Nonfiction 14

Intimacies, Citizenship and Refugee Men by Samuel Muchoki

By Samuel Muchoki

This well timed booklet strikes past suffering, ache and loss to argue that compelled migration frequently presents possibilities for males to pursue new relationships and re-organise their intimate lives. It specializes in the lived reports of masculinity, sexuality and pursuit of intimate relationships through males who've arrived in Australia as refugees from the Horn of Africa. the writer indicates that, even amidst the chaos of displacement, the problems of residing in limbo while looking asylum and the demanding situations of cost, the need for relaxing and pleasurable intimate relatives continues to be critical to the typical lives of refugee males. This novel paintings will attract scholars and students of migration experiences, citizenship, race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality.

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Extra resources for Intimacies, Citizenship and Refugee Men

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They negotiate until maybe you agree on 100 [cows] . . Each cow can be valued for about 800 Sudanese pounds [approximately 300 Australian dollars]. (Jacob) While bride wealth serves to legitimise a marriage and the children of the union, it also reinforces the gendered differences between couples by creating expectations between couples. For some men, payment of bride wealth is the basis upon which they justify dominating their wives. This is because women are perceived as ‘goods’ that men buy during marriage (Tamale 2009).

However, this changed for all participants after settlement to Australia. I will return to this topic later in Chapter 5. Another example of the intersection of legislation and sexuality relates to same-sex relationships. In most African countries homosexual relationships are considered un-African. There is also legislation that criminalises samesex relations in many countries of Africa, (ILGA 2012). For example, in Ethiopia and Eritrea, men found to be in same-sex relationships risk being imprisoned for life (Varney 2010), while in Sudan and some southern parts of Somalia, homosexual acts are punishable by death (ILGA 2012).

This enabled some men to interact more closely with host communities, often exploring sexual liaisons with non-community members. As one participant stated, ‘there was no cultural restrictions’ outside the camps. In consequence, some of the participants reported that it was only after leaving the camp that they started to engage in sex. The disruption of communal life in the camp created opportunities for these men to engage in pre-marital sexual relationships. For example, after leaving the camp to pursue his settlement case, Steve, who was 19 years old at the time, reported 50 INTIMACIES, CITIZENSHIP AND REFUGEE MEN having a sexual relationship for the first time in his life with a Kenyan girl he met in the town where he was residing: I still remember it was at night time [laughing loudly].

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