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Emilie Lund Mortensen


Emilie Lund Mortensen



Having recently finished my work on displaced Syrian refugees in Jordan, I now work on a project focusing on the resettlement of congolese UN-quota refugees in Denmark. The project is entitled Reorienting integration: Family-to-family as a model in UN quota refugees’ settlement and orientation towards a new life in Denmark (2022–2026) and is a collaboration between researches at the Department of Anthropology at Aarhus University, VIVE (the Danish National Centre for Social Research), DRC (the Danish Refugee Council) and selected Danish municipalities.

Based on ethnographic research, the project aims to develop an analytical framework to understand the complex non-linear nature of resettlement among newly arrived UN-quota refugee families in Denmark and hence to reorient commonplace notions of "integration". Instead, we reconceptualize the congolese families’ arrival and settlement as a process of orientation. The project further aims to develop a so-called “family-to-family” model as a means to ease the process of resettlement among UN-quota refugees in Denmark.

My work focuses specifically on experiences of renegotiating gendered subjectivity in the context of resettlement. It sets out to explore motherhood by considering the “family-to-family” model as a social space in which notions of motherhood are negotiated, contested and take shape in a tension between Congolese and Danish social norms and expectations. Following 8-10 Congolese women in their everyday lives, the subproject thus asks: How is motherhood experienced and oriented in context of settlement in Denmark, and how might the “family-to-family” model be considered a space of experimentation with forms of motherhood? 

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