syriëgangers
Locatievilvoorde, Belgium