Symposium Part 1: Migration and Identity

Date 21 May 2019
Time 13:30–18:00
Location Southwark Room
Type Symposium

Symposium Part 1 – programmed by Umut Erel and Agnes Czajka – brings together a dynamic mix of Open University projects presenting a series of interdisciplinary conversations between the social sciences and the arts.

1:30 pm-2:30 pm: Picturing Climate: Participatory Photography and Narrative Storytelling for Climate Change Education

Agnes Czajka, Dijana Rakovic, Eva Sajovic, Corinne Silva in Conversation

Climate change has led to displacement, livelihood and food insecurities. While educational capacity building has often been top-down and focused on mobile technologies, this project uses creative, art-based methodologies which enable a more collaborative, bottom-up approach to knowledge creation with researchers and grassroots arts and culture organisationsThe presentation will share findings from an AHRC funded research project exploring the use of participatory arts methodologies for climate change education. Part of a larger international project, the presentation discusses our work in Cuba with Samuel Riera at Riera Studio, an independent art studio focussed on the promotion of art produced by vulnerable social groups, including children and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities. 


2:45- 4:15 Migration, Citizenship and Noncitizenism

Kesi Mahendran: There’s an ‘I’ in Unicorn: Citizen Worldviews on Europe and Beyond

Umut Erel: Migration, Citizenship and Creative Participation

Tendayi Bloom: Rethinking Noncitizenship?

Bojana Janković: Art and displaced identities

This panel looks at what citizenship means in this turbulent moment. It looks at how degrees of migration and mobility influences the dreams, myths and worldviews citizens have about the ways the world should be bordered. It poses the question of what we can learn about citizenship if we do not see migrants as outsiders, but as active and creative participants in shaping belonging and participation. Looking through arts practice and engagement with marginalised audiences, it interrogates migration and displaced identities. The panel also considers real-life cases of how different people relate to the state to suggest that a new political movement is emerging, one which calls for recognition of a ‘noncitizen’ relationship as an important and fundamental way in which a person can have a relationship with a State.


4:30 – 5:15 Envisioning Solidarity with Refugees against Hostile Policy

Evgenia Illiadou: Refugees’ Experiences of Violence

Marie Gillespie: Envisioning Solidarity in the Pikpa Refugee Camp, Lesvos

This panel explores refugees’ experiences in Lesvos, which since 2015 has been the epicentre of the refugee crisis. The panel explores refugees’ experiences of violence, through borders and the hostile response of the EU. It also raises questions and shows examples of solidarity through a participatory arts project in Pikpa refugee camp through a book of co-created photos and poems Communities of Solidarity: The Story of Pikpa Refugee Camp, offering radically different representations of refugees to those in mainstream media where they are frequently objectified. It shows how we can be in relation to others.


5:15-6pm Informal Discussion

Convened by Umut Erel and Agnes Czajka, Justice Borders Rights Research Stream, Citizenship and Governance SRA, The Open University