“It’s Like Fighting for Survival”: How Rejected Black African Asylum Seekers Experience Living Conditions in an Eastern German State

Author(s): Penelope SCOTT



This article explores how Black African asylum seekers in an eastern German state experienced living conditions and the forms of agency they exhibited to redress the stressful circumstances of everyday life. The article draws on 12 in-depth interviews with rejected Black African asylum seekers and ethnographic research. Participants experienced various socio-environmental stressors and the absence of resources that affected their well-being and were injurious to their human rights. Their responses were embedded in different practices tied to the accumulation of capital that buffered stress and contested repressive asylum laws. The implications of the study for policy and advocacy are discussed.


Asylum seekers, Black Africans, living conditions, stressors, agency, discrimination, human rights

Tags: Germany, Africa, Failed asylum seekers, Stressors, Discrimination, Living conditions, Food and water security, Well-being

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