Exile, Camps, and Camels: Recovery and Adaptation of Subsistence .Practices and Ethnobiological Knowledge among Sahrawi Refugees

This thesis discusses how and why Sahrawi refugees who live in camps in western Algeria recovered and adapted their pre-exile subsistence strategies and ethnobiological knowledge after dispossession, war, and forced displacement.

Organisatie Wageningen University

ma 20 oktober 2014 11:00 tot 12:30

Locatie Aula, gebouwnummer 362
Generaal Foulkesweg 1
6703 BG Wageningen

Five case studies (on recovery of camel husbandry, procurement and use of traditional medicinal remedies, change in health beliefs, revitalization of knowledge of camel forage plants, and use and commodification of desert truffles) show that Sahrawi refugees, far from being passive recipients of food aid, struggle collectively and individually to improve their lives within the constraints and opportunities presented by the camps, in the process engaging with desert resources that have both material and cultural importance. Studies like this one can serve to formulate better means to address refugees’ problems and support their autochthonous initiatives.