Voices from the Lagers in Germany

Necropolitics in the times of the coronavirus crisis


  • Fazila Bhimji University of Central Lancashire


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refugee accommodation, COVID-19, refugee voices, necropolitics, Germany


This article traces the experiences of refugees living in camps in certain federal states in Germany during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. It provides a systematic analysis of refugees’ testimonies and demonstrates that they have not received similar levels of care and protection as have German citizens, and that their movements have become increasingly regulated. Drawing on Achille Mbembe’s notion of ‘necropolitics’, I argue that the German state has treated refugees’ lives as less liveable than those of their own citizens during the pandemic, as was the case before it broke out. Much scholarship has explained the notion of refugee camps in various ways, but there has been less discussion of ‘Lagers’ (camps) as a site where colonial oppression persists outside the temporal and spatial contexts of the former colonies. Data are drawn from archived data sets and testimonies that refugees uploaded on websites of various refugee activist groups.

Author Biography

Fazila Bhimji, University of Central Lancashire

Fazila Bhimji is a senior lecturer in the school of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Central Lancashire.




How to Cite

Bhimji, F. 2021. Voices from the Lagers in Germany: Necropolitics in the times of the coronavirus crisis. Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics. 7, 3 (Dec. 2021), 241–258. DOI:https://doi.org/10.17356/ieejsp.v7i3.759.