Children, Media, and Conflict Zones Lab Talk with Rita Reis

Friday, November 5, 2021
12:30 p.m.–2:00 p.m.
Children, Media, and Conflict Zones Lab Talk with Rita Reis

The Rock Ethics Institute's Children, Youth, and Media in International and Global Conflict Zones Initiative presents:

“Going Back, Coming Home? Future and Return Perspectives Among Sahrawi Youth Abroad.”

by Rita Reis

Doctoral Candidate in Social Anthropology
Institute of Social Sciences
University of Lisbon, Portugal


Living amidst a failed decolonization process and a chronic exile, Sahrawis remain widely neglected among the academic and humanitarian debates regarding (post)colonialism, protracted situations, and (im)mobilities among camp-based populations. As such, analyzing their survival strategies after four decades in exile is of the utmost relevance, especially from the youth point of view: those who were born in exile and leave the refugee camps to study.

Based on twenty-four-month ethnographic research in Extremadura Community (Spain) and Algiers (Algeria), this talk focuses on how second generations of Sahrawi students shape their future perspectives based on their transnational educational trajectories, belonging both to the origin and host societies. It analyses how return is perceived after graduation and how youngsters negotiate the transition from refugee-students to migrants.


Rita Reis is a doctoral candidate in Social Anthropology at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon (ICS-UL). Her master's thesis (ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon) started the academic interest in contexts of refugees and forced migrations, with special emphasis on the Western Sahara conflict, through the analysis of the daily life of borders among Sahrawi refugees. Her on-going doctoral research explores the ambiguity experienced by young people and how future is perceived, through Sahrawi students’ migrations from the refugee camps (Tindouf, Algeria) to Extremadura Community (Spain) and Algiers (Algeria). Reis’ research is financed by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (SFRH/BD/128517/2017).

Co-sponsored by:
African Studies program
Department of Anthropology
Department of Geography
Middle Eastern Studies
School of International Affairs

Virtual Event