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The Cambridge Colloquia
Editor: T.J. Cribb
This book is the record of a colloquium held at Churchill College, Cambridge. It pursues lines of discussion radiating out from the core theme of the power of the image (understood in its pictorial, iconic, sensory and verbal senses). Writers, scholars and artists are grouped in pairs representing the two language-cultures (English and French). Central topics covered include the manifold ways in which our readings of pictorial images old and contemporary can bridge cultures, language politics and the politics of culture, the limitless and instructive senses of the concept of the ‘word’, the relation between orality and the written text, the implications of the act of writing, history and opera, the word in theatre, the influence of the Nobel Prize…. The terms of discussion universally urbane, effortlessly wide-ranging and deeply probing. Most importantly – and a reminder of how best to ensure literate wisdom in intercultural debate – is the fact that the contributors gathered here have avoided all ‘pre-packaging’ of their reflections in the shibboleth ‘discourses' (whether Freudian, poststructuralist, postmodern or postcolonial) of our time.
Contributors are: Anthony Kwame Appiah, Biyi Bandele, Jacques Chevrier, Tim Cribb, Irène d’Almeida, Casimir d’Angelo, Assia Djebar, Akin Euba, Christiane Fioupou, Lorna Goodison, Wilson Harris, Marika Hedin, Gerard Houghton, Abiola Irele, Anny King, John Kinsella, Henri Lopés, Daniel Maximin, Femi Osofisan, Niyi Osundare, Ato Quayson, Alain Ricard, Tracy Ryan, Julien Sinzogan, Alioune Sow, Wole Soyinka, George Steiner, Véronique Tadjo, Maria Tippett, Olabiyi Yaï

This paper examines the risk perception of Filipino nurses who worked in Libya during the height of post-2011 crisis. The narratives reveal that Filipino nurses took advantage of the massive hiring campaign organized by Libya’s Ministry of Health in 2012, hoping that their migration experiences would result in economic and social rewards as they established their careers in the healthcare industry. After 2 years of adjustment to the conflict-ridden environment, they found themselves situated in another episode of civil war, once again defying the Philippine government’s mandatory repatriation program. Guided by Carretero’s (Risk-taking in unauthorised migration, 2008) thesis, we observed the mechanism of defiance that entails risk-taking as the political crisis loomed. Filipino nurses, especially those who initially refused to leave Libya, embraced an “illusion of control” that eventually reinforced an “unrealistic optimism.” These risk-minimizing strategies have successfully undermined the protective powers of the state. The paper argues that Filipino migrants in crisis zones like Libya undertake risk calculation and reduction, albeit with a tendency to commit risk denial and a false sense of empowerment and exceptionality. In the end, however, it is emphasized that these mechanisms have limitations, depending on the experiences, timing, and risk interpretation of the migrants.

In: Bandung