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Welcome to “Distorted Footprints: A Critical Refugee Studies Podcast.” Refugees leave traces—or footprints—when they are forced to leave their homelands in search of refuge. However, these footprints are often distorted by xenophobic governments, who characterize refugees as perilous threats, or even humanitarian organizations, who reduce refugees to helpless victims. In this podcast we seek to critique and correct these distortions. Utilizing a critical refugee studies framework, we instead feature refugees’ stories, voices, and arts of resistance, positing the refugee as a figure of geopolitical critique and social change.
“Distorted Footprints” is created by the students of Professor Evyn Lê Espiritu Gandhi’s “Critical Refugee Studies” course at the University of California, Los Angeles. UCLA acknowledges the Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (Los Angeles basin, So. Channel Islands) and are grateful to have the opportunity to work for the taraaxatom (indigenous peoples) in this place. As a land grant institution, we pay our respects to Honuukvetam (Ancestors), 'Ahiihirom (Elders), and 'eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present, and emerging.