Responding to Crisis: Forced Migration and the Humanities in the Twenty-First Century

Lead Research Organisation: Keele University
Department Name: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Abstract

According to a recent Amnesty International report, 23,000 people are believed to have lost their lives trying to reach Europe since 2000. In Iain Chambers's words, '[t]heir bodies rest on the sea bed, unconsciously contributing to the solidifying of the sea, transforming a site of transit into a mounting barrier' (Chambers 2008). This situation is undoubtedly a crisis; not only of geopolitics, but also of values. Often unrecognised and unaccounted for, these deaths demand a response not just from advocacy groups, political organisations and governments, but also from those concerned with narrative, representation and the arts. The humanities are central to an exploration of social and cultural knowledge about contemporary migration and its effects. Focusing on the ways in which we interpret, represent and conceptualise forced migration in the twenty-first century, the arts and humanities provide an alternative perspective on a terrain usually considered to be that of law, sociology and political science.
We aim to develop activist and interventionist models of the arts and humanities which have a positive impact on migrants' lives. This approach is undergirded by a rigorous conceptual analysis of three key questions: how adequate are current political, cultural, and social responses to forced migration? What is the status of humanitarian values in this crisis? And how can we narrate ethically this deathly turn in contemporary migration? Political, creative and academic sectors approach these issues in distinct ways. The aim of this project is to connect different scholarly disciplines on the issue of contemporary forced migration, and provide 'contact zones' between creative, theoretical, academic, and activist responses to this unfolding crisis. Moving beyond a consideration of the ethics of witnessing these multiple deaths, this project posits the arts and humanities as a means of changing public attitudes and influencing policy. It seeks to bring about the transformation of material possibilities through a heightened awareness of representational acts.
Three international workshops will bring together artists, filmmakers, poets, practitioners, and scholars to draw on the creative energies of interdisciplinary working to develop collaborative 'response' as a methodological mode, including new creative works. As well as providing a platform for the existing work of migrant artists, such as Zineb Sedira, the ZALAB (Italy) migrant film collective and Platforma (UK), we will commission artists, photographers and poets to respond to the themes and outcomes of the project. Our project intervenes in and contributes to established community-cultural events, such as the Runnymede Literary Festival, by placing forced migration on the agenda.
The project partners map a trajectory across varied geo-political contexts. In the UK, Keele and London provide peripheral and metropolitan perspectives on the migrant experience, while Glasgow situates questions of migration and national identity within a politically devolved Scotland. Our partnership with L'Orientale University, Naples, extends the geographical reach of the project to southern Europe. This will focus our attention on the Mediterranean as a visible site of the current failure to address the slowly unfolding crisis of forced migration at Europe's borders.

Planned Impact

This project aims to have a direct impact on migrants' lives by deploying the arts and humanities to transform public attitude and inform policies. The network will facilitate dialogue and knowledge exchange between academic and non-academic individuals and organisations, as well as generate creative, purposeful responses to the current crisis in forced migration. In addition to the academic benefits already identified, the project will lead to impacts in the following environments:

1.The network impacts directly on WRITERS AND ARTISTS in two ways: a) it will enable them to develop their artistic practice in response to the workshop themes [Poetic responses (workshop 1); photography, video installation and film (workshops 2 and 3) with Zineb Sedira and Kate Stanworth; theatre and testimony (workshop 3) with Actors for Human Rights and Kai Fischer]. b) Through active participation in the network where artistic perspectives will be informed by the work of theorists, practitioners and activists.

2.Participants from THIRD-SECTOR ORGANISATIONS, CAMPAIGN GROUPS AND GRASSROOTS ORGANISATIONS (Refugee Council, Right to Remain, Detention Action, Fortress Europe) will benefit directly from historical and conceptual examinations of forced migration provided by humanities scholars and from the policy/legal detail provided by social scientists. The project will also impact indirectly on groups like: ASGI Italy, Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK), COMPAS, European Council on Refugees and Exiles and the Migration Observatory. The project's website, where links, updates and resources will be available, will also host the e-pamphlet (see dissemination), which is specifically designed for wide dissemination by acting as a bridge between academic and non-academic audiences. This versatile resource will showcase responses developed at the workshops in order to prompt discussion and exchange within non-academic networks and broker long-lasting relationships between HE institutions and other sectors.

3.POLICY MAKERS. We seek to engage (via dissemination channels and outputs) with lobbyist organisations such as: Migration Policy Center, The International Centre for Migration Policy Development and The European Programme for Integration and Migration. These groups effectively shape policy and have a direct impact on EU policy makers, who are target beneficiaries for the project. Our innovative methodology will open up lines of communication between academics working on migration and those non-academic researchers and lobbyists who are often unable to access academic outputs. Combining rigorous academic research and 'grey' literature, the pamphlet (see above and dissemination) and project strand on openDemocracy will expose policy makers to the most up to date thinking on forced migration from scholars across disciplines.

4.THE WIDER PUBLIC. A number of Knowledge Exchange events will be open to the public to promote a more structured debate on the issue of forced migration [e.g. poetry competition for schools in response to Kate Stanworth's photography exhibition (Runnymede Literary Festival)]. We will run a 'project strand' on openDemocracy, which has 3.5 million unique views per year from across the globe and a very lively 'comments' section. The project's own website as well the involved partners' outreach channels will maximize public engagement. Our partnership with GRAMNet will also allow us to benefit the wider public through their channels of dissemination: a wide-ranging mailing list (which includes community and grassroots groups, academics, individuals, subject associations, research centres); blog (to which hundreds of readers subscribe); website (with dedicated pages for links, info and material).

Publications

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Jeffery L (2019) Creative engagement with migration in Crossings: Journal of Migration & Culture

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Jeffery L (2019) Creative engagement with migration in Crossings: Journal of Migration & Culture

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Mariangela Palladino (2016) Borderlands: words against walls

 
Title I have to pass, 
Description I have to pass, by Neapolitan artist Ulderico who brought the audience in the courtyard of the Space gallery, where an installation was set. It consisted of an 18 meters fabric showing hundreds of silhouettes of little fishes, some of them "carrying" inscribed pebbles coming from Keele and Naples workshops and empty pebbles to be inscribed in London. The sense of both a poetical continuity and a migrant ecological community was thus produced, also echoed by the artist's words "I move, I live". 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact this performance attracted a diverse audience. The artist received further opportunities for collaboration 
URL https://ulderico.jimdo.com/performance-in-london/
 
Title Lampemusa 
Description Lampemusa is a show based on songs and storytelling. It is about the story of Lampedusa, from the colonisation of the island in 1843 to its recent growing militarisation, its stories of fishing, the island's main economic resource until the 80s, its histories of migration. The show also narrates the "epic" tradition of Lampedusa: Ludovico Ariosto chose this island as the setting for the fighting between three Christians and three Sarracins; then Lampedusa was a prison where anarchists, like Enrico Malatesta, were confined; and more recently it has also become a military base. Lampemusa offers also a picture of the local stories, which Sferlazzo has collected from the old people, most of them linked to some historical places such as the Sanctuary of Porto Salvo's Madonna, where Muslims and Christians had prayed together for centuries. Drawing from the tradition of the Sicilian storytellers, Sferlazzo plays the guitar, the "marranzano", the percussions, and other instruments he himself invented. Giacomo Sferlazzo is a political activist from Lampedusa, songwriter, and a re-assembler of matter, colours, objects, photos, waste. He has made four records as songwriter, with Jacopo Andreini he has realised an album of experimental music, "Nella pancia della Balena" (In the belly of the whale). For years he has searched for stories and memories about Lampedusa, thus gathering them in his show Lampemusa, based on songs and narrations about the different stories of migration that have crossed the island. In 2009 he founded the collective Askavusa, with which he organises the Lampedusainfestival and realised Porto M, a multifunctional space where the objects of the migrants landing in the island, are exposed, after being salvaged from the cemetery of the boats by Askavusa. 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact The concert was a real attraction during this event. Sferlazzo's reputation and work reached international audience. It was also an opportunity for the academic team and participants to rethink the ways in which we approach the field of migration. 
URL http://ilfigliodiabele.wixsite.com/giacomo-sferlazzo/copia-di-il-figlio-di-abele
 
Title Pebble Poetry 
Description 'Pebble Poetry' is the project's own method to engage with participants through the materiality of stone. The model 'pebble poetry' was first introduced to gather participants' feedback, they were invited to share their views on pebbles, to literally write their thoughts 'in stone'. An extract from Matthew Arnold's poem 'Dover Beach' (1851) reminds us of the power and significance of pebbles. "Listen! you hear the grating roar Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling, At their return, up the high strand, Begin, and cease, and then again begin, With tremulous cadence slow, and bring The eternal note of sadness in".A pebble installation was set up at Keele University, last October, where impromptu pebble poetry was realised by creative writing students and tweeted live, expanding the voice of participants further. In Naples, for our second workshop (April 2017), local, eclectic artist Ulderico created an installation with pebbles. Conceived as a work-in-progress and collective action, the installation prompted creative engagement with pebbles. A circle made of driftwood, evoking the Mediterranean, contained a heap of pebbles which were inscribed with words by people from the audience and then placed out of the circle. The installation prompted to rethink about naming and border crossings. Pebbles carrying words, phrases and thoughts have travelled from Keele, to Naples to London, to call for places of sanctuary. Building a shore to safety. Escaping the tide, a message on the shore. A welcome written in stone 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact Audience commented on this mode of engagement. People enjoyed the process. Some participants talked about replicating this in their own practice . 
URL https://respondingtocrisis.wordpress.com/pebbles/
 
Title Where We Are Now 
Description Documentary and portrait photographer Kate Stanworth presents nuanced personal narratives of migration as an alternative to mainstream media depictions of migrants and refugees. Over the past year the British photographer has created a series of documentary portraits of individuals who left their homes in Africa and the Middle East months or years previously to start new lives in Germany, Austria and Italy. She spent time getting to know people and recording their stories as well as photographing their everyday lives, and where possible working with their own smart phone documentation of their journeys. As well as portraying her protagonists in the new, often transitory spaces they now find themselves in, the project focuses on the psychological survival techniques migrants use: the re-framing and re-invention of their stories and the search for metaphors and narratives that help them find purpose through difficult and disorienting times. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact This was a successful exhibition which attracted many visitors - it was exhibited in Naples (Italy ) in April 2017 and in London (UK) in September 2017. Tate Gallery in London has approached the research team and the artist to exhibit this work at Tate later in 2018. 
URL http://www.katestanworth.com/where-we-are-now/
 
Description The Responding to Crisis project team established a network of researchers, academics, artists and activists concerned with migration. We held three international events (Keele, Naples, London) where speakers from different sectors (academia, third sectors, creative sectors) explored their practice to approach the challenges posed by forced displacement. 1) Researchers engaged in the network were able to reflect and explore their approach in relation to that of participants from other sectors. This enabled them to gain new insights into displacement particularly the difference challenges experiences by artists, activities and practitioners. 2) Artists involved in the network were able to share, disseminate and develop their work. In particular, artist Kate Stanworth was commissioned photographic work about refugees in Europe - she has since exhibited her work numerous locations and reached out to a wider audience. This demonstrates potential of creative arts to foster community participation and engagement with forced displacement in the UK. 3) The three international events enabled influencing and transformation of perspectives on displacement. This insight was shared and discussed among academics, artists, practitioners in the context of our project's cross-sectors events. In particular, through the event in Naples (Italy), our project fostered new collaborations between the third sector and cultural institutions across Europe and contributed to the development of early career scholars (acting as project coordinators in the team).
Exploitation Route 1) The Responding to Crisis team drew on insights from our 3 international events in order to develop a magazine "Responding To Crisis: Reflections From the Edge of Disciplinesin". The magazine is freely available on the project's website in order to ensure that it is transferrable and accessible beyond the geographical focus of the project. The magazine is aimed at artists, researchers, practitioners and other research users concerned with displacement and migration. 2) Our portfolio of other publications on openDemocracy is also available online - this allows to engage with a broader readership and beyond academia.
Sectors Education,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

 
Description Our network facilitated dialogue and knowledge exchange between academic and non-academic individuals and organisations. 1. The network impacted directly on WRITERS AND ARTISTS in two ways: a) enabled them to develop their artistic practice in response to the workshop themes [Poetic responses (workshop 1); photography and film (workshop 2 and 3). Most notably, Artists like Kate Stanworth (who was involved in our project) extended her artistic and professional network (she was commissioned further work in the sector). 2. Participants from THIRD-SECTOR ORGANISATIONS, CAMPAIGN GROUPS AND GRASSROOTS ORGANISATIONS directly benefit from historical and conceptual examinations of forced migration provided by humanities scholars and from the policy/legal detail provided by social scientists. Our published magazine - which is specifically designed for wide dissemination by acting as a bridge between academic and non-academic audiences - is a tool to cascade (online) findings and perspectives which emerged from our network. This versatile resource will showcase responses developed at the workshops in order to prompt discussion and exchange within non-academic networks and broker long-lasting relationships between HE institutions and other sectors. 4. THE WIDER PUBLIC. Our engagement events, exhibitions and a 'project strand' on openDemocracy, which has 3.5 million unique views per year from across the globe and a very lively 'comments' section - have been tools to have an impact on the public.
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Creative Economy,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

 
Description 'Arts for Advocacy': Creative Engagement with Forced Displacement in Morocco
Amount £300,000 (GBP)
Funding ID ES/P004598/1 
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 03/2018
 
Description MARAM: Mobilising Access to Rights for Artists in Morocco
Amount £86,416 (GBP)
Funding ID AH/S005846/1 
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2019 
End 01/2020
 
Description The AHRC International Development Summit: Mobilising Global Voices 
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution I was invited to be one of the chairs of this international event. I organised a panel and chaired it for a session called 'Mobilising the Arts: Migration and Forced Displacement'.This session is devoted to migration and forced displacement and the role the arts and humanities play in the field. There has been an increase in the mobilisation of the creative arts to contribute to current debates on migration - usually dominated by the political and social sciences. The focus of this session is to explore the ways the arts are affecting and influencing research on migration; what works has been carried out? In what ways are the arts and humanities shifting the terms of this debate? The Panel "Researching Migration & Forced Displacement: The Creative Arts as a Method" will be an opportunity to showcase and explore current research in the field of migration where the creative arts are used as a method and are central to the research process. The roundtable "Artists & Displacement: Music, Literature and the Visual Arts" brings together artists who engage with contemporary forced displacement as a theme, as a method or as critical perspective. Structured as an open discussion this second part of the session focuses on the experiences, challenges and aspirations of creative practitioners working at the forefront of forced displacement.
Collaborator Contribution The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) hosted the International Development Summit- 'Mobilising Global Voices', at the British Library, London on Wednesday 7th June 2017. The Summit aimed to showcase and discuss the unique and important contribution that AHRC-funded research (and of the arts and humanities more widely) makes to policy and practice in International Development and to cross-disciplinary and collaborative research which addresses a range of global challenges. The proposed theme of the summit - 'Mobilising Global Voices' - indicates an aspiration to add to previous events and consultations by bringing the voices and perspectives of researchers, partners, cultural and development organisations and diverse communities in Low and Middle countries more strongly into debates about how arts and humanities research might contribute to international development, and we would welcome innovative ideas for how the summit might stimulate longer term engagement with diverse global voices.
Impact A panel on migration and the arts. PANEL: "Researching Migration & Forced Displacement: The Creative Arts as a Method" CHAIR: Mariangela Palladino (30 + 10 mins) [Participants are asked to share their work on their current ESRC-AHRC GCRF projects for no longer than 7 minutes. Power point presentations are welcome. Q&A will follow, 10 minutes.] 1. Dr Michelle Keown, University of Edinburgh (ESRC-AHRC GCRF) & artist (tbc) From displacement to development: arts education as a means to build cultural resilience and community-led arts production in the Marshall Islands 2. Dr Marta Hawkins, University of Plymouth (ESRC-AHRC GCRF) Conserving cultural heritage: The resilience of forcibly displaced Syrian artisans in Jordan 3. Dr Laura Jeffery (University of Edinburgh) (ESRC-AHRC GCRF) 'Arts for Advocacy: Creative Engagement with Forced Displacement in Morocco' ROUND TABLE: "Artists & Displacement: Music, Literature and the Visual Arts" CHAIR: TBC (30 mins + 20) [Participants are asked to share their work for no longer than 5-7 minutes. These short presentations are to be understood more as introductions. The roundtable is structured to encourage and foster dialogue among artists, academics and other members of the public. A 20 minutes Q&A will follow.] 1. Natasha Soobramanien - Author 2. Saradha Soobrayen - Poet 3. Tawona Sithole - Poet/Dramaturg 4. Diana Abouali (Tiraz NGO, Amman, Jordan)
Start Year 2017
 
Description 'States of being at the Borders of Humanity' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Our third workshop, "States of Being at the Borders of Humanity", took place in Hackney, at Space gallery, enriched, for the occasion, by "migrant" exhibitions: the first one was titled Where We Are Now, by Kate Stanworth, based on her direct work with migrants and refugees in Europe. Kate's exhibition travelled from Naples, where it was showed for the first time during our second event "Sea-Crossings: the Mediterranean and its Others". The other one, Narrating Objects of Displacement, included work developed in Morocco (and recently exhibited in Glasgow 20-22 June), as a result of a participatory Video-Photography Workshop organised by the "Arts for Advocacy"* research team, and guided by visual artists Julien Fleurance, who presented the project at our London event, and Amine Oulmakki.



Mariangela Palladino opened the day with a presentation revolving around the relationship between social precariousness, human vulnerability, economic poorness and the concept of harvesting, in response to racism and state violence. The first panel opened with Nina Murray's presentation on the work of the European Network of Statelessness, where she is researcher and policy coordinator, sharing some of the stories and experiences of those men, women and children ENS and its members work with in countries across Europe. As a member of the walking artists network and PASAR research, Maggie O'Neill (York University) talked about her work with women asylum seekers, based on participatory art and walking methods, seeking to better understand, engage with and transform women's lives.

Drawing on her collaborative work with poet Yousif M Qasmiyeh and the Refugee Hosts project, Lyndsey Stonebridge (University of East Anglia), who opened the second panel, discussed about displacement and belonging and how new kinds of poetic memory are being forged in Baddawi and other refugee host communities in the region. Then, Nirmal Puwar (Goldsmith's College) discussed the ways in which the Methods Lab worked with John Berger and Jean Mohr's book, A Seventh Man, for the exhibition 'Migrating Dreams and Nightmares'. Finally, journalist Ismail Einashe talked about his recent trip to the south of Italy, where he interviewed migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, reporting their living in limbo in isolated poor towns.

After a delicious lunch hosted by the Chickpea Sisters cooperative, the third panel started with Parvati Nair's contribution (UNU-GCM, Barcelona; Queen Mary, London), based on a photo essay by the Spanish photojournalist Samuel Aranda, exploring the ways in which photo essays can bring to light the unseen and ignored realities of migrant experience as a politics of bodily resilience in the face of struggle. Through a strict sociological perspective, Jennifer Allsopp (Oxford University) discussed the politics of storytelling in the context of mixed-methods longitudinal research with 60 young migrants and refugees in Europe. On a different stance, Emma Cox (Royal Holloway) analysed Richard Mosse's video installation, Incoming, and its camera as a piece of military-grade thermographic technology linked to the 'refugee crisis' in Europe.



In the last panel, Christine Bacon presented the ice&fire theatre company exploring human rights stories through performance. Since 2006, their Actors for Human Rights project has been collecting and disseminating first-hand accounts of asylum seekers and refugees, people in poverty, undocumented migrants, women in Afghanistan and more living in the UK. The audience at the States of Being workshop could enjoy ice&fire stunning live performance. Then, Kai Fisher brought to a close the panel, talking about the creation of Last Dream (On Earth), a theatre production that tells stories of border crossing between Morocco and Spain, echoing Yuri Gagarin's flight to the Outer Space.

The day concluded with a performance, I have to pass, by Neapolitan artist Ulderico who brought the audience in the courtyard of the Space gallery, where an installation was set. It consisted of an 18 meters fabric showing hundreds of silhouettes of little fishes, some of them "carrying" inscribed pebbles coming from Keele and Naples workshops and empty pebbles to be inscribed in London. The sense of both a poetical continuity and a migrant ecological community was thus produced, also echoed by the artist's words "I move, I live".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://respondingtocrisis.wordpress.com/workshop-3/
 
Description Contemporary crisis of values and 'necropolitics' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Our aim was to share knowledge, skills and experience in the area of forced migration and we heard from academics, arts practitioners, and those who work in the voluntary sector. How can we enable productive collaborations on the issue of forced migration?

Who are the intended audiences of the artistic practices by or about refugees?

How can we create a third space for dialogue about refugees that is not political or personal, but social?

These are just a few of the questions raised by participants at our inaugural workshop at Keele university in October. Interrogating the ideas underpinning the project in critical and productive ways, the contributions from participants will help shape the network and our coming events in Naples and at Royal Holloway in London.We gained valuable context in the form of the historical legacy of colonialism from Roger Bromley, and Neelam Srivastava raised important questions about contemporary and historical practices of commemoration for refugees, showing a clip from Dagmawi Yimer's 2013 film Asmat/Names. Taking us into the mechanics of seeking asylum, Anthony Good and Carolina Albuerne spoke from their research and practice with asylum claimants, exposing the inadequacies of current systems for applying for asylum and raising crucial questions like: how can we get better at facilitating refugees to speak for themselves? What constitutes self-representation? And how can we be better advocates with a sense of our own positioning? Kristin Shirling, who has been working with Good Chance theatre in the Calais 'Jungle', voiced her strong support for the role of the arts in situations of crisis, arguing that when one is dehumanised, a place to 'be a human being' is vitally important. Jerome Phelps's discussion of the spatialisation of power worked across scholarly and practice-based approaches to forced migration by grounding his comments in the campaign against the UK Government's detention estate run by Detention Action.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://respondingtocrisis.wordpress.com/2016/09/08/sign-up-for-our-first-workshop/
 
Description Documenting Refugees Event 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Event :
How can we provide platforms for refugee voices? Are mainstream representations of refugees changing? What responsibilities do journalists and documentary makers have to their subjects?

A screening of critically-acclaimed documentary Another News Story (Dir. Orban Wallace) and exhibition of Where we are Now, a documentary photography project by photographer, Kate Stanworth. The event will be followed by a panel + Q&A with producer Verity Wislocki (Another News Story), photographer Kate Stanworth and forced migration researcher, Ahmad al-Rashid.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.bbk.ac.uk/events/remote_event_view?id=715
 
Description Outreach event Refugee Week UK 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Nottingham
Refugee Week
16-23 June 2018

Refugee Week event in Nottingham at the New Art Exchange, http://www.nae.org.uk,
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://nottinghamrefugeeweek.org/
 
Description Poetic Responses to Contemporary Migration 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact An evening of poetry and film at Keele Hall (which, incidentally, had a brief incarnation as a refugee camp during WWII) forged connections between the arts and the ideas and questions that had arisen during the formal workshop. We heard from poets James Sheard, Saradha Soobrayen and Robert Hampson and the audience were encouraged to participate through 'Pebble Poetry' - an impact activity which engaged the audience by asking active participation in the process and encouraged a response 'written in stone'. Pebbles inscribed with words, phrases and responses from participants will travel from Keele to Naples and to London (our upcoming events in 2017), building a shore to safety and offering a welcome written in stone.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://respondingtocrisis.wordpress.com/2016/09/08/sign-up-for-our-first-workshop/
 
Description Sea-Crossing: The Mediterranean and its 'Others'. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The workshop, Sea-crossing: the Mediterranean and its "others", was purposefully held in Naples in order to analyse the Mediterranean as both a visible site of the current neoliberal ethical-human failure(s), and a crucial space for opportunity, social and political change, cultural challenges. The latter takes often the form of artistic and curatorial practices that articulate critically the experiences of transit, displacement, border-crossings, as well as the sense of belonging, cultural memory and identity.

The event took place outside University setting, at a non-institutional, independent space called "L'Asilo", i.e. "asylum"(http://www.exasilofilangieri.it), an inspiring venue for our event. The Theatre hosted the workshop, while the Armoury was the set for Kate Stanworth's photo exhibition, Where We Are Now, based on her work with migrants around Europe.

Mediterranean migrations were analysed through different theoretical perspectives. Iain Chambers, referring to artistic and music languages as a critical epistemological method, highlighted how maritime crossings invite us to rethink the interleaved histories and cultures of the Mediterranean outside and beyond the existing frames of citizenship and the nation state. Martin Lemberg-Pedersen analysed the evolution of the Mediterranean borderscapes during the 2000s, focusing on how border systems also function as transnational networks of control nodes. Drawing on research carried out as part of the ESRC-funded MEDMIG project, Nando Sigona shows how assumptions concerning 'illegal' and 'genuine' migrants (mis)inform policy responses both on arrival, en route and post-arrival. The first session was brought to a close by Karolina Follis' reflections on international humanitarianism, and its critiques; her research assesses the responses to the European refugee crisis in the UK and in Eastern Europe.

The second session was dedicated to creative practices of archiving and re-elaborating the experience of migration by some curatorial initiatives such as Porto M (https://portommaremediterraneomigrazionimilitarizzazione.wordpress.com) in Lampedusa, presented by one of its founder, artist Giacomo Sferlazzo, animated by a strong independent approach; cultural collective Archive of Migrant Memories (www.archiviomemoriemigranti.net) was presented by one of its members Livia Apa; the migrant-led organisation Migrant Voice (www.migrantvoice.org), based in UK, was introduced by Jason Bergen; activist Tommaso Gandini talked about #Overthefortress (link), a collective action of monitoring and enquiring in and beyond fortress Europe.

Artist Zineb Sedira focused on her works concerning transit, migration, maritime memories, and her postcolonial Euro-African autobiography; and poet Raphael d'Abdon, offered a reading of his poetry Mediterranean Blues. The workshop concluded with the screening of documentary Echoes by Gabriele Cipolla, about refugees' experiences at the in Idomeni camp and Radio No Border; and with Giacomo Sferlazzo's concert, Lampemusa, based on the migrant stories that have crossed Lampedusa's history.

Like in Keele, this event was also characterised by a creative engagement with pebbles; this time through Neapolitan artist Ulderico's installation Border-crossings - a work-in-progress and collective action around an installation set on the Theatre's stage. It was a circle, made with the remains left by the sea, evoking the Mediterranean. A heap of pebbles placed inside the circle; participants inscribed words on the pebbles and then placed them out of the circle. The installation prompted to rethink about naming, border crossing.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://respondingtocrisis.wordpress.com/workshop-2/
 
Description radio broadcast 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I was invited by the BBC Radio Stoke to talk about the engagement event - which was going to be held later in the week - and about the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p047qsb8#play