UNESCO RILA Spring School 2024: The Arts of Integrating (WORD SPRINGS)

UNESCO RILA Spring School 2024: The Arts of Integrating (WORD SPRINGS)

Social Sciences Hub
Date: Tuesday 14 May 2024 - Thursday 23 May 2024
Time: 09:00 - 17:00
Venue: Clarice Pears building
Category: Conferences, Exhibitions, Public lectures, Academic events, Student events, Alumni events
Speaker: More than 50 speakers from all over the world
Website: RILASpring24.eventbrite.co.uk


What happens when words fail?
Where do new words lead us?
How do words give us a spring in our step?
What are the words for words and the words for spring in many languages?
How can words be a springboard?
How do words describe spring as now?
Where is the refuge in words?
Who makes refuge in words?
What do spaces and silences offer?
Where are the word springs, the sources of newness?
How can words spring us into action?
When do words well up?
How can words work miracles?

The UNESCO Chair in Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts is working on five key ideas. One of those is “enhancing and replicating models for refugee integration by intentional multilingual learning with refugees and with new host communities, in order to foster creativity, diversity of cultural expressions and intercultural capabilities”.

This year, the UNESCO RILA Spring School links to that idea and focuses on words and languages, on communication and on discourse, on repertoires and on silence. We have curated sessions that explore, showcase, celebrate, experiment, teach and share integration practices and research that have language at their heart.

Together we will find out more about intercultural communication, about language hierarchies, about discourse and changing meanings of words. We will learn about new words and language learning, about language loss, about language revival and about multilingual integration processes. We will hear the word ‘welcome’ in many languages, but we will also explore what it means when words fail us. We will learn about the power of poetry, of words that comfort, of the solace of silence. We welcome the languages of music, of dance, of theatre.

At this year’s Spring School, we will examine our words and work with all of our languages and repertoires, or ways of finding meaning and making meaning together. We share with you sessions that bring in linguistic creativity and diversity to inform or learn from multilateral integration and intercultural initiatives.


  • Intercultural capabilities, cultural expressions and linguistic diversity
  • Language hierarchies, discourse, meaning making and meaning changing
  • Language learning, language loss and language revival
  • Silence, words of comfort and finding words
  • Intercultural communication through the arts



14-17 May 2024 Language Taster Sessions:

  • Ukrainian with Olga
  • Arabic with Esa
  • Romanian with Daniela
  • Turkish with Erdem
  • Tigrinya with Hyab
  • Ndau with Tawona
  • Tunisian Arabic with Bochra
  • Azerbaijani with Samira
  • Dance with Phyllis
  • Yoruba with Beatrice
    and more to be confirmed!

Monday 20 May 2024


  • Speakers: Prof Alison Phipps & the University of Glasgow Gardens
  • Speakers: Dr Giovanna Fassetta & Dr Maria Grazia Imperiale
  • Poet: Erdem Avşar


  • Daniel Calvert - “Use what you’ve got”: a participatory workshop on overcoming language hierarchies
  • Yen-Ting Lin, Hsiao-Chang Wang, Cheng-Hui Liu & Tawona Ganyamatopé Dzapasi Sitholé - Fortune Spring and the Book of Hope for Travellers
  • Tesfalem Yemane - ‘S/he was like my sister/brother’: Seeing asylum from below
  • Leri Price - Ghosts in the home: how absence is felt in home-making practices
  • Art slot with Migrant Voice - Exhibition of zine posters by Migrant Voice / Izaskun Elorza, Evelyn Arizpe & Tom Bartlett - The Landscapes of Home / Nic Dickson, Nughmana Mirza & Lisa Bradley - Public Information comics to diversify justice: South Asian women and domestic abuse / Rim Irscheid - Keep it in, Belong, Assimilate – Palestinian heritage and mixed identities in Germany
  • Gillebrìde Mac 'IlleMhaoil / Gilbert MacMillan - Gaelic and the Refugee experience
  • Tawona Ganyamatopé Dzapasi Sitholé - Mazwi
  • Marzanna Antoniak - Reading and writing stories of Migration
  • Deniz Ortaçtepe Hart & Kathryn DePietro - Culturally sustaining pedagogies through the use of migrant-themed children’s books
  • Brice Catherin - It could have been worse
  • Carolyn Kelly & Rachel Morley - Vigil for peace

Tuesday 21 May 2024


  • Speakers: Prof Prue Holmes & Dalya Saleh
  • Speakers: Dr Ala Sirriyeh
  • Poet: Heidy M. Perez-Cordero


  • Bonnie Slade & Nic Dickson - Using Readers’ Theatre to examine professional language hierarchies and meaning making for immigrant professionals in Canada
  • Rachel Salzano - The (he)Art of a Scribe
  • Erdem Avşar, Delal Şeker, Eylem Ejder, Gian Maria Cervo, Miray Çakıroğlu, Nejdet Babat & Ümit Ünal - Here to Make a Mess: Writers Reading Their Own Works
  • Erin Turner & Rachel Backshall - Prompt – What do Spaces and silences offer?
  • Francisco Llinas Casas & Erick Moreno Superlano - Representation and silence
  • Cheng-Hui Liu, Hsiao-Chang Wang & Han Wu - Experience the Spring of Words through Sensation Stimuli
  • Kate Ferguson - Language brokering at home and abroad
  • Giovanna Fassetta, Sahar Alshobaki & Maria Grazia Imperiale - Welcoming Languages. Including a language spoken by children and families from refugee backgrounds in Scottish education.

Wednesday 22 May 2024


  • Speakers: Selina Hales & members of Refuweegee
  • Speakers: Dr Lavinia Hirsu, Dr Dobrochna Futro, Karen Faulds & Fhiona Mackay
  • Poet: Adrianne Kalfopoulou


  • Nerea Bello Sagarzazu & Sarah Stewart - Crafting a circle of care through the gift of words
  • Azadeh Fatehrad, Davide Natalini & Gianluca Palombo - Words of Integration: Exploring Language, Heritage, and Empowerment in Nature-Based Community Workshops
  • Yutong (Paula) Bao - Bilingualism and identity of Korean ethnicity in Yanbian Prefecture, China: A linguistic landscape analysis
  • Michael Quinn - “The land owns us”: Learning the global history of the natural world through Indigenous Creation Stories
  • Vicky Inam Mohieddeen & members of the Kurdish Women Community Group: Gesya Salih, Shohila Razaei, Aween, Fahimeh, Ghamgin, Nihait, Kalthoom, Nareen & Falak - Eternal Connection - Translating the Unknown
  • James Rann, Katherine Mackinnon, Olena Taukchi, Olga Lukianova & Vlada Rozenko - In Our Own Words: Fostering Creativity and Connection through Translation
  • Frank O’Hagan - Exploring the concept of walls
  • Margaret Elphinstone - Margaret Elphinstone/Lost People

Thursday 23 May 2024


  • Speakers: Livia Vitalino
  • Speakers: Prof Alison Phipps
  • Poet: Herberth Cea


  • Joanne Tippett, Matt Rabagliati, Fraser How, Jamie Farrington & Tawona Ganyamatopé Dzapasi Sitholé - Playing the RoundView: translating sustainability learning into action
  • Pinar Aksu - Language of the Law
  • Yamam Salman - Multilingual Expressions: Bridging Cultures through Art
  • Adrianne Kalfopoulou - THE FELT SPACES, Communicating with Refugee Communities Across Language Barriers
  • Hyab Yohannes - From ‘open wound’ to ‘scar’
  • Argyro Kanaki & Susana Carvajal - University Modern Foreign Language Teachers in Scotland: Exploring Living Experiences and Beliefs about Multilingualism, Integration Matters and Language Teaching and Learning
  • Esa Aldegheri & Aila Spathopoulou - Across and against borders: shifting hierarchies of language, migration and travel
  • Chrissie Gillies & Nadine Malcolm - Fàilte dhan chèilidh (Welcome to the Cèilidh)
  • Jane Wilkinson, Yuliia Vasylieva & Christine Penman - ‘Talking culture(s)’: conversational reflections on hospitality, integration, and co-creating ‘cultural presentations’
  • Marzanna Antoniak - Effective communication when there is a language barrier
  • Anton Floyd - Depositions: Anton Floyd. A multi-disciplinary presentation of my poetry collection Depositions (Doire Press, 2022)
  • Edugie Robertson & Tawona Ganyamatopé Dzapasi Sitholé - Articulating Potentiality and Dynamic Creativity – Dreaming our Life into Being
  • Solo Way Choir - Songs of Ukraine

After the Spring School, you are all warmly invited to the Seeds of Thought open stage at the Centre of Contemporary Arts (CCA) in Glasgow, at 7:30pm. Entrance is free and unticketed. There will be space to share thoughts and creative outputs from the Spring School there. If you would like to share something, please contact Tawona Sitholé to reserve a spot: tawona.sithole@glasgow.ac.uk

For more information about previous iterations of this event, please visit: 


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