After three years documentary research the manuscript of this book is now with the publishers, Pluto Press, with an intended publication date of October 2017. Below is the (draft) cover material...
Looking To London steps into the maelstrom of current and recent wars, the displacement of millions and the resulting 'migration crisis' in the Middle East and Europe. Individual women refugees who have made it to London tell of the dangers they've fled, of their struggle with the UK's rigid and racist border controls, and the difficulties and rewards of making a home in a strange city.
London is celebrated as one of the most ethnically diverse capitals in the world, and has been a magnet of migration since its origin. The author visits four London Boroughs as they respond to new cohorts of refugees joining their established Kurdish, Somali, Tamil and Sudanese communities, under the watchful eye of two sets of security forces, those of the regimes they fled, and those of the UK's anti-terror police.
Cynthia Cockburn brings her lively and lucid style to a world in which hatred is being countered by compassion, at a moment when nationalist, anti-immigrant sentiment, post-Brexit, is being challenged by a warm-hearted 'refugees welcome' movement bringing community activists into partnership with London councils for the resettlement of Syrian families. This book is helpful reading for all who want to think more deeply about the meaning of asylum.
Cynthia Cockburn is Visiting Professor in the Department of Sociology, City University London, and Honorary Professor at the Centre for the Study of Women and Gender, University of Warwick. Researcher and writer in the field of gender, war and peace-making, she is active in the international women's peace movement. Her most recent books are Antimilitarism: The Political And Gender Dynamics Of Peace Movements (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) and From Where We Stand: War, Women's Activism and Feminist Analysis (Zed Books, 2007).
"Looking to London" makes one want to hop on a red bus to explore each of the city's vibrant neighbourhoods - to immerse oneself in the local lives of politically engaged women in a way that enables one to grasp the lasting effects of wartime violence on diverse women's lives. This is a quintessentially Cockburn book for our troubled times. Cynthia Enloe, author of Bananas, Beaches and Bases, updated edition, 2014.
Now, more than ever, it is vital to support women who have crossed borders. By listening to women from across the world who have made their homes in London, Cynthia Cockburn brings us stories that we need to hear in order to challenge divisions and build solidarity. Natasha Walter, author, The New Feminism, 1998, and founder of Women for Refugee Women.
Lies, distortions and scare-mongering about asylum-seekers are rife, while refugees from Africa and the Middle East have been dying in thousands trying to escape war, violence and repression. This is not a time to stand idly by and watch, but a time to speak out. Cynthia Cockburn's new book provides a welcome respite from the polemic debate and crude reporting of numbers. This is a profoundly humanizing and moving book that inspires and provides hope. Nadje Al-Ali, author of Iraqi Women: Untold Stories from 1948 to the Present, 2007.