UNESCO RILA Spring School 2019


1-3 MAY 2019

From Wednesday 1 May until Friday 3 May, Heart of Scotstoun Community Centre was the platform for our second UNESCO Rila Spring School. This international knowledge exchange festival brought together artists, academics, practitioners, journalists, New and Old Scots, to share creative and/or linguistic practices and thinking. 6 key notes, 19 workshops, 12 presentations and 7 performances, all centered around the Arts of Integrating. Spring School 2019 full programme FINAL.



Stepping up

Falling back

Labouring and resting.


In her exquisite one woman performance Wind Resistance, the artist Karine Polwart uses these words as a refrain for understanding the spaces of refuge and sanctuary created by the work of migrating geese. She sees their flight paths as a ‘gale-bitten struggle to sustain cooperation’ within the ‘Laws of Motion’, the title of her most recent album.

People move, birds fly and change their song to adapt to new environments, objects circulate and there is constant resourceful traffic in ideas. We aim to capture this resourcefulness in our second Spring School.

The Second UNESCO RILA spring school will focus on the arts of ‘labouring and resting.’ What is the work of integrating, who does it and how? How do new forms emerge and how are the old, precious forms of culture, art and language shared? How do languages shift and adapt, how do people learn new languages and translanguage? What does it mean to make culture, food, art in a new place, or with new people as part of integration?

The Spring School falls on May Day. It is the day when, internationally, workers’ rights are celebrated and also a day of observing the changing of the seasons. Many traditions have been created around seasonal motion and also around the observation of workers’ rights and their labour. This should include the often unseen labour of provisioning for families, communities. The opposite of work is rest: holiday times, day trips, family celebrations. We are keen to consider forms of rest and recovery from the labour of integration.

What does it mean to integrate through work and to integrate through rest? How do tourism and cultural institutes offer spaces for rest as well as for the work of learning? How do people labour, resist and rest in captivity? What happens to the caged birds’ songs, to the languages and emotions of those who are forced to be non-migratory against their will? How can the digital world support cooperation and integration in labour and at rest?

The Spring School will showcase the ways in which individuals, communities, societies and institutions have accommodated and hosted each other and reflect on the ways in which the arts and academic research offer insights into the processes of welcome and integration. Interpreted in the broadest sense, these themes range from how we engage with our neighbours to topics such as slavery and imperialism and their connection to the present. In particular, the Spring School will focus on artistic, multilingual and educational dimensions.

The main themes for this year are:

1) Labouring and Resting in integrational settings

a. Work, places and patterns of work and provision of care
b. Holidays, tourism, family setting and cultural institutions
c. Digital facilitation of integration through work and rest

2) Creating shared culture

a. What is culture?
b. Festivals, celebrating culture, breaking bread together
c. Language learning, teaching and translanguaging, language evolution

3) Caged birds’ songs

a. Labouring, resisting and resting in captivity
b. Languages and emotions of the forced non-migratory
c. After detention


Curious to see what the event was like? Take a look at these three impression videos to get a feel for the flavour of the event: 

UNESCO RILA Spring School 2019 Day 1 (1 May 2019) from Unesco RILA on Vimeo.

UNESCO RILA Spring School 2019 Day 2 (2 May 2019) from Unesco RILA on Vimeo.

UNESCO RILA Spring School 2019 Day 3 (3 May 2019) from Unesco RILA on Vimeo.


Amal Azzudin - Social Change through the Arts
Veronica Crosbie & Julie Daniel - Tales from a University of Sanctuary
Ross White - Addressing the Mental Health Needs od Asylum Seekers and Refugees - watch the video here: https://youtu.be/ouK7eZeTGqo

Dr. Angelika Mietzner & Prof. Anne Storch - Beaches of Despair, Beaches of Hope: Language, Tourism, Integration? - watch the video here: https://youtu.be/IOA3fCIMyD4
Dr Beverly Costa - Around the Well
Prof. Alison Phipps - The Rest of Labour - watch the video here: https://youtu.be/lwug6lmaY84


Ben White
Catrin Evans (Catrin's keynote listener report)
Agnieszka Uflewska


Agnieszka Uflewska - How to use Ketso in group discussions
Catherine Orbach, Martha Orbach & Mary Raphaely
- Plants, Printmaking, Migratio and Making a New Home
Catrin Evans - The Spaces in Between: Moving Through the Emotional and Intellectual Labour of Integration
Deborah May - Tomorrow’s Kitchen
Effie Samara - The role of the arts in forced migrants' citizenship forming: towards a research agenda
Emily-Marie Pacheco - Letters to Cyprus 
Giovanna Fassetta & Esa Aldegheri - “Where Should the Birds Fly?” An Arabic Language Lesson for Beginners
Helene Grøn & The YCSA Women’s Group - We are All Amelias 
Hyab Yohannes - Understanding Post-liberation Eritrea
I.D. Campbell - Threshold: A Creative Exploration of Rites of Passage for Gaining Refugee Status
Jamie Spurway - Interpreting Culture: Improving Cross-Cultural Communication 
Judith Thomas - Integrating Through Language Learning and Tached Relationships
Kahina Le Louvier - Experiences of the Asylum System in the North-East of England 
Ken Gordon & Chriss Purnell - An Ephemeral Cultural Convergence
Lavinia Hirsu - From “Tool” to “River”: A Serious Play with Metaphors of Language
Lucy Cathcart Frödén - Songs Pass Through Bars 
Maria Dasli - UNESCO Guidelines on Intercultural Education
Mia Gubbay, Chris Jamieson & Sarah Leal - Working Out Where to Stand
Oudai Tozan - Things You Don’t Know About Syria
Pinar Aksu & Remzije Sherifi - Title to follow soon
Rabia Nasimi & Mastoureh Fathi - Art, Translanguage and Gendered Learnings in Pedagogical Setting
Sarah Cox - Bringing the Outside in
Scottish Refugee Council Artist and UNESCO Chair Affiliate Artists - A discussion on Artist Networks
Shirley Gillan & Steven Ritchie - Caged Birds’ Songs
SprayPeace - Art as a Universal Language
The Welcome Hut - watch the video Live from the welcome: Break-out & Feedback here: https://youtu.be/uawdnQgFnb4
Valentina Bonizzi - The Stool