Personal profile



My research concerns displacement caused by conflict and violence and that caused by development projects. I focus on spatial and temporal aspects of displacement and the relationship between the two. I am interested in the ways in which people who are forced off their lands experience the loss of place, the coping strategies they adopt and how they engage in the process of forming renewed belonging. 

My other research interests include policy categories and their impact on identity and identification, social relations, and memory and its impact on place-making.


I am currently working on the following projects

  • Struggles for territory, struggles for place: development-forced displacement and resettlement of the Mapuche-Pewenche, Chile (funded by BA small grant)
  • Territory reconfiguration: displacement in Tocancipá, Colombia (in collaboration with Mónica Hurtado, Laura Fonseca and Diana Vernot from Universidad de la Sabana, Colombia) (funded by Newton Researcher Links)
  • Displacement: the loss and making of place in Colombia (book project, contract with Manchester University Press)



Area of Expertise:

  • Displacement
  • Belonging
  • Categorisation
  • Colombia
  • Qualitative research

Research Interests

Displacement; Belonging; Place; Memory; Identity and identification

Vision Statement


My main research interests concern the ways in which involuntary displacement affects people. I am particularly interested in how seeing and living through conflict and displacement marks people’s every-day existence, their relations and their perception of the world. Through this kind of research I hope to find a new angle to bring conflict-ridden lives - struggles, achievements, social relations - of ordinary people living in extraordinary times to public and policy attention.


Education / Academic qualification

Humanitarianism and Conflict Response, Doctorate, University of Manchester

31 Jan 201031 Dec 2013

International Development, MSc, University of Birmingham

Political Science, MSc, University of Ljubljana

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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displacement Social Sciences
violence Social Sciences
Colombia Social Sciences
reconciliation Social Sciences
participant Social Sciences
justice Social Sciences
reality Social Sciences
research Social Sciences

Research Output 2015 2018

Between trust and distrust in research with participants in conflict context

Celestina, M. 19 Jan 2018 In : International Journal of Social Research Methodology. (in press), p. (in press) 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

conflict research

Violence and place-belongingness: myths and realities of violence in Colombia

Celestina, M. 2016 Linking Political Violence and Crime in Latin America: Myths, Realities, and Complexities. Howarth, K. & Peterson, J. H. (eds.). Rowman and Littlefield

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Open Access

Negotiating place: interpersonal reconciliation and emplacement

Celestina, M. 2015 Forced Migration, Reconciliation, and Justice. Bradley, M. (ed.). Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, p. 87-105

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

political science

Activities 2010 2014

  • 11 Participation in conference

Urban Risk and Humanitarian Response conference

Celestina, M. (Speaker)
4 Mar 20147 Mar 2014

Activity: Participation in conference

Istanbul Human Security Conference

Celestina, M. (Speaker)
23 Oct 201424 Oct 2014

Activity: Participation in conference

IASFM 14 (International Association for the Study of Forced Migration)

Celestina, M. (Speaker)
6 Jan 20139 Jan 2013

Activity: Participation in conference

The World Conference on Humanitarian Studies

Celestina, M. (Speaker)
24 Oct 201327 Oct 2013

Activity: Participation in conference

SLAS 2013 (Society for Latin American Studies)

Celestina, M. (Speaker)
11 Apr 201312 Apr 2013

Activity: Participation in conference