• 2 Citations
  • 1 h-Index

Research output per year

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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


  • For Us by Us: Children's Picture Books to Promote Solidarity and Acceptance in the Age of Refugees (Co-I; funded by SSHRC, a collaboration between CTPSR and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University)
  • 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)



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

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Research Output

  • 2 Citations
  • 1 h-Index
  • 3 Article
  • 2 Chapter
  • 1 Book

Des enfants réfugiés auteurs et illustrateurs d’albums

Translated title of the contribution: Refugee children authors and illustrators of albumsMandrona, A., Milne, EJ., Shahrokh, T., Jakala, M., Celestina, M., Hamilton, L. & Mitchell, C., 12 Mar 2019, In : Takam Tikou: La Revue Des Livres Pour Enfants International. 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    33 Downloads (Pure)

    Living displacement: The loss and making of place in Colombia

    Celestina, M., 17 Jul 2018, Manchester University Press. 232 p. (New Ethnographies)

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

  • 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

  • ‘Displacement’ before displacement: time, place and the case of rural Urabá

    Celestina, M., May 2016, In : Journal of Latin American Studies. 48, 2, p. 367-390

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    77 Downloads (Pure)


    • 11 Participation in conference

    Istanbul Human Security Conference

    Mateja Celestina (Speaker)
    23 Oct 201424 Oct 2014

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

    Urban Risk and Humanitarian Response conference

    Mateja Celestina (Speaker)
    4 Mar 20147 Mar 2014

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

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

    Mateja Celestina (Speaker)
    6 Jan 20139 Jan 2013

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

    The World Conference on Humanitarian Studies

    Mateja Celestina (Speaker)
    24 Oct 201327 Oct 2013

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

    SLAS 2013 (Society for Latin American Studies)

    Mateja Celestina (Speaker)
    11 Apr 201312 Apr 2013

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference


    The development of informal social networks - a study of social support and urban development in Iztapalapa, Mexico City

    Author: Silvonen, T., Aug 2019

    Supervisor: Busher, J. (Supervisor), Celestina, M. (Supervisor) & Crawford, G. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy