The Marie Curie project SYRMAGINE (2017-2018) focuses on how Europe is imagined by Syrians settling in two of Syria’s neighbouring countries (Lebanon and Turkey) and examines how their imaginations affect their attitudes to seek asylum in European countries. While the project focuses on imaginations of Europe, it also includes the perceptions of those who do not want to migrate further and the imaginations of other possible destination countries and a possible return to Syria in comparison. SYRMAGINE understands ‘geographical imaginations’ of Europe as subjective human conceptions of a geographical location and stresses the differences between ‘imagined regions’ and reality. SYRMAGINE contributes to the academic literature on the active role of imaginations in refugees’ decision-making and has two main objectives: 1) to investigate the relation between refugees’ imaginations and decision-making and to study how the present country of residence compares to Europe (and other countries) as a destination choice, 2) to examine how refugees inform themselves about social and political realities in European countries. The project adopted a mixed-method approach combining a survey, semi-directive interviews and an online ethnography.
Funding: This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 748344.