Europes’ 2015 Refugee/Migration Crisis – Can the Subaltern Speak?

by Kaan Sahin
2015 saw a monumental geopolitical event take place on the shores of Europe, namely, the ‘European Migration/Refugee Crisis.’ The term is given to a period beginning in 2015 when rising numbers of people arrived in the European Union (EU), travelling across the Mediterranean Sea or overland through Southeast Europe. There has been much academic debate surrounding this perceived crisis, one being the name of it, is it a refugee, or a migration crisis? This is the first thing this paper will look into. Moving on from this, there will be then an insight into how Europe reacted to this event, with a special focus on the print media of the United Kingdom (UK), and how it perceived those involved in the crisis, and whether it was a fair portrayal. In contrast to this, the final part of this paper before concluding, will look into a documentary series by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which showed first-hand the journey of some individuals fleeing their homes to come to Europe. Looking into both forms of media will allow us to build on the ideas of the Indian scholar Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, to see whether or not the subaltern can speak, and if any criticisms may also arise.