"The Arts of Integration: Scottish policies of refugee integration and the role of the creative and performing arts."

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Department Name: School of Education

Abstract

In Scotland, integration of asylum seekers and refugees occurs from day one. This is the primary integration policy in Scotland and differs from the policies in the rest of the UK. This policy has been the subject of a number of research studies in the social sciences over the last three years. Findings from these studies have shown the creative and performing arts, and opportunities for self and collective expression, in communities, to be a significant and valued element in the experience and process of integration. No study has yet focused on the distinctive nature of the use of the creative and performing arts in integration, how they operate in different communities, what the methods and organizing principles might be, how different cultures are able to collaborate through the creative and performing arts despite considerable differences in language and culture and in assumed ways of organising performance.
This project investigates the use of the creative and performing arts in the work of community integration for refugees in Scotland. It also proposes to compare the generally supportive policies of integration in Scotland with countries where policies are less favourable or even hostile, including the rest of the United Kingdom and prospectively Australia or Aotearoa New Zealand.
The student will review existing research on the use of the arts in communities for community development and community cohesion (including work of the AHRC Connected Communities theme) especially with regard to multicultural communities. The review will be applied to the context of refugee integration in Scotland by undertaking a study within communities where policies which promote the use of the arts for integration purposes are being implemented. This will involve work during the Refugee Week Scotland Festival as well as with arts programmes co-ordinated by the Scottish Refugee Council (http://www.scottishrefugeecouncil.org.uk/).
The project student will contribute findings to key areas of policy, notably to the New Scots Integration Strategy, launched in 2013 and which will reach its midpoint review towards the end of the project. In addition the project will develop a best practice guide to what works in using the creative and performing arts for promoting integration. The core idea and policy of 'integration' together with the use of the arts will be subject to review and critical study, so that it is not simply an assumed societal good, but is evaluated fully. The project student will work closely within the Scottish Refugee Council, as the project partner, and with researchers at the University of Glasgow's Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNet) (http://www.gla.ac.uk/gramnet/).
A key focus of activity will be Refugee Week Scotland and other International Days of Observance will also provide a focus for observation, description and participation throughout the course of the project and notably in the field work phase. Major outputs will include a best practice guide on what works in arts based integration with refugee communities and local communities, including policy and practice guidelines for arts, communities, social services, creative industries.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title Share My Table / I Hear The Image Moving 
Description Share My Table was a project lasting ten-months, which I undertook in the role of Artist-Researcher, as part of my Practice-baed research. The project involved weekly workshops, additional creative relfective sessions, and culminated in a public performance and exhibition 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact Notable impacts: - The work created, and the processes involved in makng the work, underpin much of findings explored within my thesis - The workshops engaged with no less than 50 people, the majoroty of whom articulated a increase in their confidence to integrate, engage in wider society and pursue volunteering/work opportunities - The performance/exhibition was seen by over 100 people - Share My Table was cited as an example of best practice by Scottish Refugee Council CEO at the AGM in 2018 
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fxi6sabb5D4
 
Description At this stage in my PhD (coming to the end of my second full year) it is not yet fully possible to clearly define what the full impact of my research will be. However, at this time I can report that the knowledge I am gaining through the work being carried out has helped to raise issues that arise from arts practice with, by and for refugees and asylums seekers with the broader cultural community in Scotland. I have attended numerous industry events where I have contributed to discussions, and challenged practitioners, organisations and funders to think about how they approach the work (both artistically and ethically) and am part of a number of ongoing conversations/training schemes/networks which are looking at supporting the professional development of practitioners working in this field, as well as professional artists with lived experience themselves. I have been invited by both the Scottish Refugee Council and Creative Scotland to contribute my expertise in their ongoing strategic thinking around this area of work. I can also report that through the artistic and creative work carried out as part of my practice-led approach the majority of participating individuals have indicated that being involved in the work has had positive impact on their lives. Individuals identified: - increased confidence - improved communication skills - increased sense of belonging and social networks - better understanding of creative practice and cultural landscape of Glasgow As my research is ongoing I will continue to update here at regular intervals.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

 
Description Member of New Scots Strategy Thematic Group: Communities, Culture & Social Connections
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact This is an ongoing working group overseen by the Scottish Government. It has contributed to the development of the New Scots Strategy, Phase One and Phase Two, which seeks to ensure that all those individuals settled in Scotland through the asylum system meaningfully integrate.
URL https://www.gov.scot/publications/new-scots-refugee-integration-strategy-2018-2022/
 
Description Author of 'Creating a Self-Authored Life' blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact GRAMNet aims to bring together researchers and practitioners, NGOs and policy makers working with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland. This blog was intended to share intial reflections from practice-led fieldwork. I was contacted by a number of organisations and individuals, who indicated they reflected upon their own practice in response to my writing.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://gramnet.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/tbc/
 
Description Author of 'The Work of Integration' blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The Postgraudtae Gender Research Network of Scotland aims to provide a platform on which postgraduate students across Scotland can share their research, advertise events, workshops, and conferences as well as learn about calls for papers and funding opportunities. This blog led to my taking part in their annual workshop which sees feminist acadmics exchanging practice and writing. After receiving feedback on my written submission, I went on to write an article which will be published in the Scottish Journal of Performane later in 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://pgrnscotland.wordpress.com/2018/03/07/the-work-of-integration/#more-2192
 
Description Chair and contributor at 'Arts, Creativity & Integration' event (Organisers: Scottish Refugee Council & Tramway) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was a follow up conversation (from one in July) that was more Glasgow orientated. It focused on hearing from individuals participating in projects. It sparked discussions between audience memebrs and panelists, it started relationships between organisations and participants whcih has since led to paryicopation in future projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Chair and contributor at 'Arts, Creativity & Integration' symposium (Organisers: Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Federation of Scottish Theatre, Scottish Refugee Council) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A national conversation to discuss the way in which the arts intersects with the integration of New Scots. My contribution was to chair a panel discussion around best practice, and to contributee my own learned knowledge around running community based projects. Participants left more informed about best practice and models of delivery, it also strengthed relationships between practitioners, organisations and artists.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.scottishtheatre.org/news/arts-creativity-and-integration-refugees-scotland-seminar?destin...
 
Description Contributing expert at Global Migration Conversation, Glasgow, Scotland (part of Migration Leadership Research) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I was asked to contribute to this ongoing dicussion which forms part of a large research project. The outcomes of which are being documentedas part of an ongoing process. Itenabled me to build new relationshis with other artist researchers working in the field.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.soas.ac.uk/lidc-mlt/
 
Description Contributing expert at The Arts of Integration: Scottish policies of refugee integration and the role of the creative and performing arts at REACT FESTIVAL (ACTA, Bristol) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This festival/conference was aimed at bringing toether practitioners and researchers working in the field of 'refugee performance'. I was asked to contirbute my expertise in a conversation focused on ethical engagement. This conference expanded my network with international practitioners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.acta-bristol.com/react-festival-theatre-may-refugees/
 
Description Delivered paper/presentation 'Creative Spaces, Self-Authorship and Mutual Interdependence' at Art, at Materiality & Representation Conference (British Museum, Royal Anthropoligical Institute, SOAS) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This large academic conference was an opportunity to present my work to a wider international audience and to build international relationships.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.therai.org.uk/conferences/art-materiality-and-representation
 
Description Delivered paper/presentation 'Creative Spaces, Self-Authorship and Solidarity' at UNESCO Spring School with University of Glasgow 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The spring school brings together practitioners, acaedemics and experts across a broad range of disciplines focusing on issues of migration. This presentation was intented to share discoveries and questiins emerging out of my reseach in an attempt to tease out an argument that will form a major part of my thesis.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/spring-school-2018-the-arts-of-integrating-registration-42316787651#
 
Description Delivered paper/presentation 'The Arts of Integration: Scottish policies of refugee integration and the role of the creative and performing arts' at University of Glasgow, School of Education Postgraduate Sharings 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A peer led monthly event which sees PGRs present on their ongoing research. My talk intended to raise a conversation around situated ethics within long-term research processes. This talk led to my building a number of relationships with peer researchers who are undertaking research which overlaps with my owneither thematically or in terms of methods used. There is the potenitial of co-written papers which could emerge from these relationships.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Delivered paper/presentation - Re-constructing a new self-portrait: the space for artistic practice within the discourses of integration, at Connecting Communities: Participatory Arts and Social Action Research Conference 2017 (University of Greenwhich) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact An acadmic conference focused on building expertise in participatorty arts and social research methods and processes. The conference aimed to build relationships between practitioners and researchers, and to foster a supportive learning environement amongst scholars. My presentation led to conversations with scholars working in simialr fields, and the exchnage of contact details for potential future work together.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.gre.ac.uk/ach/events/connectingcommunities
 
Description Delivered paper/presentation at 'Creative Spaces and Self-Authorship at Refugees in Literature, Film, Art, and Media - Perspectives on the Past and Present' (WOW, Liverpool University) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This public facing seminar brought together practitioners, academics, journalists and cultural commentators, to discuss and 'trouble' the discourse surrounding the representation of refugees. My contribution was posutively received with the organiser letting me know that many attendees had been provoked by my presentation. I have since bee invited to develop it into a paper for academic publishing.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Facilitated a masterclass entiltled: Disrupting 'The Imperative To┬áSpeak', at Pioneers, Refuge and Possibilities, University of Glasgow Theatre, Film and Television Studies & Centre for Cultural Policy Research Postgraduate Symposium 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I was invited to facilitate a workshop focused on the role of an artist researcher. My aim was to share experiences and to share my growing knowledge on best practice. Students who attended indicated that the session had expanded their critical contexts and would inform their future study.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Panelist at 'Critical Education and Critical Practice' event (CAMINA - CCA) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A public event focusing on the role of art and creative methods in addressing and encouraging dialogue on societal issues (problem-posing), and its instrumental potential in bringing people together to carry out social change. I was asked to contibute on my work as a researcher and artist, and to provoke discussion. Participants and contributors engaged in rigorous discussion at the evnt, and the collective continue to curate lively, challenging events.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://caminaproject.weebly.com/community-workshops-and-events
 
Description Panelist for Working with refugees and asylum seekers through reading and creative writing, University of Edinburgh 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This academic discussion was aimed at postgrad and early stage researchers, as well as practitioners. It aimed to discuss how reading and creative writing could enable those with lived experience of the immmigration sysytem to process their experiences, to expand their creativity and build relationships. My contribution focused on the ethics of engagement and provoked a animated discussion between the audience and the panel about who and how the work could be carried out.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Workshop facilitator of 'Share My Table: An exploration of the work, the practices and the terms of engagement' at UNESCO Spring School, University of Glasgow 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The spring school brings together practitioners, acaedemics and experts across a broad range of disciplines focusing on issues of migration. This workshop was about sharing artitsic processes that emerged out of the research projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/spring-school-2018-the-arts-of-integrating-registration-42316787651