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Upheaval: The Refugee Trek through Europe

Navid Kermani, Moises Saman (Photographer), Tony Crawford (Translated by)
ISBN: 978-1-5095-1867-8
100 pages
June 2017, Polity
Upheaval: The Refugee Trek through Europe (1509518673) cover image

Description

By foot, in buses, prison vans and trains, a steady stream of refugees traveled from the Greek island of Lesbos into Europe. In the autumn of 2015, award-winning writer Navid Kermani decided to accompany them on the "Balkan route." In this perceptive account from the front line of the "refugee crisis," Kermani shows how a seemingly distant world in which war and conflict rage has suddenly collided with our own. Kermani describes the situation on the Turkish west coast where thousands of refugees live in the most desperate conditions, waiting to take the perilous journey across the Mediterranean. Then, on Lesbos, he observes the culture shock amongst those who have survived the ordeal by sea. He speaks to aid workers and politicians, but most importantly of all to the refugees themselves, asking those who have come from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere what has driven them to risk everything and embark on the long and treacherous journey to Europe.

With great sensitivity Kermani reveals, often through small details, the cultural and political upheaval that has caused people to uproot their lives, and at the same time shining a light on Europe's inadequate and at times openly hostile response to the refugees. Interspersed with powerful images by the acclaimed photographer Moises Saman, Upheaval is a much-needed human account of a crisis we cannot ignore.

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Author Information

Navid Kermani is a writer and Islamic scholar who lives in Cologne, Germany. He has received numerous accolades for his literary and academic work, including the 2015 Peace Prize of the German Publishers Association, Germany s most prestigious cultural award.
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Reviews

"Kermani once more shows his brilliance as a reporter."
Der Standard

"The real significance of this reportage lies in the many questions Kermani poses to the reader, in the face of the refugee crisis and its political consequences, as well as rampant levels of hate and fear—questions that cannot remain unanswered."
Die Tagespost

"Among the most thoughtful intellectual voices in Germany today."
The New York Review of Books

"The moral power behind Kermani's extraordinary achievements is scarcely paralleled among all the great figures of German literature."
Süddeutsche Zeitung

"Kermani doesn't conceal a thing. He records everything that he sees and hears. But he also says what he thinks of it all...masterful."
Frankfurter Rundschau

"Does Kermani just tell the nice stories? No, he is too good for that. He shows empathy towards the refugees, but also looks more closely to reveal the complex reasons for their flight."
Die Welt

"In Upheaval, Navid Kermani shows what a serious public discussion of migration could look like."
Deutschlandradio

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