CMRB Co-director Giorgia Dona' on Times Radio, 18 March 2022

CMRB co-director Giorgia Dona' appeared on The Times Radio, Early Breakfast programme with Calum Macdonald on 18 March 2022 (10.30-17.20 minutes) to discuss race, hosting and Ukrainian refugees. Link.

CMRB Co-director Giorgia Dona' on Sky News Breakfast 17 March 2022

CMRB Co-director Giorgia Dona' appeared on Sky News Breakfast with Kay Burley on 17 March 2022 to discuss the Ukrainian crisis and the UK government response.

Invitation to a virtual book launch: Documenting Displacement: Questioning Methodological Boundaries in Forced Migration Research

Invitation to a virtual book launch: Documenting Displacement: Questioning Methodological Boundaries in Forced Migration Research

1pm-2pm, 9 March 2022 (online) 

Please join us for the book launch of this new collaborative publication, on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, between 14 and 15 CET (13-14 UK time). Marie Godin and CMRB co-director Giorgia Dona wrote a chapter "Methodological and ethical reflections on the Displaces participatory photographic project". 

The Peace Research Institute Oslo, Migration Centre is pleased to invite you to the online book launch of Documenting Displacement: Questioning Methodological Boundaries in Forced Migration Research, edited by Katarzyna Grabska and Christina R. Clark-Kazak. 

The event will be streamed on Microsoft Teams at this link. 

Legal precarity, mobility, and the criminalization of migrants complicate the study of forced migration and exile. Traditional methodologies can obscure both the agency of displaced people and hierarchies of power between researchers and research participants. Documenting Displacement critically assesses the ways in which knowledge is co-created and reproduced through narratives in spaces of displacement, advancing a creative, collective and interdisciplinary approach. 


Introduction of the book by the editors 

  • Katarzyna Grabska, Senior Researcher at PRIO. 
  • Christina R. Clark-Kazak, Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa.  

Presentation of two of the chapters by authors 

  • "Transient Lives and Lasting Messages: Graffiti Analysis as a Methodological Tool to Capture Migrants' Experiences While on the Move" by Océane Uzureau and Marina Rota. 
  • "Opportunities and Challenges of Using Computer-Based Simulation in Migration and Displacement Research: A Focus on Lesbos, Greece" by Erika Frydenlund and Jose J. Padilla. 

Comments from reviewer 

  • Susan McGrath, Professor Emerita in the School of Social Work at York University, Resident Scholar at York's Centre for Refugee Studies, and Member of Order of Canada. 

The event will be moderated by Marta Bivand Erdal, Research Director and Research Professor at PRIO and Co-Director of the PRIO Migration Centre. 

Read more about the book here

The Nationality and Borders Bill - A New Iteration of the Hostile Environment

The Nationality and Borders Bill- A New Iteration of the Hostile Environment, panel discussion organised by SSAHE (Social Scientists against the Hostile Environment)

5pm-6.30pm, 7 March 2022 (online)

CMRB is a founding member of SSAHE (Social Scientists against the Hostile Environment). A panel discussion of the Nationality and Borders Bill will take place at 5pm on the 7 March 2022 . See below for more information. 



Borders, Nationality - and Empire

Dr Maria Norris, Coventry University

This talk will focus on ways modern immigration policy is a direct offshoot of post-colonial racialised policies designed to control access to the UK and its resources. It will show how the Nationality and Borders Bill is the latest example in a long line of immigration policies which seek to regulate membership and belonging in the UK along racial lines.

Dr Maria W. Norris is an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the University of Coventry. Her research focuses on UK counterterrorism, extremism, white nationalism, and the Empire. Her writing has appeared on The Independent, The New Statesman, and the Byline Times. She is also the host of Enemies of the People, a podcast about extremism in the 21st Century.

Welcome to Britain?  Asylum under the Nationality and Borders Bill

Colin Yeo, Barrister and author of Welcome to Britain

This talk will outline the changes in asylum provision under the Nationality and Borders Bill, which include powers to enable differential treatment of refugees depending on how they reach the UK, a new generation of  'reception' centres, a new fast-track decision-making process, curtailed appeal rights, new presumptions on credibility, export of refugees to other countries ('off shoring'), new interdiction-at-sea powers and amendments to the refugee definition itself.

Colin Yeo is a barrister at Garden Court Chambers in London and author of Welcome to Britain: Fixing Our Broken Immigration System, published in 2020. He founded the Free Movement legal blog in 2007 and before becoming a barrister worked for two charities, the Immigration Advisory Service and Refugee Legal Centre.

Opposing the Bill - campaigning with civil society organisations

Zrinka Balo, Migrants Organise

This talk will engage with the question: to what extent can the Borders and Nationality Bill be viewed as a new phase in the raft of hostile environment policies launched by Theresa May ten years ago? The legislation of the first wave was primarily directed at migrants deemed unlawfully present in the UK and aimed to make entry into the workforce, renting accommodation and using public services more difficult.  The new Bill is targeted at two different groups: the first being people attempting irregular entry at the UK borders; the second being people considered not worthy of retaining their British citizenship.  The Bill will also have an adverse effect on migrants more widely, through its proposed changes to appeal procedures. To date, work in solidarity with migrants, as developed by, among other groups, Migrants Organise, has aimed to consolidate widespread misgivings over the obvious injustices associated with the Windrush generation scandal and oppressive enforcement measures around detention and deportation into a substantial social movement of supporters of migrant and refugee rights.  Will this continue to be a viable strategy as campaigns are stepped up against the measures contained in the Bill?  How can the work of scholars in the field be used to strengthen opposition in the period ahead?   

Zirinka Bralo has been the CEO of Migrants Organise  since 2001. Migrants Organise is an award winning grassroots  platform where migrants and refugees organise together for dignity and justice. Migrants Organise puts its organising effort into numerous shared campaigns and actions such as Patients Not Passports campaign for access to health care, Promote the Migrant Vote campaign to build electoral power, and the most recent Fair Immigration Movement Charter and a call for immigration reform based on principles of  dignity, justice and welcome.  Zrinka is a refugee from Sarajevo, where she was a journalist and she worked with leading war correspondents in the 90s. She is a founder of Women on the Move Awards that celebrates achievement of migrant and refugee women, and winner of the 2011 Voices of Courage Award by the Women's Refugee Commission in New York. As the Commissioner of the Independent Asylum Commission, Zrinka successfully negotiated the end of immigration detention of children in the UK in 2010. Having learned from the US immigrant justice organisers, in 2014 she pioneered a new model of grassroots migrant organising in the UK, which combines organising for systemic change, direct action and advice, and support for people affected by the Hostile Environment immigration policy. Zrinka holds an MSc in Media and Communications from London School of Economics and is an Honorary Doctor of Letters at Exeter University.

Chairs and Organising Committee

Don Flynn

Ben Gidley (Birkbeck)

Bahriye Kemal (University of Kent)

Eleonore Kofman (Middlesex University)

Gwyneth Lonergan (Lancaster University)

Nira Yuval-Davis (UEL)

The meaning of home among LGBTQ+ refugees

We are delighted to invite you to the exhibition launch of "The meaning of home among LGBTQ+ refugees", a participatory research and artistic project led by CMRB member, poet, and community activist Sonia Quintero.

Two creative workshops will accompany the exhibition. They will take place on 5 and 12 February 2022.

Saturday 5 February - 1.30pm - Exhibition launch and creative workshop exploring the meaning of home

Saturday 12 February - 1.30pm - 3pm - Creative workshop exploring the meaning of home.

Events take place  at Poetry House (Stratford Park), Densham Road, London, E15 4DA, opposite tennis courts.

For more information please email newhampoetrygroup@gmail. com or see the website.


Co-POWeR Virtual Launch Event,Wednesday 30 June 2021 2-4pm

 Co-POWeR Virtual Launch Event,Wednesday 30 June 2021 2-4pm

This research aims to identify the impact of COVID-19 on practices for wellbeing and resilience in Black, Asian, and minority Ethnic Families and Communities (BAME FC). This project is being led a group of BAME professors who want to make recommendations to the government for reducing the impact of COVID-19 on BAME FC.  

Keynote Presentation:

Wendy Irwin -  Head of Equality and Diversity, Royal College of Nursing

Estephanie Dunn - Regional Director (North West Region) Royal College of Nursing

The event is organised by the CMRB affiliated Master in Refugee Studies and Master in Conflict, Displacement and Human Security. 

CMRB as a founding member of Co-POWeR.

June webinar: Depoliticising the Hostile Environment, 21 June 2021, 5pm

June webinar: Depoliticising the Hostile Environment, 21 June 2021, 5pm 

The Centre for Migration, Refugees and Belonging is a founding member of Social Scientists against the Hostile Environment.

This webinar seeks to address:

  • The Immigration Act 2020, following Brexit, which is promoted as being effective in preventing traffickers from profiting from the exploitation of those seeking refuge. 
  • The Independent Review of the Human Right Act launched 7 September  2020 
  • The Sewell Report and its establishment

The speakers will include: 

  • Halima Begum
  • Hannah Jones
  • Frances Webber 

Ice & Fire Present: THIS IS WHO I AM

Ice & Fire Present: THIS IS WHO I AM

15 June 2021, 4pm

Presenters will be discussing first had experiences on LGBTQIA + people's experiences on the asylum-seeking process in the UK 

This event is Co-Hosted by CMRB

Prison system and anti-colonial struggle in Palestine voices from within Thursday 10 June 2021, 6pm

Prison system and anti-colonial struggle in Palestine voices from within Thursday 10 June 2021, 6pm

Our film and book club final event for the term: Prison System and Anti-colonial Struggle in Palestine. The event addresses the Israeli prison system and the role of women in anti-colonial struggle through a discussion of Nahla Abdo's book "Captive Revolution". The book shares critique against the persistence of racism in the Israel occupation of Palestine. 
Furthermore, the event includes the screening of the short film OBIDA. A documentary about the prison experience of Obida Akram Jawarba, who has been shot during a demonstration against the attack on Gaza at the entrance of Al Arroub refugee camp. 


  • Nahla Abdo: Professor of Sociology, Carleton University, Captive Revolution: Palestinian Women’s Anti-Colonial Struggle within the Israeli System
  • Asma Majed Jawabra: Lecturer at Alquds Bard College; Obida's Cousin 

Chair: Afaf Jabiri, Programme Leader for Refugee Studies, UEL

MA Refugee Studies

MA Refugee Studies 

Digital methodologies in forced migration and Refugee research: rethinking voices, representation and power 

Wednesday 2 June 2021, 5pm 

This seminar represents and examines research on refugees and forced migration. The seminar will be practically -, methodologically-, and theoretically focused. The digital field being an important part in refugee studies. 

Speaker: Professor Giorgia Donà (Centre for Migration, Refugees and Belonging, University of East London) 

Watch the Seminar >

The event is organised by the CMRB affiliated Masters in Refugee Studies and Masters in Conflict, Displacement and Human Security. 

Changing psycho-social understanding and practice in humanitarian settings

Changing psycho-social understanding and practice in humanitarian settings  

19 May 2021, 1 pm  

 Public Seminar  

Speakers Include: Professor Giorgia Dona of Forced and Migration and co-director of CMRB,  Mary Kamogo – Programme Manager Mental Health and Psychosocial Wellbeing, Refugee Law Project, School of Law Makerere University Uganda  

Chair: Afaf Jabiri Senior Lecturer Masters in Refugee studies and Masters in Conflict, Displacement and Human Security, UEL  

The event is organised by the CMRB affiliated Masters in Refugee Studies and Masters in Conflict, Displacement and Human Security. 

SMCR Seminar Wednesday 17 March 2021, 3pm

SMCR Seminar Wednesday 17 March 2021, 3pm 

This presentation offers a different perspective on the topic of the social history of ethnic conflict displacements from the perspective of the marginalised. The concept of a multi-level narrative will be introduced as a methodology. There will be connections between multiple stories around conflict and displacement in order to explain the relationship between public and personal narratives.  

 Speaker: Giorgia Dona, Co-Director of CMRB  

The event is organised by the CMRB affiliated Masters in Refugee Studies and Masters in Conflict, Displacement and Human Security. 

Iraqi Women Untold Stories Thursday

Iraqi Women Untold Stories Thursday 

25 February 2021, 7pm  

Book Discussion  

Chair: Afaf Jabiri 

The event is organised by the CMRB affiliated Masters in Refugee Studies and Masters in Conflict, Displacement and Human Security. 


Online Launch of Report - 2 April 2020

Migration, Racism and the Hostile Environment: Making the Case for the Social Sciences
2 April 2020
Online Launch of the Report

Sponsored by CMRB and with contributions from CMRB members, the report was prepared by Social Scientists Against the Hostile Environment (SSAHE), a project of the Academy of Social Sciences Special interest group on Migration, Refugees and Settlement. SSAHE is a network of universities, non-governmental organisations and campaigners.

Digital Education Storytelling Exhibition Launch @ Living Refugee Archive, Wednesday 15 July 2020, 5pm

The Centre for Migration, Refugees and Belonging (CMRB) is delighted to invite you to a talk where we will explore the Living Refugee Archive (LRA) digital archives and findings from our recent digital storytelling research project on the educational experiences of refugees in the Middle East. The event will feature talks from Paul Dudman, Prof. Giorgia Dona and Jessica Oddy.

Register here

Racism, policing and the politics of surveillance in times of pandemic, 6 July 2020 (online), 5pm - 6.30pm

The Centre for Migration, Refugees and Belonging, member of Social Scientists against the Hostile Environment (SSAHE) group, is delighted to announce that the next SSAHE webinar titled "Racism, policing and the politics of surveillance in times of pandemic", will take place online from 5pm to 6.30pm on 6 July 2020 (online). Please see the flyer for more information.

Register now

1st International Workshop on Research Methods and Approaches to Migration and Diaspora Studies from 30 June 2020 to 2 July 2020, online

Organised by the Centre for Diaspora Studies at the Central University of Gujarat, India, in collaboration with the Centre for Migration, Refugees and Belonging the 1st international workshop on Research Methods and Approaches to Migration and Diaspora Studies will take place online 30 June -  2 July 2020.

The program will be live-streamed/recorded on the Facebook page of the Central University of Gujarat.

Find out more about the schedule and the flyer CDS CRRB 2020.


Refugee Week 2020: Asylum & Protection in the Wake of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Thursday 18 June 2020, 5pm - 7pm

To mark Refugee Week 2020, CMRB are co-hosting an online public event alongside United Against Inhumanity (UAI in the UK) and the International Centre for Eritrean Refugees and Asylum Seekers (ICERAS). 
The talk will feature a keynote speech from prominent refugee campaigner Lord Alf Dubs. The event will also commemorate the legacy and commitment to refugees of Mona Mahmoud, student in the CMRB affiliated Master in Conflict, Displacement and Human Security programme.

Register now

Webinar, 1 June 2020, 5pm - 8pm, Migrant Rights? From policies to politics in a post-COVID era.

A panel consisting of Don Flynn, Adam Hanieh, Heaven Crawley and Eleonore Kofman and co-chaired by Nira Yuval-Davis and Rachel Humphris will consider the following and other questions:
What lessons are to be learnt from the earlier failure to advance a rights-base for immigration policy?
How will the current economic crisis impact on the rights of migrants? What might emerge for the rights agenda from the confused haze of Brexit and the Covid virus?
Has public reaction to the hostile environment scandal opened up space for an intersectional mobilisation in support of the rights of migrants?

For more information and to register, please go to the Eventbrite page. The webinar will be hosted online and joining instructions will be sent to registered attendees.

Where do we go from here?

Where do we go from here?  

29 October 2020, 9.30 pm  

Launch of MA Refugee & Conflict Studies Reading and Film Club, University of East London 

Discussion of the book 'Voices from the Jungle with Corinne Squire and analyse the ' 2016 Calais refugee crises through director Yannick OHO BAMBE's eyes.

African philosophy embraced by many refugees in the Calais Jungle which arguably allowed them to transcend ethnic and cultural differences and ultimately work for common goals teach us today in a world which is increasingly divided across political, ethnic, cultural and racial lines. 

Chaired by Afaf Jabiri, Programme Leader of MA Refugee & Conflict Studies. 


The event is organised by the CMRB affiliated Masters in Refugee Studies and Masters in Conflict, Displacement and Human Security. 

Gender, Resistance & Women's Protest in North Ireland

Gender, Resistance & Women's Protest in North Ireland  

14 December 2020, 7pm

MA Refugee and Conflict Studies Book and Film Club  

A talk and discussion of the book: Ex-Combatants, Gender and Peace in Northern Ireland: Women, Political Protest and the Prison Experience 

Speaker: Professor Azrini Wahidin, University of Warwick  

The event is organised by the CMRB affiliated Masters in Refugee Studies and Masters in Conflict, Displacement and Human Security. 

Virtual launch of "Migration trajectories and transnational support within and beyond Europe"

You are cordially invited to the launch of "Migration trajectories and transnational support within and beyond Europe", the new Special Issue of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, with contributions from CMRB members. 

The event will take place online on 3 December 19.00-20.30 (please note CET). 

Register now


Double Book Launch - Forced Migration and Genocide Narratives - Friday 22 November 2019

Friday 22 November 2019, 5 - 7pm University Square Stratford, Room USS1.01

In conversation
Giorgia Donà, CMRB, University of East London
Alice Bloch, University of Manchester
Laura Hammond, SOAS, University of London
Gaim Kibreab, South Bank University
Majid Ameen, artist
Chair: Georgie Wemyss, CMRB, UEL 


UEL Refugees Studies 20th Anniversary Event for Refugee Week 2017 - Wednesday 21 June 2017

Wednesday 21 June 2017, 2 - 6pm, followed by a reception, University Square Stratford Campus

This event is being held in conjunction with Refugee Week 2017 and the 20th Anniversary of the MA in Refugee Studies Programme at the University of East London.

Full details of the programme are now available. The event is free, however, for catering purposes, we kindly ask you to register via the Eventbrite link.

We will be also be collecting items of clothing that can be donated to asylum seekers and refugees living locally; clean, undamaged, clothes and shoes, sportswear and trainers can be dropped off with us on DATE (men's for local distribution, ladies will be sent to Syria).  We can also accept financial donations that will be used to keep medics volunteering in Calais, and to launch a housing support initiative in Dagenham.

Refugee Support is a charity under the auspices of Prism the Gift Fund (number 1099682) - It was formed in 2015 to put healthcare into the refugee camps in Northern France and has since expanded to support newly arrived asylum seekers in the UK - mainly in the East London and Essex area.  It was founded and run by Liz Hulse, a current MA Refugee Studies student at UEL.

The 'Trafficking' Of Children and Young People - Monday 6 March 2017

Monday 6 March 2017, 4 - 6pm, University of East London (UEL), Docklands Campus, Room EB.1.44

The trafficking of children and young people has become an increasingly debated issue in the UK and the Modern Slavery Act 2015 now contains an enabling clause for future roll-out of Independent Child Trafficking Advocates (ICTAs) across England and Wales for all children who have experienced 'trafficking'. This talk will outline the findings of two studies related to this 'trafficking' of children and the use of ICTAs in a UK context - the first study between the NSPCC and the University of Bedfordshire and the second an independent evaluation of a pilot of ICTAs conducted for the UK Home Office.

Dr Patricia Hynes is a Principal Lecturer in the Department of Applied Social Studies at the University of Bedfordshire. Prior to this, she has worked in a range of roles within refugee camps across Southeast Asia. Her research interests include forced migration in all its forms, including trafficking, refugees and asylum; human rights; and child abuse.  Her publications include papers for UNHCR, the Journal of Refugee Studies, International Migration and International Journal of Human Rights.

This event is FREE, however, for catering purposes, we ask you to register your place(s).

Taking Our Country Back: "Racism, Xenophobia and Donald Trump's Place in Context" - Wednesday 30 November 2016

This is a collaborative event with the Centre for Narrative Research (CNR)

Wednesday 30 November 2016, 1 - 2pm, Docklands Campus, Room EB.1.40

For more information and to book a place(s) please follow the Eventbrite link.

Step by Step 5 - Monday 24 April 2017

Step by Step 5 is a seminar that will focus on themes of migration, cities, public space and performance, bringing together the Afghan artist Kubra Khademi, with writer and journalist Anna Minton, and writer, artist and producer Mary Paterson. The seminar builds on themes that have emerged from the WALKING WOMEN project, started in 2016 by Clare Qualmann and Amy Sharrocks and is co-hosted by UEL's Centre for Performing Arts Research (CPAD), the Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging (CMRB), and the Walking Artists Network. 

Free - please book a place. 

Kubra Khademi is an Afghan artist and feminist. She studied at Kabul University and Beaconhouse National University, Pakistan where she began to create public performance. Returning to Kabul her work actively responded to a society dominated by extreme patriarchal politics. After performing her piece Armor in 2015, Khademi was forced to flee Afghanistan. She currently lives and works in Paris, France. In 2016 she was awarded an MFA Scholarship at Pantheon Sorbonne University and was made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the Ministry of French Culture.

Anna Minton is a writer, journalist and Reader in Architecture. She is programme leader of UEL's MRes Architecture: Reading the Neoliberal City. Her research interests include cities, democracy and public space. As well as contributing regularly to The Guardian, Minton's publications include Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the 21st Century City, (Penguin 2009, 2012) and the forthcoming Big Capital: Who's London For? (Penguin, 2017).

Mary Paterson is a writer, artist and producer working between critical writing, poetry and live art. She is currently Bristol Writer in Residence for the Art Writer's Programme, hosted by the Art Writers Group, Spike Island and Arnolfini, funded by Arts Council England. Here, she is continuing her research into the politics of movement and the etiquettes of public space, through a series of interviews, critical texts and public walking workshops. 

The Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging brings together the interdisciplinary work carried out within the School, in the related areas of migration and refugee studies, diasporas and social cohesion, racism, nationalism and political religions, as well as intersectional citizenship, identity and belonging. 

The Centre for Performing Arts Research is focused on developing original and innovative research in Performing Arts including Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies, Music, Dance and Creative Writing with a particular emphasis on socially engaged practices, performance philosophy and cultures, practice-based research, digital and interdisciplinary research.

The Walking Artists Network is for everyone who defines themselves as a walking artist, and everyone who is interested in walking as a mode of creative practice, in fields including (but not limited to) architecture, archaeology, anthropology, cultural geography, history, spatial design, urban design and planning. 

Refugees, Belonging and Society - Monday 12 December 2016

CMRB with CNR present, on behalf of the Academy of Social Sciences Study Group on Refugee Issues, the AcSS Refugee Issues Special Interest Group Inaugural Event

Monday 12 December 2016, 5 - 7pm, Venue TBC

To book a place(s) please follow the Eventbrite link.  

Racisms and Political Mobilisations - Back Then and Right Now - 19/20 January 2017

An international two-day conference on the histories and futures of anti-racism

As part of the ESRC series 'Racism and Political Mobilisation'

 19 - 20 January 2017, 10am - 6pm, UEL, University Square Stratford (USS)*

Racism has come to infect the politics of many places. Far from entering the promised post-racial era, we are living through times when all manner of disputes and divisions can become racialised, sometimes with little warning. We have seen the rise of racist, populist parties across the whole of Europe; popular racism against refugees, migrants and Muslims, including discrimination and violence; increased evidence of police racism and violence against African-Americans; the emergence of new forms of racism across the globe and the racialisation of terror across the West. And this is happening in a moment of economic depression and implementation of austerity which has disproportionately impacted on racialised minorities and migrants and has been accompanied by a 'divide and rule' between them and the so-called 'white' working class. That said, we have also witnessed the emergence of new and significant progressive movements such as Black Lives Matter, Rhodes Must Fall, various decolonial initiatives and the formation of refugee support networks and others. While these, like the particular forms of racism to which they respond, are new they must be understood both sociologically and historically in terms of the historical precedents, legacies and projects they reference or are implicated in or cut off from.

This conference brings together scholars, students and activists to discuss the changing map of racism in our time and to consider the lessons that can be drawn from historical and transnational studies of racisms and anti-racisms. We hope to learn from the diversity of approaches to mobilising against racism and to reach a more open and inclusive way of thinking about the place of anti-racism in different social movements.

Keynote speakers include:

Marcelle Dawson (University of Otago)

Xolela Mangcu (University of Cape Town)

Avtar Brah (Birkbeck)

Sivamohan Valluvan (University of Manchester)

Gavan Titley (University of Maynooth)

John Solomos (Warwick University)

Nira Yuval-Davis (UEL)

How to Book and Ticket Prices:

Early bird ticket prices: One Day £6; Two Day £10 (available until Sunday 15 December 2016)


Standard ticket prices: One Day £10; Two Day £15 (available from Monday 16 December 2016 - Sunday 15 January 2017)

Please contact e.shrimpton@uel.ac.uk if you have any queries about the event.

*University Square Stratford is located at 1 Salway Road, London E15 1NF. For a map and directions please follow the link.

Migration at the UN: A Complex Matter - Monday 3 April 2017

Monday 3 April 2017 4 - 5.30pm

University of East London (UEL), University Square Stratford (USS) Campus, Room US2.40

Dr David M. Malone is Rector of the United Nations University and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. He is also Chairman for 2017 of the Global Migration Group (GMG), the International Organization inter-agency grouping focusing on migration issues. A diplomat and scholar, Dr  Malone was previously the Canadian High Commissioner to India and concurrently Ambassador to Bhutan and Nepal, and the President of Canada's International Development Research Centre and the President of the International Peace Academy (now International Peace Institute) in New York. He was previously Canada’s representative to the UN Economic and Social Council and Ambassador to the United Nations. He is currently a Senior Fellow at New York University’s School of Law. 

Dr Malone will be speaking about the challenges and opportunities the United Nations faces in the current context of negotiating inter-state agreements regarding migration. The GMG acts as the lead for 21 international and regional organizations dealing with these issues, and while the difficulties are significant in the current global climate, the incoming UN Secretary-General is an advocate on these issues. 

This event is part of the 10th anniversary of the Centre on Human Rights in Conflict and is co-sponsored by the University of East London's Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging.

Migration, Politics and Representation - A Panel in Honour of Stuart Hall UEL PhD Studentship - Wednesday 22 February 2017

Wednesday 22 February 2017, 4 - 6pm (Refreshments provided)

University of East London (UEL), Docklands Campus*, Room EB.2.44

This is a collaborative event between the Centre for Migration on Refugees and Belonging (CMRB) and the Centre for Cultural Studies Research (CCSR). This is also a CMRB School Seminar, as part of the School’s Seminar Series. 


Gary Younge, Editor-at-large, The Guardian

Avtar Brah, Emeritus Professor, Birkbeck, University of London

Phil Cohen, Emeritus Professor, UEL, Director, Living Maps Network

Ashwani Sharma, Principal Lecturer, CCSR, UEL

Chaired by Prof. Nira Yuval-Davis, Director, CMRB, UEL

This event is FREE, however, for catering purposes, we ask you to register your place(s).

*Docklands Campus is located at University Way, London E16 2RD.

Diasporas Survivals - Wednesday 30 November 2016

Wednesday 30 November 2016, 4 – 6pm, Docklands Campus, Room EB.1.04

Seminar to be hosted by CMRB Visiting Fellows

For more information and to book your place(s) please follow the Eventbrite link.

Brexit as a Political Project of Un/Belonging - Monday 10 October 2016

A CMRB seminar with opening remarks by CMRB Directors: Professor Nira Yuval-Davis, Professor Gargi Bhattacharyya, Professor Giorgia Dona and Dr Georgie Wemyss

Monday 10 October 2016, 5.15 - 6.30pm (refreshment served at 5pm), University of East London, Docklands Campus, Room EB.G.06

The seminar will focus on the implications of Brexit in the (re)constructions of national boundaries, identity and belonging in the UK. The panel will make links between the underlying racialisation discourses of Brexit, everyday bordering as the British government technology of control of diversity and discourses of diversity, and autochthonic populist political discourses. Brexit will also be examined in the context of wider developments in Europe and globally.

Book your place through the Eventbrite link.

Bengal History Week (8 - 16 October 2016)

8 - 16 October 2016
CMRB to present:

Migration Plan and its Influence on Integration Strategic among Bangladeshi Migrants in Italy: A first glance at the data

Tuesday 11 October 2016, 6.30 - 8.30pm, Lab 1, Idea Store Whitechapel

By Valeria Giannuzzi, CMRB Visiting Fellow

Popular East India Company Dockside walk

Saturday 15 October 2016, 11am - 1pm

By Dr Georgie Wemyss, CMRB Co-Director


View the wide range of other events that will be taking place

Annual General Meeting 2016 - Monday 10 October 2016

Monday 10 October 2016, 4 - 5pm (followed by refreshments), University of East London, Docklands Campus, Room EB.G.06

Book your place through the Eventbrite link. 

'Refugee for Life' My Journey Across Africa to Find a Place Called Home - Thursday 24 November 2016

Thursday 24 November 2016, 2 - 3.30pm, Docklands Campus, Room EB.1.08

Speaker: Innocent Magambi


CMRB Annual General Meeting 2015, Followed By 'Lesvos, The European Island in the Crossroads of Two Major Humanitarian Crises' with Erene Kaptani

CMRB Annual General Meeting 2015, followed by 'Lesvos, the European island in the crossroads of two major humanitarian crises' with Erene Kaptani

Monday 28 September 2015, 3 - 6pm, UEL, Docklands Campus

After the regular CMRB AGM Erene Kaptani will talk on the following issues:

On Lesvos, both the survival of the 'locals' and 'refugees' depends on decisions made in European institutions. Refugees are currently arriving on the island at a time when an unprecedented process of underdevelopment is occurring at the hands of these institutions. In this presentation, the speaker, who has been involved since 2009 with refugees arriving in her hometown, reflects on the way refugee arrivals are managed by the different statutory and non statutory European bodies. This presentation envisages creating an understanding and a discussion on what the social and political changes between Greece and Europe have been in the past five months and how these continue to affect the management and monitoring of refugees. It aims to encourage a discussion of the trends formed, by both European institutions and society, regarding their humanitarian and social welfare responses. 

Histories of Anti-Semitism

Monday 14 March 2016, 4 - 6pm, UEL, Docklands Campus 

The Theology of Semitism 

A significant body of scholarship has been published over the last few years that emphasises the Christian theological basis of late modern European ideas about Jews. Ivan Kalmar and Gil Anidjar, in particular, have arrived at this point as part of their wider critiques of the notion of a post-Enlightenment secular Europe. Central to their analyses has been their interest in the European pairing of Jews and Muslims. In this paper, I will build on this work by exploring the genealogy and life story of the trinity of the Semite, the Semitic, and Semitism. I will argue that, contrary to most writing on the subject, the Semitic frame was shaped by traditions of Christian thought, which, crucially, holds answers for us regarding the tensions at the heart of the European pairing of Jews and Muslims, and why Semitism disappeared so suddenly from European thought in the middle of the twentieth century.   

Dr James Renton is Reader in History at Edge Hill University and Honorary Senior Research Associate in the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at UCL. He is the author of The Zionist Masquerade: The Birth of the Anglo-Zionist Alliance, 1914-1918 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), and co-editor with Ben Gidley of Antisemitism and Islamophobia in Europe: A Shared Story? (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming).


Antisemitism and the linguistic turn

It is well known that the term antisemitism was used in Germany in the 1870s and1880s by a movement of people who believed Jewish emancipation had been a great error. The movement imagined itself to be engaged in a war between German and Jewish interests. But what happened to the term antisemitism when it was taken up by Jews and their friends and when it travelled beyond Germany? This paper will explore the changing meanings of the term in antisemitism as it developed in Britain from the 1880s to the present. It will argue that these changes point to an epochal shift in Jewish history.  

David Feldman is Director of the Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism and also a Professor of History at Birkbeck. His research centres on the Jews, immigrants and mobilities in British society, culture and politics. He is the author of Englishmen and Jews: Social Relations and Political Culture, 1840-1914 (1994) and the co-editor of a number of volumes including Paths of Integration: Migrants in Western Europe, 1880-2004 (2006), Post-War Reconstruction in Europe. International Perspectives, 1945-49 (2011), Structures and Transformations in Modern British History (2011) and Blood: Uniting and Dividing (2015)


The Racialisation of Class Politics in the Russian Revolution: a case study of the so-called 'Jewish Question' 

The Bolsheviks came to power in 1917 with the promise of building a world free of class exploitation and other forms of oppression and domination. In the very moment of revolution, however, these sentiments were put to the test as a devastating wave of anti-Jewish violence broke out across the western borderlands of the former Russian empire. The pogroms posed fundamental questions of Marxist theory and practice, particularly since they revealed the nature and extent of working class attachments to antisemitic representations of Jewishness. This paper seeks to offer a theoretically informed historical understanding of the remarkable capacity for class politics to become racialised in revolutionary Russia. It does so by mobilising the concept of 'elective affinity' and by situating its empirical findings within a wider discussion of the sociology of race and class. 

Brendan McGeever is currently an Early Career Research Fellow at the Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism. His work focuses on racism, antisemitism and anti-racism. His PhD, completed in 2015 at the University of Glasgow, offers a historical sociology of the Bolshevik response to antisemitism in the Russian Revolution. Brendan is currently preparing this work for book publication. In April 2016 he will take up the position of Lecturer in the Sociology of Racialisation and Antisemitism in the Department for Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck. 

Borderscapes: Borders and Bordering in Contemporary Europe (EUBORDERSCAPES Policy & Impact Conference)

10 - 12 November 2015, UEL, Docklands Campus

EUBORDERSCAPES is an international research project funded through the EU's FP7 Programme. Since 2013, the project has explored conceptual change in relation to the fundamental social, economic, cultural and geopolitical transformations that have taken place in relation to borders and bordering in and around the EU in the past three decades. This is large scale project with a consortium that includes 22 partner institutions from 17 different states, incorporating several non-EU countries. 

As an EU funded project, EUBORDERSCAPES has a strong policy orientation. The purpose of this conference is to disseminate the major research findings of the project to EU and other European policymakers, activist groups, academics and other interested parties whilst at the same time providing a space for engaged discussion on the themes arising from the project. Various leading representatives of these groups will be speaking at the conference on a range of topics that include: The Reconfiguration of Post Soviet Borders and Conceptual Change; Borders and Critical Geographies of Neighbourhoods; Post Colonial Bordering and Euro-African Borderscapes and Borders, Intersectionality and the Everyday. There will also be a film festival that exhibits films based on ethnographic work conducted by different project partners, drama-based workshops exploring the conference themes and guided walks around London's borderscapes. 

Britishness, Belonging and Borders

Wednesday 11 May 2016, 2 - 4pm, UEL, University Square Stratford

Nira Yuval-Davis

Everyday Bordering as a Contemporary British Political Project of Belonging

In this presentation, Nira Yuval-Davis argues that everyday bordering has become a major technology of control of both social diversity and discourses on diversity in the UK, in a way that threatens to undermine the convivial co-existence of pluralist multi-cultural Britain. Drawing on research carried out in London between 2013 and 2015, Nira argues that such tendencies have been developing especially since the drive for securitisation following the events of 9/11 in 2001. However, these developments cannot be understood to be an outcome solely of securitisation, but rather they are part of an autochthonic  political project of belonging, which emerged as a counter narrative to the multiculturalist project dominant during the 1980s and 90s. Nira also argues that such political project of belonging needs to be understood via the dialogical lens of situated intersectionality.

Eric Woods and Helen Kim

Unresolved Empire: Art, Identity and the Meaning of Britain's Imperial Past

In this paper, Eric Woods and Helen Kim undertake a cultural analysis of Tate Britain's recent exhibit, Artist and Empire: Facing Britain's Imperial Past. To bring to light the multiple layers of affect and meaning that are imbricated in the exhibition, they draw on ethnographic interviews with curators and visitors, published reviews, and a close reading of the exhibition itself. Their analysis reveals a set of troubling findings regarding the status of British national identity and the significance of its imperial past, whose urgent implications reach far beyond the walls of the museum. In sum, they find that empire continues to be an unresolved, ambivalent and yet deeply felt issue in Britain today, which we analogise as a collective trauma simmering below the surface of contemporary social life. To conclude, they discuss how the exhibitions of this kind might better provide a locus for reconciliation. 

Gargi Bhattacharyya

Disentitlement and the shifting boundaries of national belonging

This paper considers recent debates about the post-political and the emergence of anti-politics in order to revisit understandings of national belonging. The paper includes a review of ideas of disentitlement and of the impact of such processes of expropriation and expulsion on lived experiences of national belonging. Overall, Gargi Bhattacharyya argues that the performance of ethnic or cultural belonging is no longer (and perhaps never was) enough to ensure inclusion in the terms of everyday nationhood and it is in the light of these multiple exclusions that we should understand highly theatricalised claims of alternative nationhood.

Everyday Bordering and the Undermining of Multi-Ethnic Britain - 'Everyday Borders' film screening and discussion

Monday 14 March 2016, 7 - 9pm, London School of Economics

18 years after the Runnymede Trust set up The Commission for the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain, chaired by Lord Bhikhu Parekh, immigration legislation is increasingly outsourcing border-guard roles to ordinary citizens extending the UK border further into everyday life. A recent example is the  'Right to Rent' checks, introduced in the 2014 Immigration Act and compulsory in England since 1 February 2016 under which private landlords are obliged to check the identities and immigration status of any adult living in their properties. If they fail to do so they face fines and if the 2015 Immigration Bill becomes law, imprisonment. Similar requirements for employers, bank workers, health workers and education institutions to carry out immigration-related checks and monitoring as part of their everyday work, are threatening the 'vibrant multicultural society, at ease with its rich diversity' that the Parekh Report hoped Britain would become.

There will be a screening of the film 'Everyday Borders' (dir Orson Nava), followed by a panel discussion.


Lord Bhikhu Parekh: Chair of The Commission for the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain and author of the Parekh Report

Omar Khan:  Director, Runnymede Trust

Pragna Patel: Director, Southall Black Sisters

Professor Nira Yuval-Davis: Director, Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging at UEL

Chair: Dr Suki Ali, Department of Sociology, LSE

Gender, Fundamentalism and Recent Developments in the Middle East

Saturday 30 April 2016, 2 - 5pm, SOAS

Nazand Begikhani

Media, Gender and Honour: The Cyber Representation of Women in Iraqi Kurdistan

The media have become a powerful set of actors in Iraqi Kurdistan. Media outlets, whether they be the press, TV stations, radio or cyber platforms, have the capacity to both inform and allow for debate and deliberation, which in turn can play an important role in the processes of governance, ideological and cultural formation as well as decision-making. The new information communication technology and cyber media have shaped the lives of women and the interaction between people in Kurdistan. However, through media and cyber representation, women have been facing new challenges with different forms of violence founded on the very basis of the code of honour. The paper is based on field research into media, women and cyber violence conducted with colleagues at the University of Sulaimani's Gender & Violence Studies Centre between February and September 2015. The paper also includes data collected from previous research projects, notably a two year study into honour-­based violence in Iraqi Kurdistan and UK Kurdish Diaspora (2008-2010) conducted by the  University of Bristol's Centre for Gender & Violence Research and the University of Roehampton.

Dr. Nazand Begikhani is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol, Centre for Gender and Violence Research. She has over 20 years' experience in research, writing, advocacy for human rights and consultancy. In addition to 8 poetry collections as an international poet, some of Nazand’s publications include Honour-­based violence: Experiences and counter strategies in Iraqi Kurdistan and the UK Kurdish diaspora (Ashgate, 2015, co-authored with Gill & Hague); "Honour'-­based violence in Kurdish communities" (With Gill & Hague, Women's Studies International Forum. 35(2). pp. 75–85); Circulation of meaning (Ranj Publications, Sulaimani 2008). Nazand addressed, among many conferences, the 1995 Beijing Fourth World Conference on Women, the UN's meeting with the World March of Women 2000, and Sweden’s International Conference on Honour Killings (2004). She was awarded the Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize for her work on HBV in 2000, the Simone Landry French Feminine Prize for Poetry in 2012 and Kurdistan's Gender Equality Prize (2015).

Zahra Ali

Women’s political activism in post-­‐invasion Iraq: Muslim feminists, Islamist women and the women between

This presentation is based on my doctoral research on contemporary Iraqi women political activism in which I investigate socio-­historically and ethnographically the articulation between gender and issues of nation, state and religion. My analysis of the post-­invasion Iraqi context relies mainly on my ethnography of Iraqi women political groups conducted mainly in Baghdad and secondarily in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah (Iraqi Kurdistan) between October 2010 and June 2012 (participant observation, collect of life-­stories and semi-­structured interviews). I want to present some conceptual insights about the political and social use of Islam by women’s rights activists in Iraq since 2003, and about my own personal and intellectual evolution on the matter throughout the completion of my fieldwork research. I will seek to contextualise and apply an intersectional reading of what is commonly called "Islamic" or "Muslim" and insist on the importance to ground the analysis of Iraqi women’s rights activism in their material context of deployment and expression. In doing so, I seek to propose a critical intersectional feminist reading of contemporary Islamist and Muslim feminist forms of activism.

Dr Zahra Ali is a sociologist specializing in women and gender studies in relation to Islam and the Middle East and currently a post-­doctoral researcher at the University of Chester and a research associate at IFPO-­Iraq. Her doctoral research was supervised by Nilufer Göle at EHESS and Nadje Al-­ Ali at SOAS. Her thesis untitled "Women and Gender in Iraq: between Nation-­building and Fragmentation"  explores contemporary  Iraqi women's activism through an  in-­depth  ethnography of post-­2003 Iraqi women's political groups conducted in Baghdad, Erbil and Sulaymaniyah and a socio-historical study of women's social, economic and political experiences since the formation of the Iraqi state. She edited Féminismes Islamiques, first collection on Muslim feminist scholarship published in France (La Fabrique editions, 2012), translated and published in German (Passagen Verlag, 2014).  Webpages: http://www.ifporient.org/zahra-­‐ali   and   http://www.chester.ac.uk/departments/trs/staff/dr-­‐zahra-­‐ali

Rouba Mhaissen

Gender and Religious Extremism in Syria: Women lead an ongoing fight to freedom

In 2011, Syrians started a peaceful revolution against the Assad regime that soon escalated into an armed conflict and a war spanning more than five years. Women played and continue playing an instrumental role in the protests, political and civil society work. Throughout the years, extremist groups such as Jabhat al Nusra and ISIS were implicated in the war, controlling areas inside Syria. Along with regime armed forces, those groups have committed human rights violation, and have used systemic violence as a weapon of war especially against women through rape, detentions, tortures, sexual slavery and forced marriage, as well as limits to their movement. This talk examines those themes, and how, despite all this, women still play a vital in Syria's ongoing fight for freedom and dignity.

Dr Rouba Mhaissen is an economist, activist, and development practitioner who works on development issues in the MENA region, particularly forced migration and the Syrian refugee crisis. She is the founder and director of Sawa Foundation (UK), and Sawa for Development and Aid (Lebanon), both Civil Society Organisations working with Syrian refugees on an integrated approach to development. She has researched and consulted on a range of issues pertaining to education, violence, conflict, gender, household economics, forced migration, and activism, among others. She holds a PhD in Gender and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and a Masters in International Development from the London School of Economics.

Nadje Al‐Ali

Beyond ISIS:  Gender-­based   violence,  militarism  and  authoritarianism

This talk will engage with the difficulty of researching and talking about gender -­based violence in the Middle East to not fall into the trap of either being an apologetic of structural and systematic forms of discrimination and violence nor engaging in essentialist notions of Muslim/Middle East culture. While discussing the specific characteristic of violence linked to ISIS (daesh), I will present the historical and wider context that has normalised gender-­based violence. My contribution will also discuss the Kurdish political movement linked to Turkey and Syria, which constitutes the main resistance to ISIS in the region militarily and ideologically. I will address the movement's ideological shift to stress gender-­based equality as central to the project of radical democracy.

Nadje Al-­Ali is Professor of Gender Studies at the Centre for Gender Studies, SOAS, University of London. She has published widely on women and gender in the Middle East as well as transnational migration and diaspora mobilisation. Her publications include What kind of Liberation? Women and the Occupation of Iraq (2009, University of California Press, co-­authored with Nicola Pratt); Women and War in the Middle East: Transnational Perspectives (Zed Books, 2009, co-edited with Nicola Pratt); Iraqi Women: Untold Stories from 1948 to the Present (2007, Zed Books). Her most recent book (co-­edited with Deborah al-­Najjar) entitled We are Iraqis: Aesthetics & Politics in a Time of War (Syracuse University Press) won the 2014 Arab-­American book prize for non-­fiction. Currently, she is working on a research project about the Turkish-­Kurdish conflict. Professor Al-­Ali is a member of the Feminist Review Collective.

Gender, Fundamentalism and the 'Prevent Agenda'

Saturday 17 October 2015, 2 – 5pm, SOAS, University of London

This seminar will look at various issues raised by the 'Prevent agenda' in relation to gender and fundamentalism. The speakers are Tehmina Kazi (British Muslims for Secular Democracy), Irene Zempi (Nottingham Trent University), Aisha Phoenix (Goldsmiths) Rahila Gupta (Southall Black Sisters).

The Immigration Bills and 'Everyday Bordering'

Tuesday 26 January 2016, 6 - 8pm, House of Commons

The meeting is going to be chaired by Meg Hillier MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch and will also have a panel of speakers, including: 

Baroness Sally Hamwee, Liberal Democrats, House of Lords, member of the Joint Committee on Human Rights

Lucy Jones,  UK Programme Manager, Doctors of the World

Stuart  C. McDonald, MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East,  Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Immigration, Asylum and Border Control).

Rachel Robinson, Policy Officer, Liberty 

Before the panel discussion, we shall show the film 'Everyday Borders' which is based on our research findings and was produced in co-operation with Migrants Rights Network (MRN), Refugee and Migrant Forum for Essex and London (RAMFEL) and Southall Black Sisters (SBS). The experts who took part in the film will also attend the meeting and take part in the discussion. 

While there have been public debates on some aspects of the immigration bills, we believe that the issues raised in this meeting have been relatively neglected till now in spite of their major importance to issues of civil liberties and community cohesion. Below you'll find a link to a short article that one of us published recently in The Independent, which draws attention to some of these issues. We hope that following the meeting, we can mobilise cross-party support and with your help, much more public attention.

A press release following the event can be viewed.

New Research on the Middle East

Monday 14 December 2015, 4 - 6pm, UEL, Docklands Campus 

Giulia Daniele, CMRB, UEL 

Women, Reconciliation and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The Road Not Yet Taken

My talk is founded on the theoretical analysis and the fieldwork evaluation reported on in my PhD dissertation, which has been published by Routledge in the form of a book entitled Women, Reconciliation and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The Road Not Yet Taken. One of the main objectives of my research has been to analyse the most significant Palestinian and Israeli women’s political initiatives that have been influenced by and, in the majority of cases, prevented by obstacles associated with the Israeli military occupation in the last decade.

Despite the majority of women's political proposals and actions have been relegated to the margins of the mainstream arena, a few of them have succeeded in finding alternative politics and approaches that have assisted them in their commitment to the struggle to end the Israeli military occupation. In such a framework, the academic salience of my study is the provision of an additional contribution to the current debate on the process of making Palestinian and Israeli women activists more visible, and the importance of this process as being one of the most meaningful ways in which to open up areas of enquiry around relevant prospects for a fair resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Giulia Daniele is currently Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centro de Estudos Internacionais (CEI) of the Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL) and Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging (CMRB) of the University of East London (UEL). After obtaining her Bachelor's degree in International Studies (2005) and Master's degree in International Relations and Human Rights (2007) at the University of Torino, she completed her PhD in Politics, Human Rights and Sustainability under a co-tutelle agreement between the University of Exeter and Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in April 2012.

Since 2005 she has conducted fieldwork researches in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Israel and Tunisia. She also acquired useful experience with her involvement in the International Election Observation Mission for the Palestinian elections in January 2006, in the international cooperation project called EPIC (European, Palestinian and Israeli Cities for Health and Social Partnership) sponsored by the World Health Organization in December 2006, and when she was a research intern at the Office of the Vice President of the European Parliament in Brussels in Autumn 2008.

Her main research interests broadly cover the following fields: Middle East politics (focusing on Palestine/Israel), women’s political activism in the Middle East and North Africa, social movements, gender and feminist studies, conflict resolution and ethno-national narratives. Her first book is entitled Women, Reconciliation and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The Road Not Yet Taken (Routledge, 2014).

Sharri Plonski, SOAS 

New Borders - Carving a Palestinian Space into the Mixed City of Jaffa-Tel Aviv

Acts of subversive cartography have become a common practice of Palestinian-citizen resistances inside Israel. Intertwined as part of the dialectic, if asymmetrical, relationship that exists between 'power' and 'resistance', they act as a window both into the apparatuses employed to colonise Palestinian space inside Israel and the insurgent practices different communities have articulated in response. This encounter - between Zionist erasures and the struggle to root and re-entrench Palestinian space - produces the particular story, the particular space, in which both are housed, the lines and borders of which are articulated and disrupted through unique spatial relations. In this talk, we will explore the every day and catalytic resistances that re-map, re-sign and reclaim Palestinian space in Jaffa-Tel Aviv. Through an exploration of a spectrum of practices, we investigate how power is activated, disarticulated and reshaped through struggle that is both present and absent from Israeli-Zionist productions of space; and how the struggle is articulated and mediated by the same conditions.

Dr Sharri Plonski earned her PhD from the Department of Development Studies, at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, where she is currently a postdoctoral associate. She also works as an associate lecturer at Brunel University, where she teaches a course on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Her thesis will be published in 2016 as part of the new SOAS Palestine Studies Book Series with I.B. Taurus as the Struggle for Space: Ordinary and Extraordinary Resistances by Palestinian citizens of an Israeli-Jewish State. 

Eylem Atakav, University of East Anglia 

‘Until Every Child is Safe'  Representing 'Legitimised' Abuse and Child Brides on Screen 

According to the UNICEF report entitled 'Ending Child Marriage: Progress and Prospects' (2013), there are 700 million women who were married as children, and 280 million girls are at risk of becoming child brides. In Turkey, according to the reports written by feminist organisations 1 in 3 marriages there is a child. These figures are alarming and signal the need for further and urgent research in the field. Working on a documentary film on 'child brides' in Turkey is my first exposure to filmmaking, therefore it poses challenges to me as an academic, who focuses on theories around feminism and media rather than filmmaking practice.

In this paper, I will critically reflect upon and share the findings of my research into the representation of child brides in the media, with the aim of answering a key question: what kind of a visual language is used in the Turkish media in the depiction of girls as brides? I argue that on screen portrayals of married girls are presented as individualised stories of victims, and they reinforce a focus on tradition and religion rather than identify issues inherent in the law, politics and society.

In linking theory and practice, I will also present an account of the methodological issues around representation in the production of my documentary on 'child brides' in Turkey. The film explores what happens after child marriage by focusing on the stories of four women and making their experiences visible, in an attempt to contribute to and advance debates around this significant, complex and emotionally charged human rights issue which has often been discursively silenced.

Eylem Atakav is Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Studies at the University of East Anglia where she teaches courses on women and film; women, Islam and media; and Middle Eastern cinemas. She is the author of Women and Turkish Cinema: Gender Politics, Cultural Identity and Representation (Routledge, 2012) and editor of Directory of World Cinema: Turkey (Intellect, 2013). Her academic interests are in Middle Eastern film and television; representation of 'honour' crimes in the media, and transnational women's cinema.

The Role of Rights Activism, Academia and Performing Arts Practices: A conversation (UEL/Nine Lives Symposium)

Monday 25 January 2016, 3 - 9pm, Arcola Theatre

The University of East London (UEL) invites you to a symposium which focuses on examining the roles and impacts of academia, rights activism and theatre practices. Bringing together students, researchers, artists and representatives of local advocacy community, the symposium will critically explore the areas of education in this congregation with the aim of raising awareness on experiences of migration, belonging, gender and identity issues. It is hoped that these discussions will open a dialogue for further projects of civic engagement between UEL's scholarships with activists' community and arts practitioners in the UK.   

This event will build on the existing partnership between UEL's School of Social Sciences and Nine Lives Production (Leeds Studio & West Yorkshire Playhouse) through the ongoing evaluation of Nine Lives Theatre tour across the UK. The event will finish with a Live Performance of Nine Lives, a powerful play that raises awareness on the experiences of asylum seekers in the UK, especially on LGBT issues.

Centre for Migration, Refugees and Belonging

The Centre for Migration, Refugees and Belonging is located in the Department of Social Sciences at the University of East London.

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