Mirjam Abigail Twigt

Image of Mirjam Abigail Twigt
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Mobile phone +3161483047
Visiting address Kristian Augusts gate 17 Domus Juridica 8.etg 0164 Oslo
Postal address Postboks 6706 St. Olavs plass 0130 Oslo

I study how refugees and other migrants who are residing in prolonged precarious conditions of legal and social uncertainty beyond Europe make sense of and navigate their situated and digitally connected lives. My approach is ethnographic, as I am interested in how technological changes play out in the everyday experience of people who, under violent or dire conditions, seek refuge. I am inspired by and dedicated to decolonialising research practices.

For the REF-ARAB project I seek to further understand what the move towards technologies in humanitarian assistance means for the refugee protection in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I). As of January 2020, UNHCR Iraq had registered 283,022 refugees of whom 247,770 are Syrian nationals. More than 98 % are residing in the KR-I. I question how the increased datafication of refugee protection, which includes practices of digital refugee lawyering, is experienced by people who have become forcibly displaced and by lawyers and organisations who seek to legally support them in securing their rights and mobility?


I hold a PhD in Media, Communication and Sociology from University of Leicester, UK (2018). I obtained a master’s degree in Medical Anthropology from the University of Amsterdam (2008) and a master’s degree in International Development Studies with a focus on sociology from Wageningen University (2013).

I have lived for approximately 3 years in Jordan’s capital Amman, where I – among other things - worked as a research officer for ARDD, a local legal aid organisation committed to the rights of people affected by displacement, and held a position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Council for British Research in the Levant (CBRL), based at the British Institute of Amman.

The findings of my PhD-thesis and postdoctoral research form the basis of my forthcoming monograph (2022) which will be published in the Forced Migration Series of Berghahn Books. It argues against a short-sighted and utilitarian approach to the digital connectivity of people who are living in prolonged conditions of displacement and draws upon ethnographic research among urban Iraqi refugees in Jordan. Empirical examples show how the digital connectivity that technologies enable provides additional spaces and means for navigating refugees’ lives and negotiating their rights but interact with prolonged legal and social uncertainties and intersect with other characteristics and values around for instance nationalism, gender, and class.

Appointments, Awards & Misc.

I am member of the Working Group Archiving and Documentation of History of Forced Migration and Refugees (ADHFMR), which is part of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM) and selected as member of the Forced Displacement Workshop series for Junior Scholar, hosted by the Refugee Hub and the Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC) at the University of Ottawa.

I have received several awards and funding for my research, including a highly competitive PhD College of Social Science Studentship at the University of Leicester (2013) and a scholarship by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for research on access to sexual and reproductive health rights for Sudanese refugee women residing in Egypt (2008).

I have organised several international workshops and conferences for which I obtained funding. I was PhD-representative of my Graduate School and editor of its online peer-reviewed post graduate journal.

Tags: Refugees, Migration Rights, Ethnography, Digital Rights, Intersectionality, Prolonged Displacement, Post-humanitarianism


Peer-reviewed monographs

Twigt, Mirjam A. Mediated lives. Waiting and hope among urban Iraqi refugees in Jordan, Berghahn Books (forthcoming 2022).

Peer-reviewed journal articles

Twigt, Mirjam A. ‘Managing ‘absent presences’ in Amman: an exploration of virtual homemaking practices among Iraqi refugees in Jordan.’ Popular Communication Special Issue Migrant Socialities and Media (2018).

Twigt, Mirjam A. ‘The Mediation of Hope: Digital Technologies and Affective Affordances within Iraqi Refugee Households in Jordan.’ Social Media + Society Special Issue Forced Migrants and Digital Connectivity (2018).

Twigt, Mirjam A. and Dafni Mangalousi. Editorial Connecting (Forced) Migration and Media Studies, of the Special Issue (Forced) Migration and Media of For(e)dialogue, the peer reviewed postgraduate Journal School of Media, Communication and Sociology at the University of Leicester (2018).

A selection of other publications

Noske-Turner, Jessica, Twigt, Mirjam A. and Zakaria Sajir. ‘Audience Responses to Migration Stories: Research Component of Voices of African Migrants’. International Media Support and University of Leicester (2018).

Twigt, Mirjam A. ‘Iraqi refugee households in Jordan: the active search for solution.’ In: Forced Migration Review. Issue 51, January (2016). 

Frouws, B., et al. ‘Getting to Europe the ‘Whatsapp’ way.’ The use of ICT in contemporary mixed migration flows to Europe’. Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat in collaboration with the Danish Refugee Council. Briefing Paper 2, June (2016).

Tachetti, M., et al. Für_gemeinsame o Öffentliche räume – Graswurzelbewegung in der Flüchtlingshilfe’, Informationszentrum 3 Welt (iz3w) Vol. 3 (2015).

View all works in Cristin

  • Twigt, Mirjam Abigail (2022). Doing refugee rights with technologies? Humanitarian ´crisis´, technocolonialism and international refugee law in and beyond Middle Eastern protection contexts.
  • Twigt, Mirjam Abigail (2022). The present past: former resettlement practices and experiences of waiting among urban Iraqi refugees in Jordan.
  • Twigt, Mirjam Abigail (2022). Doing refugee rights with technologies? On the increased digitisation of refugee management, in and beyond Middle Eastern protection contexts.
  • Twigt, Mirjam Abigail & Yassen, Abdullah (2022). Technology and refugee legal aid in Kurdistan's Temporary Protection Landscape.
  • Twigt, Mirjam Abigail & Yassen, Abdullah (2022). Technology and refugee legal aid in Iraqi Kurdistan. Routed - Migration & (Im)mobility Magazine.
  • Twigt, Mirjam Abigail & Yassen, Abdullah (2022). Digital Refugee Legal Aid in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).
  • Twigt, Mirjam Abigail (2021). Activism, Forced Migration and Archivism Workshop I and 2.
  • Twigt, Mirjam Abigail (2021). The datafication of refugee protection in and beyond the Middle East: A case for digital refugee lawyering. Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies.
  • Twigt, Mirjam Abigail (2021). Technologies towards Accountability? Data-driven protection contexts and communication with people seeking refugee protection in Jordan.
  • Yassen, Abdullah & Twigt, Mirjam Abigail (2021). The datafication of refugee protection in and beyond the Middle East: a case for digital refugee lawyering.
  • Twigt, Mirjam Abigail (2020). Engaged scholarship in times of COVID-19.
  • Twigt, Mirjam Abigail (2020). Disconnected lives.
  • Twigt, Mirjam Abigail (2019). Book Review Karim Karim & Ahmed Al Rawi – Diasporas and Media in Europe + Q & A Karim. European Journal of Cultural Studies. ISSN 1367-5494. 23(5), p. 848–849. doi: 10.1177/1367549419869349.
  • Twigt, Mirjam Abigail & Dafni, Mangalousi (2018). Connecting (Forced) Migration and Media Studies. For(e)dialogue. doi: 10.29311/for%28e%29dialogue.v2i1.2803.
  • Twigt, Mirjam Abigail (2019). Between Poverty and Prison: The Challenges of Debt among Vulnerable Women in Jordan. ARDD.

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Published Aug. 11, 2020 1:28 PM - Last modified Feb. 4, 2022 1:01 PM


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