The Cosmopolitan’s Other through the Cosmopolitan’s Gaze: Refugee Representation in Helon Habila’s "Travellers"
Copyright (c) 2022 Gabriela Alexandra Banita
Questo lavoro è fornito con la licenza Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 4.0 Internazionale.
The article tackles the problem of refugees’ representation by the cosmopolitans making up the postcolonial elite and the tension that such an operation engenders. Thereby, it offers a reading of Helon Habila’s Travellers (2019), which depicts the encounter between the cosmopolitan protagonist and a number of refugees trying to make a new life in the city of Berlin. Employing Gikandi’s critique of the cosmopolitan elitism characterising postcolonialism and its non-relation to the refugees’ life experiences in Between Roots and Routes (2010), it will be argued that the novel explicitly presents what Durrant (2020) calls “the failure of registration” of the refugee life from a position of privilege. By rendering this occlusion visible, the author’s representation tries to escape the danger of eliding the voices of the people represented.