First Unesco Spring School - The Arts of Integrating (9-11 May 2018)

First Unesco Spring School - The Arts of Integrating (9-11 May 2018)

Issued: Fri, 16 Mar 2018 12:44:00 GMT

Spring School Programme


The full programme for the Spring School is now available! This is a free event and tickets are expected to get booked up fast. Only day tickets are available. If you would like to join for more than one day, you will have to book separate tickets for each day. If you would like to come over for a particular session only, please contact the UNESCO Chair secretariat on


The Arts of Integrating: 
Stories of Refugee Hospitality and Agency

Wednesday 9 – Friday 11 May 2018

Kinning Park Complex
43 Cornwall Street, Glasgow, G41 1BA

Pearce Institute
840-860 Govan Road, Glasgow, G51 3UU


For the conference themes, please visit this earlier post: Spring School: The Arts of Integrating - Call for proposals

Register here:





Wednesday 9 May



Jane Bentley - keynote

Practising musical hospitality - an exploration


Charles Forsdick - keynote

Sites of suffering, sites of memory: integrating the stories of slavery


Anyiso - performance

Women Integration Stories


Giovanna Fassetta & Esa Aldegheri - workshop

Learn Arabic with a Palestinian flavour


Glasgow Museums – workshop

Museums and migration: sharing stories through collections


Isabella Corvino - presentation

RestART – integrating refugees through art, cultivating resilience and wellbeing


Dobrochna Futro - presentation

Presentation with an experiential coda: Translanguaging art. Recreating Kristevan thetic space as a space of learning.



Thursday 10 May



Nazmi Al-Masri – keynote

Higher Education under Occupation and Siege: Challenges and Opportunities for Young Palestinian refugees


Zandra Yeaman - keynote

'White Washing' history: Why is it difficult for white people to integrate?


Acta Bristol – film screening/workshop

REACT – (Refugee Engagement And integration through Community Theatre)


Catrin Evans – workshop

Share My Table: Learning by Doing


Ken Gordon and Chris Purnell – workshop

Gibberish as a valid language for communication


Multaka Project Berlin with Salma Jreige and Rose Filippi – workshop

Museum as Meeting Point


Adel Salmanzadeh – Workshop

Project Pensive


Sarah Stewart, Lucy Cathcart Frödén and Helen Kingstone - workshop

Weaving a theoretical warp and a creative weft: a music and poetry workshop


Oudai Tozan - presentation

The Syrian Network in Glasgow


Helene Grøn – presentation

Compromised Belongings: Hospitality and Storytelling in Refugee Youth Theatre


Mona Al Najjar and Dr Nazmi Al-Masri – presentation

Using Mantle of the Expert (MOE)


Gareth Mulvey, Karyotis and Skleparis – presentation

Comparative Perspectives on Refugee Resettlement: The cases of England and Scotland



Friday 11 May



Alison Phipps - keynote

The Arts of Integrating


Rasoul Nejadmehr – keynote

How is the universal right of hospitality possible?


Scottish Detainee Visitors’ Life After Detention group with Ice and Fire’s Actors for Human Rights – performance

Detention Dialogues


Evelyn Arizpe, Julie McAdam, Lavinia Hirsu and Susanne Abou Ghaida - workshop

Looking Closely at Picturebooks: Creating safe and hospitable spaces through word and image


Inverclyde Community Development Trust – workshop

Comics to assist with welcome and integration


Interfaith Scotland - presentation

 The Weekend Club


Catrin Evans – presentation

Creative Spaces, Self-Authorship and Solidarity


Amadu Khan – presentation

The role of the arts in forced migrants' citizenship forming: towards a research agenda






Prof Alison Phipps

University of Glasgow


The Arts of Integrating

It’s not just a science.
They will give you numbers
numbers denied
numbers detained
numbers deported.

But It’s not a science
And this is not an abstract.
Except it is

an abstract.

It’s abstract.

Look at it from this angle.
Turn it over.
See it from above,
from below.
Find the vanishing point
Find the line.
Let the colours
find you.

It’s an art.
Integrate the fragments
make it a whole.


Alison Phipps holds the UNESCO Chair in Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts at the University of Glasgow where she is also Professor of Languages and Intercultural Studies, and Co-Convener of Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNET). She is a member of the Creativity, Culture and Faith group in the School of Education at the University of Glasgow where she teaches refugee studies, languages, religious and spiritual education, anthropology and intercultural education and education for non-violence.

In 2017 she was appointed Adjunct Professor of Hospitality at Auckland University of Technology. In 2016 she was appointed ‘Thinker in Residence’ at the EU Hawke Centre at University of South Australia. She is was the Inaugural Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Waikato, Aotearoa New Zealand in 2013, and is now Adjunct Professor of Tourism. In 2011 she was voted ‘Best College Teacher’ by the student body and received the Universities ‘Teaching Excellence Award’ for a Career Distinguished by Excellence. In 2012 she received an OBE for Services to Education and Intercultural and Interreligious Relations in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. In 2013 she was awarded a grant of £2 Million by the Arts and Humanities Research Council under its Translating Cultures programme, as Principal Investigator to undertake a project entitled Researching Multilingually at the Borders of the Body, Language, Law and the State:

She has twenty years of research experience in using creative and intercultural methodologies, including participant observation in multilingual communities, work across mobilities (international students, modern linguists, tourists, migrant communities, international NGOs) and overseas. She has undertaken work in Palestine, Sudan, Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, Germany, France, USA, Portugal. She has produced and director theatre and performance and worked as creative liturgist with the World Council of Churches from 2008-2011 for the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation. She is regularly advises public, governmental and third sector bodies on migration and language policy. From 1999 - 2004 She was Chair of the International Association for Languages and Intercultural Communication (IALIC). She was a senior policy advisor to the British Council from 2007-2014.

She is author of numerous books and articles and a regular international keynote speaker and broadcaster. She has regular columns in the national Scottish broadsheet press. Her first collection of poetry, Through Wood, was published in 2009. She has published widely in the field of modern languages, tourism and intercultural studies and European anthropology as well as in the field of Higher Education Studies. She co-edits thejournal and book series Tourism and Cultural Change and the book series Languages, Intercultural Communication and Education and is on the editorial board of both Language and Intercultural Communication, and Hospitality and Society. She is presently acting as a Commissioner with the Poverty Truth Commission, Scotland and is a member of the Iona Community.



Jane Bentley



Practising musical hospitality - an exploration

Music has the potential to transcend boundaries - and to allow for multiple voices to be integrated and heard simultaneously. In the shared act of group music making, the ethnomusicologist John Blacking saw that it afforded 'the highest possible amount of individuality, within the highest possible expression of community.' It can create a sense of  identity and belonging - yet where an in-group is created, there is also the possibility of an out-group. How do we keep our boundaries porous and engage with the world on an invitational, rather than exclusive basis? Can musical engagement nurture a sense of belonging among people who struggle with such things? This workshop will be supported by members of 'The Buddy Beat' - a drumming group aimed at fostering social inclusion and mental health - who have been grappling with these ideas for a decade….


Jane is a drummer, facilitator, consultant and trainer; specialising in music in communication, health and wellbeing settings.

 She believes that everyone can make music – piloting musical social innovation projects as diverse as: a drumming group for people experiencing mental health difficulties;  making music with people in prison and their children to encourage family bonding;  investigating the potential for rhythm in aiding language learning, and articulating the potential of music in the lives of people with dementia.

In 2011 she was awarded her PhD based on musical interaction, highlighting the effects and mechanisms of group music making in human wellbeing, and in 2016, she was named a BBC music ‘Unsung Hero’ for her community work.



Prof Charles Forsdick

University of Liverpool

Sites of suffering, sites of memory: integrating the stories of slavery

The paper focuses on a range of sites in the Black Atlantic associated with memories of enslavement and the heritage of the transatlantic slave trade. These will include Elmina, Cape Coast and Gorée Island in West Africa; the Whitney Plantation and Angola Prison in Louisiana; and the Mémorial de l’Abolition de l’Esclavage in Nantes and the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool. First, I will explore the integration of different narratives into heritage practices at these sites, privileging attempt that foreground the voices of enslaved; secondly, I will analyse the palimpsestic nature of a number of these locations, foregrounding examples where memories of slavery are juxtaposed with, and exist intersectionally alongside, other narratives of incarceration and suffering; and finally, I will consider the ways in which the afterlives of slavery are imagined, noting in particular the tensions between narratives that imply continuities between the transatlantic slave trade and ‘modern’ slavery and trafficking, and others that that see the legacies of historic slavery in contemporary racial prejudice and related forms of structural inequality.

The paper draws on research from two recent AHRC-funded projects on ‘“Dark Tourism” in Comparative Perspective: Sites of Suffering, Sites of Memory’ and ‘The Antislavery Knowledge Network: Community-Led Strategies for Creative and Heritage-Based Interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa’.


Charles Forsdick is James Barrow Professor of French at the University of Liverpool. Since 2012 he has been the AHRC Theme Leadership Fellow for 'Translating Cultures'. He has published widely on travel writing, colonial history, postcolonial literature and the cultures of slavery. He is also a specialist on Haiti and the Haitian Revolution, and has written widely about representations of Toussaint Louverture.

His publications include Victor Segalen and the Aesthetics of Diversity (Oxford University Press, 2000), Travel in Twentieth-Century French and Francophone Cultures (Oxford University Press, 2005), Ella Maillart, ‘Oasis interdites’ (Zoé, 2008) and (with Christian Hogsbjerg) Toussaint Louverture: A Black Jacobin in the Age of Revolutions (Pluto, 2017). He has also edited and co-edited a number of volumes, including Francophone Postcolonial Studies: A Critical Introduction (Arnold, 2003), Human Zoos: Science and Spectacle in the Age of Colonial Empire (Liverpool University Press, 2008), Postcolonial Thought in the French-Speaking World (Liverpool University Press, 2009), Transnational French Studies: Postcolonialism and Littérature-monde (Liverpool University Press, 2010), Travel Writing: Critical Concepts in Literary and Cultural Studies (Routledge, 2012), Travel and Ethics: Theory and Practice (Routledge, 2013), and The Black Jacobins Reader (Duke University Press, 2017).

A member of the Academy of Europe, Charles Forsdick was President of the Society for French Studies, 2012-14, and Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of International Slavery, 2010-13. He currently leads an international project on '"Dark Tourism" in Comparative Perspective: Sites of Suffering, Sites of Memory'. Other current collaborative work includes two co-edited volumes on transnational French studies and postcolonial realms of memory, both due to appear with Liverpool University Press. Professor Forsdick co-ordinates, with Paul Gilroy and George McKay, the Reggae Research Network, and is co-investigator on an AHRC-funded project -- conducted in collaboration with the Runnymede Trust, and supported by the Arts Council England -- called 'Common Cause Research: enriching the Arts and Humanities through collaborations between universities and BME community partners'. He is chair of the Editorial Advisory Board at Liverpool University Press, and also edits a series for LUP called 'Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures' and for Anthem Press called 'Anthem Studies in Travel'.




Dr Nazmi Al-Masri

Islamic University of Gaza

Higher Education under Occupation and Siege: Challenges and Opportunities for Young Palestinian refugees 

This presentation is inspired by two facts. Firstly, the Spring School title, The Arts of Integrating: Stories of Refugee Hospitality and Agency and its three themes meet squarely with the experiences of the Palestinian people, especially in Gaza and specifically with the policies, practices and experiences of the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG). Secondly, the date of holding this Spring School in May 2018 in Glasgow - UK, marks the Nakba or "catastrophe", referring to the Israeli systematic ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian families to live as refugees inside and outside of their homeland for 70 years (so far) this May 2018. This Israeli policy is embodied in different forms of practices that have forced and still forcing more than 5 million Palestinians to become refugees and displaced with many stories of stress, agony and pain as well as with real stories (epics) of resilience, steadfastness and resistance expressed multilingually, technologically and in a variety of   artistic and academic forms.

The presentation begins with brief, fact-based account of the main practices of displacing, replacing and forcing Palestinian families to live as hopeless refugees in isolated and disintegrated communities that face a complex of complicated psycho-socio-economic and academic challenges. Then it presents creative policies and practices that promote the opportunities of using multilingualism, technologies and arts to reduce the impacts of these challenges on the local community, particularly youths in Gaza. The focus will be on IUG as a story of success for not only being the and oldest and most reputable university in Gaza but also has been suffering the worst impact of a triangle of challenges: occupation, siege and war (destruction).


Nazmi Al-Masri is an associate professor of TEFL and curriculum development at the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG), Palestine. He obtained his PhD from Manchester University, UK, in 1994. Since then, he has been teaching undergraduate and courses postgraduate on Technology in TEFL, Oral Communication Skills, ELT research methods, and ELT curriculum development studies. Plus working with the British Council and UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) on delivering in-service teacher training courses, he participated in building the first Palestinian English language curriculum and textbooks used in all Palestinian schools, English for Palestine – Level 1-12. At present, he is a co-investigator in several EU-funded projects including the UNESCO Chair: Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts led by Glasgow University.




Rasoul Nejadmehr

Local Council Västra Götaland, Sweden


How is the universal right of hospitality possible?

Today, the human categories of refugee and illegal migrant are a significant and conspicuous part of the social reality in Western democracies. Relegated to the margins of these societies, members of these human categories are often neither eligible for the comprehensive protection of nation states nor in a condition to obtain full access to their human rights. As impoverished migrants and displaced refugees from the Global South, they are living in limbo. They exist trapped between two poles: the hope of admission into wealthy Western societies on the one hand, and the fear of exclusion and deportation on the other. Thus, they are living the life of Homo limbus.

Marked by flight, flux, uncertainty and instability, Homo limbus lives in a perpetual “state of exception”, as Georgio Agamben would say, and signifies an assembly of racialised bodies whose lives are not “grievable”, since grievability is a feature of lives that matter, as Judith Butler would contend. Such a state of being reveals not only a world burdened by heritages of colonialism, slavery and racism, but also the limits of nation states as the defining framework for addressing global problems of migration. It brings to the fore a need for transnational democracy and international approaches to human rights and their application. In other words, we need shifts in mindsets, approaches and paradigms, which entails critically re-examining oppressive historical perspectives and narrow national frameworks in order to be able to adequately address global flows of refugees and migrants.

In my talk, I am going to focus on how global developments and the refugee crisis in Europe have necessitated a rethinking of nationalism, territoriality, border-crossings and citizenship. However, European populists and nationalists propagate a return to nationalism and birth right. This confrontation has made migration the defining challenge of European communities. Thus, it is not simply the admission or deportation of a few refugees that is at stake, but the basic values of freedom, justice and respect for others, as well as the rule of law, human rights and democracy. At present, liberal democracies are experiencing a crisis whose outcome is uncertain. As Gramsci once said: “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear” (1971:276). Given this definition of interregnum, although refugees experience the state of Homo limbus ahead of “normal” people, perhaps its implications affect us all.

The conceptual tools that I suggest for handling this interregnum are as follows: 1) Kant’s notion of the “universal right of hospitality” (1996), which he sees as a cornerstone for global peace and an unalienable right of any human being cohabiting the globe with others; 2) Arendt’s notion of refugees being “the vanguard of their peoples” (1994), by which she means that refugees experience the historical futility of a national territory and citizenship ahead of its own citizens. Thus, they do not need to be assimilated into these identities, rather it is about “the right to have rights,” including the right to participate in political communities and act as a zoon politikon (political animal); and 3) Agamben’s (2000) notion that “the figure of refugee,” rather than a “normal” citizen, should the starting point of political theories, to move away from the idea that birth in the territory of a state guarantees a person citizenship of that state.

To employ these tools is to move away from methodological nationalism, which conflates “societies with nation-state societies, and sees states and their governments as the cornerstone of social-scientific analysis” (Beck 2003: 453). The shift in orientation here should be toward transnationalism, interculturalism and humanity as a whole.

When it comes to art projects and interventions, I see the same methodological nationalism at work in them. They are mostly designed to normalise or integrate refugees into nation states. Instead, they should be designed to empower refugees, enable them to participate in communities and allow them to become political agencies in global politics. In other words, it is important to contribute to transnational public spheres, where refugees have a voice of their own and are able to govern themselves.



Rasoul Nejadmehr came as a political refugee to Sweden 1990. He is an independent researcher based in Gothenburg, Sweden. His fields of research are cultural and educational foundations and policies. In these fields, he has published books and essays in Persian, Swedish and English, among others Education, Science and Truth (Routledge, 2009). He is ccurrently leading The Research Center for Intercultural Dialogue and Research (



Zandra Yeaman

Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER)


'White Washing' history: Why is it difficult for white people to integrate?

An ongoing concern for the UN Committee for the Elimitation of Racial Discrimination (CERD) is that Scottish Schools and history bookd do not include the history of African, Caribbean and Asian people in this country; people who often have a direct link with Scotland through empire, slavery, colonialism and migration.

To address this, Zandra co-ordinates Black History Month in Scotland to provide everyone with an opportunity to learn, understand and honour the role that Black/minority ethnic men, women and children have played in shaping both Glasgow and Scotland's history.

However, one month a year is not enough, Scotland still lacks a coherent way of telling these stories; a meaningful and engaging platform ghrough which education, curiosity and reflection on our past can be satisfies. Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER) is working on an initiative for Scotland to have its own Museum of Empire, Slavery, Colonialism and Migration.



Zandra Yeamans is the Communities and Campaigns officer at the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER), a Scottish anti-racism organisation that focusses on helping to eliminate racial discrimination and harassment and promote racial justice.







Women integration Stories



Shulamite Ezechi – Anyiso



Yunming Lin

Aimee Ottroh


Wanda Ali  


Through drama, four women’s integration experiences will be shared. The drama will underline the issues that the women have faced on their integration journey but more importantly, it will show how through self-determination and self-belief of efficacy they have been able to take advantage of the support provided to them in their communities and in the wider Scottish society to navigate the integration boat. The drama will emphasise the role of community groups such as women groups, youth groups and also the role of people’s self-determination, self-belief and their ability to reflect on their experience as determinant factors to succeed in integration.

Why a drama performance combined with reflection? Our objective in sharing our experiences of integration is to get people to learn from it and also to inspire other women, other people who are or have been in the same position to learn from their own experiences. But, according to Gibbs, for an experience to be a learning experience, it might be combine with reflection. Indeed, according to Gibbs “‘It is not sufficient simply to have an experience in order to learn. Without reflecting upon this experience it may quickly be forgotten, or its learning potential lost. It is from the feelings and thoughts emerging from this reflection that generalisations or concepts can be generated. And it is generalisations that allow new situations to be tackled effectively.’ (Gibbs 1988)

In using a reflective approach to sharing experiences our objective is to inspire the audience to:

•        Share integration related stories / events / experience

•        Express their feelings and thoughts related to their integration

•        Evaluate their experiences

•        Be resilient

•        Engage in self development

•        Learn from each other

•        Take decision that might positively transform their lives on the basis of what they have learnt

•        Open up to other perspectives

•        Participate in their communities and the wider Scottish society



Gibbs, G. Rust, C. Jenkins, A. Jaques, D. 1994, Developing Students’ Transferable Skills. Oxford Centre for Staff Development.

Kolb, D,A (2015). Experiential Learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. 2nd ed. New Jersey: Pearson education LTD. p1-333.




Scottish Detainee Visitors’ Life After Detention group with Ice and Fire’s Actors for Human Rights

Detention Dialogues



Shirley Gillan – coordinator Scottish Detainee Visitors

Steven Ritchie – director of Actors for Human Rights Scotland




Ice and Fire’s Actors for Human Rights Outreach Project is dedicated to exploring human rights concerns through the creation and performance of documentary scripts. 

Scottish Detainee Visitors provides support for people affected by immigration detention and advocates for an end to detention.  This includes a Life After Detention group, which supports people with experience of detention and provides a platform for their voices to be heard.

Together we are creating Detention Dialogues: a piece of documentary theatre that gives voice to migrants’ stories through the creation of verbatim scripts.

We will present an extract from Detention Dialogues, featuring testimonies of two individuals, and show a film made by our LAD group, using only their mobile phones and voices.  Making this simple but powerful film supported the group’s resilience, as well as creating a visual and public testimony to their experience.

A panel discussion will explore how the creation of a safe space can enable people who have experienced detention - and who live in constant fear of being detained again - to find their voice, and build a life, in community, in Scotland.






acta Bristol

REACT – (Refugee Engagement And integration through Community Theatre)



Neil Beddow – acta artistic director

Ingrid Jones – acta associate director

Dr Aqeel Abdulla – acta drama worker and associate professor at University of Exeter





REACT is a two year European project exploring the use and effectiveness of community theatre as a tool for refugee integration in host communities in UK, Netherlands and Sicily. The initiative has been conceived, and is coordinated by Acta, with Rotterdams Wijktheater (Netherlands), Centro Per Lo Sviluppo Creativo  “Danilo Dolci” (CSC), Palermo, Sicily. REACT is one of only twelve projects funded by EACEA Creative Europe Refugee Integration Projects call (2016), with additional funding from Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

REACT set out to discover and relate stories and life experiences from refugee communities, with refugees as performers/story tellers; trying out and gathering different approaches, case studies and ‘methodologies’ with the possibility of replication in communities across Europe; the overall aim being to promote positive aspects new cultural influences and energy for host countries; creating a climate of welcome and appreciation.

Using specially made documentary film, narrative and practical elements, the Presentation will reflect on the REACT project, including the different models and approaches adopted by partners, the range of performances created by refugees in UK, Netherlands and Sicily, and the four day REACT festival (26-29th March 2018).  This Festival will include performances and presentations from UK-based companies working with refugees, including Good Chance, Glasgow Citizens, Phosphorus Theatre, PAN Intercultural Arts, CAN Manchester, and additional input from Swedish, Italian and Dutch practitioners, exploring key issues of ownership, ethics, artistic approaches, and setting the REACT project within the wider context of UK and European practice in refugee theatre.

The Presentation will examine the challenges, strategies and successes of the project, including responses from the three REACT partners from Bristol, Rotterdam and Palermo, their learning throughout the co-owned creative process, plus additional information and evaluations gathered from refugees, UK and European practitioners, companies and audience members from the host community in Bristol.

Film-maker Benjie Croce has followed the project over the last two years, and the documentary film will reflect the various stages and challenges faced by the project, the positive outcomes for refugees and host communities, and explore how the concept of ‘integration’ worked within the reality of the project.

acta is a Bristol-based participatory theatre which is committed to creating locally-based work with the power to resonate at national and international levels. We work with a range of communities who experience work created by each other, thus promoting empathy and understanding between cultures.




Adel Salmanzadeh

Project Pensive



Adel (Del) Salmanzadeh - Artist, Educator and Arts Based Researcher, Senior Advisor (Refugee and Migrant) with the Ministry of Education in Auckland, New Zealand, and completing his doctorate in education.


As part of my work and research with schools and their cultural competency training I use creative methods and projects to engage them with social cultural issues that impact on their refugee background student’s lives. One of my past efforts involved engaging with teachers and educational professional about why New Zealand should increase it’s in take of refugees, through creating two works of art based on two of my poems (both attached to this proposal). This was about increasing schools and teacher’s awareness of the plight of refugees as well a small contribution to years of campaign by many people to increase our intake. This have now becoming a reality as New Zealand is now considering to increase its intake with another 500 people per year.

Project Pensive is an arts based refugee educational initiative that has been created as a result of my engagement with many refugee background students over many years through my work and research. Many of them have expressed that they value personalised feedback on their school work and achievements; their teachers’ recognition and knowledge of their religion, culture and language; their teachers understanding and empathy for their back ground, family circumstances and history; and most of all they would like words of encouragement and support to inspire them to reach their goals and aspirations.

Project Pensive provides teachers and school staff with an opportunity to hand write a feedback; thoughts and words of wisdom on a personalised greeting cards given to the student on a special occasion like a graduation; religious holyday or cultural celebration; or any other suitable event. The teacher also provides the student with a blank card for the student only if they want to provide a feedback and thoughts about the teacher. The student can write both in English and in their mother language. Otherwise, the student can use their card to write to another staff they want to acknowledge, or a friend or a family member.




Catrin Evans

Share My Table: The Art of Doing



Catrin Evans - PHD Student, University of Glasgow & Artistic Director of A Moment's Peace Theatre Company

Additional presenters TBC


Share My Table was a performance and visual arts project produced by the Scottish Refugee Council in Tramway, that took place in 2017. Utilising the visual and performance artwork created by the project members, this interactive and creative workshop will introduce some of the working practices developed throughout the Share My Table project, as a way of discovering how arts practice can give way to engaged conversation and dialogue around issues such as media representation, the pressure to tell one’s story and how we might express our emotional responses to both personal and political issues and ideas without relying upon words. 

The workshop will culminate with a conversation about the terms of engagement when working in the field of refugee arts practice. Challenging makers, producers, academics and campaigners to consider not just what they might want to say with their work, but how and why.

For Catrin’s biography, please see the section on presentations.




Evelyn Arizpe, Julie McAdam, Lavinia Hirsu and Susanne Abou Ghaida

Looking Closely at Picturebooks: Creating safe and hospitable spaces through word and image



Evelyn Arizpe

Julie McAdam

Lavinia Hirsu

Susanne Abou Ghaida


This workshop will explore the content of ‘Picturebook mediator’ workshops which are currently being used by a range of individuals and institutions working with displaced children in Egypt and Mexico. Both countries house transient populations who need to find ways to build their lives in contexts of flux, where they are often excluded from state provision of shelter and education. Based on work funded by the AHRC and the Scottish Funding Council’s Global Challenges Research Fund and the Scottish Government’s Social Innovation Fund, researchers from the University of Glasgow have been able to collaborate with NGOs, educators and community action groups to create and discuss arts-based initiatives which draw on the resources of writers, artists, storytellers and musicians. The picturebook mediator workshops were created in response to the regional refugee and resilience plans and draw on the potential of picturebooks as metaphorical safe and hospitable spaces for children, adults, families and community groups to respond to the narratives thereby fostering dialogue orientated towards social cohesion, imagination, self- expression and problem solving .

The workshop content integrates academic work on visual literacy with the notion that carefully selected children’s literature used alongside creative response strategies ‘…  develop (s) wisdom and understanding of the human condition…’ (Arizpe, Farrell and McAdam, 2013, p. 245). Workshop participants are invited to think and practically work through creative response activities centred on the metaphor of a book acting as a mirror, window and door. By paying close attention to the language of visual design used to create meaning, participants visually deconstruct the texts, discussing the ways in which they mirror realities and offer opportunities for critique, reflection and imaging the future.

Participants are offered opportunities to apply their knowledge of visual design through collaboratively documenting their own responses to a range of picturebooks using video and still image cameras. This process allows them to pay close attention to the content of the picturebooks and allows them to consider the ethical dimensions of gaze through a camera lens. These co-authoring experiences cement relationships and provide opportunities for new stories to be told.

During this workshop we will continue the theme of looking closely, providing opportunities to creatively respond and examine some of the picturebooks selected by our collaborators in Egypt and Mexico. We will share stories from our colleagues and listen to them explain their reasons for selecting a vast array of complex and bilingual texts that attend to a wide range of issues such as migration, silence and emotion. During the workshop, we will invite you to capture ethical responses to books that metaphorically create a safe space for you. Using our phones, we can share our responses using our twitter hashtag with our colleagues across the globe. 


Dr Evelyn Arizpe is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Education, University of Glasgow. She has taught, lectured and published widely in the field of children’s literature and literacy for over 25 years, developing her expertise by bridging children’s literature and literacy (including visual literacy) research. Her most recent projects focus on migration and xenophobia and the creation of safe spaces through children’s picturebooks and other arts-based practices, in collaboration with government and NGOs in Scotland, Mexico and Egypt through grants from the Arts and Humanities Research Council Global Challenges Research Fund (AHRC-GCRF), the European Social Fund, and the Scottish Funding Council.

Susanne Abou Ghaida graduated with an MA in Sociology from the American University of Beirut (2002) and then complete an MA in Children’s Literature from Roehampton University (2014). She has worked in a variety of fields including Arabic children’s literature and reading promotion in Egypt, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Glasgow where she is preparing a doctoral thesis on the Arabic adolescent novel. She is also involved in several research projects on Arabic picturebooks, including an AHRC-funded project that explores the potential of these books as 'safe spaces' for displaced, migrant or refugee children and young people in Egypt and Mexico.

Dr. Lavinia Hirsu is a Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Glasgow. With a background in rhetoric and composition, she is currently developing interdisciplinary research that draws upon literacy studies and digital literacies, theories of cultural diversity and social justice, and applied linguistics, with a particular interest in translanguaging and translingualism. She has completed an evaluation for the Sharing Lives, Sharing Languages project developed and implemented by the Scottish Refugee Council and is part of two international networks that work towards social integration and resilience in contexts of migration, displacement, and environmental crises.




Giovanna Fassetta & Esa Aldegheri

Learn Arabic with a Palestinian flavour



Giovanna Fassetta – Principal Investigator of theAHRCGCRF sponsored Online Palestinian Arabic (OPAC) project being developed in collaboration between the University of Glasgow and the Islamic University of Gaza Arabic Centre.

Esa Aldegheri – Research associate on the same project


This workshop will start with start with a taster Arabic lesson, using materials developed for the OPAC course. Participants will then have a chance to ask questions about the OPAC project, issues surrounding technology & remote learning, and the taster lesson itself. The second half of the workshop will be a guided lesson through preparing za’atar, a typical Palestinian condiment. This will be in Arabic and English and will also explore the affective dimensions of the food being prepared. Participants will end the session enjoying the food they have made while listening to Palestinian poetry and music connected to the ingredients used.




Glasgow Museums

Museums and migration: sharing stories through collections



Patricia Allan - Curator of World Cultures, Glasgow Museums

Chris Jamieson - Open Museum Manager, Glasgow Museums

Helen Watkins - Research Manager (History), Glasgow Museums

Shruti Narayanswamy – Research Intern - Migration Mapping Project, Glasgow Museums

Sali Dirar – Gallery Assistant, Glasgow Museums

Mia Gubbay – Assistant Curator (Migration Project), Glasgow Museums


This workshop will explore ideas of inclusion and welcoming practices within a museum context.

Many of us at Glasgow Museums are currently exploring migration-related themes through work with community partners. We are developing a number of strategies to make our museums more welcoming, our collection more representative and our way of working more inclusive. We are keen to share our experiences and our current thinking but would also value the opportunity to learn from other delegates’ ideas and practice.

In this working session we invite participation, discussion and object-inspired mutual learning in the form of a series of table conversations. Proposed conversation themes include:

•        Exploring hidden migration stories within Glasgow Museums’ collection

•        New collecting and commissioning with community curators

•        Democratising museums in a postcolonial world

•        Multilingual approaches to museum storytelling

•        Mapping distributed migration-related collections across the city




Inverclyde Community Development Trust

Comics to assist with welcome and integration


Paul Bristow - Magic Torch

Mhairi Armstrong - Magic Torch

Mostafa - Project 22

Zaid - Project 22

Ansam - Project 22

Tasneem - Project 22

Moaz - Project 22

Mohammed - Project 22

Osama - Project 22

Kirsty Murray - Police Scotland

Erin Power - Your Voice

Aileen Wilson - Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership

Ilona Richards - Inverclyde Community Development Trust


During the workshop we will share how we have used art to create a practical resource to assist with welcome and integration, in the form of a comic, which can help new refugee families coming to Inverclyde, and improve services for those already here.

This will feature input from the children on what they would tell other young refugees coming here, such as, "You will be safe", "You will have power", and "The food is 55% good". And a comic strip illustrating how the police here can help them, including with hate crime, developed with Police Scotland.

We would also like to share an individual story from the comic, by a teenage boy, called "From Syria to Scotland", about why and how he came to be here, which we hope will build community understanding of what the children have been through.

As part of the session, comic makers Magic Torch will help workshop participants tell and illustrate their own stories about journeys and about home. We hope they will be inspired by and add to what the children in our project have created.

The Trust is very grateful for the support of our project partners Magic Torch, Your Voice, Police Scotland and Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership, and for our funding from the players of the People's Postcode Lottery Trust. 




Ken Gordon and Chris Purnell

Gibberish as a valid language for communication



Ken Gordon

Chris Purnell


Improvised comedy as a format is valid for refugee groups because it is collaborative by design. No single actor has responsibility for the progression of an activity. There is no wrong, no failure. The exercises support the development of social skills like listening, imaginative play and collaboration. In fact, the origins of modern theatre improvisation lie in this form of application with immigrant populations in the 1930’s (Spolin 1963).

Starting with exercises to establish the space as somewhere where failure is both safe and celebrated as well as behaviour guidelines, we will progress to language free exercises starting with physicality and sounds designed to build group mind and collaboration. The workshop will move participants quickly through games and exercises that lead to the development and habituation of pro-social skills (listening, imaginative play, constructive problem solving, collaboration).

Some of the exercises will use gibberish and nonsense talk as a means of multilingual communication and if the language diversity of the group is large enough, native language can also be used in context provide enough of the group do not understand it. These alternatives to language imitate real life because they result in organic, unscripted conversations that flows naturally.

One outcome that might emerge is a common group language. All this will take place in an environment where it is absolutely safe to fail.

And there will be laughter. Lots of laughter.


Ken Gordon, improviser for 5 years, in various groups “Laurie’s Abandoned Pants, A to Z, Improv Ninjas, Edinburgh Fringe and Glasgow Comedy Festival shows.

Chris Purnell, trained and performing as an improviser for four years in Edinburgh.

Both Chris and Ken recently delivered workshops to Inclusion Scotland in Edinburgh focused on team and confidence building.

Personal projects include Refugee Voices Scotland and Comedy for Life.




Multaka Project Berlin with Salma Jreige and Rose Filippi

Museum as Meeting Point



Salma Jreige – Projektleitung “Multaka: Treffpunkt Museum - Geflüchtete als Guides in Berliner Museen”, Museum für Islamische Kunst im Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz

Rose Filippi – Development worker at Maryhill Integration Network and a 2017 Winston Churchill Fellow researching Arts and Integration in Berlin and Brussels.


Background of the Project:

Refugees as museum Guides. In December 2015 the Museum of Islamic Art, in cooperation with the Ancient Near East Museum, Bode Museum and the German Historical Museum started a project to train refugees and immigrants with Syrian or Iraqi backgrounds to be museum guides. Their role was to develop and lead tours for refugees, and most importantly, deliver these tours in the refugees’ mother tongue. By using both objects displayed in the Museums and the stories behind these objects, Multaka aims to build a cultural bridge between the German culture and the culture of

the Iraqi and Syrian new comers, thus facilitating the integration process by showing similarities in the history of these countries and by acknowledging each one’s own cultural heritage. Multaka means meeting point in Arabic, which indicates that an important goal of the projects is to create safe meeting spaces, where new comers could reflect their own heritage and parts of the German history. The tours are conducted in a dialogical form, where history of the objects, and the guides own perspective play the most important role.

Using museum objects, this workshop will encourage discussion and dialogue relating to the history of the objects, their place in the museum currently, and the kinds of questions and debates that they inspire during the tours. The workshop will operate as a miniature Multaka tour, offering participants the chance to be introduced to museum objects, respond to them and discuss with other participants any ideas, issues and relevant culture experiences that they wish to bring up.

The workshop will demonstrate how the tours function as a ‘meeting point’ in Berlin’s museums, as a site of connection and integration between Germany history and current social affairs.

Additional Info:

The Multaka team consists of 23 Guides with a wide variety of professional backgrounds, therefore of perspectives. this program follows a strong participative approach: guides can select their museum, their objects and their stories – allowing to translate objects from the past for the present of the participants. Multaka was developed with newcomers and they are co-directing it.

The Project has reached over 8,500 visitors in the last two years. The Guides of Multaka are also being trained to conduct tours in both the English and German language. This aims not only to reach a wider audience, whose mother tongue is not necessarily Arabic, but also to help improve and train the German language capacity for new comers by offering them tours in a simplified form of language. In addition to almost 1,000 Museum tours, Multaka has organized 22 Workshops, where new comers and locals were brought together in order to communicate while producing artefacts. The project attracted a lot of media attention and was awarded the title of Excellence as a Landmark of the Cultural category in Germany: Land of Ideas.




Sarah Stewart, Lucy Cathcart Frödén and Helen Kingstone

Weaving a theoretical warp and a creative weft: a music and poetry workshop



Sarah Stewart

Lucy Cathcart Frödén

Helen Kingstone


Interspersing academic theory with a creative workshop, this session explores integration through artistic exploration of theoretical concepts. Drawing on voices as diverse as literary scholars Mikhail Bakhtin and Elaine Scarry, Greek poet Sappho, dialogue theorist Oliver Escobar, Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and feminist and queer scholar Sara Ahmed, this session will share theories on narrative, fragmentation and polyphony as lenses through which to consider the integration process (3 x 10 minutes). The session will also lead participants in creative reflection on the themes and questions raised, allowing a tapestry of co-created meaning to emerge.

Instead of dividing the session into theoretical and creative halves, our panel session will weave these together. We will offer several short theoretical interventions drawn from our research work, interspersed with demonstrations of that theory in action in the form of creative reflections and mini-workshops. The session will therefore put into practice the concept of ‘social fabric’ - theoretical concepts will provide a warp to the artistic weft. The creative activities will be:

  • A creative writing / reading activity exploring narrative therapy and negotiation of meaning (20 minutes). In break-out groups led by a presenter, we will read a short poem, going around the group reading aloud a line each, which enables us to hear the complete poem together, practise pronunciation and confirm understanding. Then we would talk through it line by line, investigating the words used and the images and memories they evoke among group members.

  • A blackout poetry activity exploring discursive filtering (20 minutes). With short newspaper and magazine articles and felt pens, this activity will explore how we can change meaning by obscuring some contexts to reveal others. Participants will work individually, and at the end we will have some time to share.

  • A song writing activity exploring polyphony (20 minutes). Drawing on Sappho’s ‘fragments’ and using fragmentation as a tool for approaching complex and potentially contradictory narratives, this activity will seek to explore the potential of communal music-making through the co-creation of a short song or soundscape.

Lucy Cathcart Frödén's PhD explores the place collaborative music making might have in refugee integration processes. Sarah Stewart's PhD work on theatre about asylum seekers in Australia and the UK has drawn out themes of shelter and exposure and the proactive weaving of social fabric. Helen Kingstone’s research examines approaches to narratives, and she will be drawing on her three years’ experience of leading bibliotherapy reading groups with refugees and asylum seekers. Our combined expertise will inform the workshops which aim to explore how theoretical and practical approaches intersect. The end product will combine the output of the three parts.

Please note that no previous experience of creative writing or singing is required – all welcome.






Najma Abukar

Najma Abukar in coversation with Tawona Sitholé


In this session our Artist in Residence will sit down with photographic artist Najma Abukar to discuss her latest work featured as part of Glasgow International 2018. Over the course of 45 minutes Najma will offer us an insight into her practice, her future plans and the journey she been on so far.


Najma Abukar is a photographer based in Glasgow. Documenting cultural and gender identities, the African diaspora and immigrant experiences, her client’s include; Africa

in Motion, CCA, Project X, Glasgow Open Dance School and the Scottish Refugee Council. Najma has exhibited at BaAd, Transmission and recently showcased new work at Glasgow International 2018 as part of Yon Afro Collective’s (Re)imagining Self and Raising Consciousness of Existence through Alternative Space and (Re)imagined Place, a mixed media group exhibition, which was housed at Govanhill Baths. 


*Yon Afro is a Black led collective which exists to centre the voices of women of colour in Scotland.





Catrin Evans

Creative Spaces, Self-Authorship and Solidarity


As a theatre artist my research is both practice-led and anthropological. Reflecting on my experiences in the role of Artist-Researcher during my PHD this paper presents a case for how collaborative learning and creative expression can challenge us to look beyond normative, and often de-personalised and de-politicised understandings of integration. Focusing instead on the subjugated narratives associated with the emotional labour involved in making a home, a key aspect of which involves navigating a system and a society that welcomes refugees and those seeking asylum with one hand, and pushes away with another.

Informed by bell hooks’ work on sites of dialogue, radical openness and pedagogies of resistance this paper asks how might the creative spaces that we activate exercise resistance within the hegemonic state that is the UK’s Hostile Environment and Fortress Europe? What opportunities do performative and creative moments offer for getting closer to a desire for a self-authored life? Finally, can we look to arts spaces and practices to challenge the call for integration and hospitality based on ‘affective identification’, and instead move towards a more active and radical form of solidarity that is based on a shared acknowledgment of mutual interdependence?  


Catrin is currently undertaking a AHRC-funded PHD at the University of Glasgow, in partnership with the Scottish Refugee Council and GRAMNet. The title of the research is “The Arts of Integration: Scottish policies of refugee integration and the role of the creative and performing arts.”  The focus of this research is interrogating the relationship between arts practice and integration discourses, exploring whether artistic engagement creates a space for individuals to re-define themselves within new environments and critically, whether arts-research can broaden understandings of, as well as interrupt current conceptions of integration. Her research approach is rooted in collaborative practice and participant-centred knowledge generation.

She enters her PHD with twelve years of experience working as a theatre-maker, facilitator and activist, specialising in participatory theatre practtioner. Her process centres around people, collaboration and co-creation. She is the Artistic Director of A Moment’s Peace Theatre Company, whose reputation for delivering innovative participatory arts projects across Scotland continues to grow:, and have a history of creating work focused on refugee and asylum issues. She is committed to developing the relationship between arts and activism in order to resist structural and cultural inequalities.




Dobrochna Futro

Presentation with an experiential coda: Translanguaging art. Recreating Kristevan thetic space as a space of learning.


In my presentation I will discuss the concept of translanguaging art (art that combines languages with other artistic means of expression) and consider the spaces of learning it enables by focusing on selected works by MaƂgorzata Dawidek ( and

I will discuss Dawidek’s ‘Circle’, a performance in which she juxtaposes the formal language of identity questionnaires and the drawing that reflects dimensions of her own body. I will examine her ‘Body Texts’ – pristine, minimalistic photographs of her body covered with carefully scripted text in English (and sporadically Polish) proofread by the professional interpreter in advance. Finally I will talk about the video work based on the performative drawing ‘A Wheel of Emotions’. In this work the artist collected and carefully drew with dark pastel on the white wall, names of emotions taken from several world languages, firstly in English, then, in languages unknown to the artist. I will discuss the artwork and analyse the transformative process enabled by artistic, embodied inquiry into multilingualism recorded in it. I will describe how the translanguaging space of learning is created in Dawidek’s work and discuss its relationship to the Kristevan thetic space. Subsequently, I will contemplate what such a space could afford to a language learner not only in the context of linguistic/semiotic expression, but integration work and intercultural learning.  Finally, I will invite the UNESCO Spring School participants to take part in the process and each of us will create her/his own translingual wheel of emotions in collaboration and with input from other participants.


Dobrochna Futro is a PhD candidate at the University of Glasgow where she explores multilingual practices of contemporary artists and their potential for language pedagogy. Email:




Gareth Mulvey, Georgios Karyotis and Dimitris Skleparis

Comparative Perspectives on Refugee Resettlement: The cases of England and Scotland


Refugee integration in the UK is no longer the preserve of Westminster but is effectively devolved to the sub-national parliaments across the UK. The Scottish Government has taken both a more universalist and a more inclusive approach to refugee integration than the UK Government, particularly for those in the asylum system. However, resettled refugees are a fairly new phenomenon in Scotland, and Scotland has now taken a disproportionate number of Syrian refugees across 31 of Scotland’s 32 Local Authority areas. Little is yet known about differences in experiences of resettlement across Local Authority areas and there is no existing research comparing resettlement experiences in Scotland and England. This paper seeks to fill the latter gap by highlighting differences in the experiences of 500 Syrian refugees between the ages of 18 and 32 in Scotland and England.


Georgios Karyotis is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Glasgow and Principal Investigator of the GCRF-funded Project: ‘Building Futures: Aspirations of Syrian Youth Refugees and Host Population Responses in Lebanon, Greece and the UK’. Email:

Gareth Mulvey is a Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Glasgow, and a member of the ‘Building Futures’ research team. He has mostly worked around issues of migration, migration policy and the impact of policy on diverse migrant communities. Email:

Dimitris Skleparis is a Research Associate working on the ‘Building Futures’ research project. His research interests include: refugee studies, migrant political behaviour, immigration enforcement and politically and religiously motivated radicalisation. Email:




Helen Grøn

Compromised Belongings: Hospitality and Storytelling in Refugee Youth Theatre


Can theatre become a space for hospitality, integration and agency? Through this process, can theatrical storytelling reshape senses and spaces of home and belonging?

Central to the questions of hospitality and integration are questions of home and belonging: How we are in the worlds and communities we inhabit is informed by whether or not we feel at home, whether or not we are able to feel like we belong.

These notions are particularly challenged in the polarised times and divisive political climate of Brexit, Donald Trump's presidency, the so-called refugee crisis and forced migration, combined an ever higher number of people living outside the countries they were born. Indeed, in Jean Améry’s words, it becomes increasingly difficult to imagine “how one would still be able to form the concept of home at all”.

To this comes that the process of integration is often conceived and spoken about as a responsibility belonging entirely to the person entering a new country or community, and not a process of adaptation and possibility, where both parties can be affected and changed by reimagining the spaces of belonging between them.

Anthropologist Michael Jackson suggests an understanding of home and belonging as “a lived relationship, a tension” of embodied experiences. The term “compromised belongings” thus encompasses the embodied tensions of self and identity as well as these compromises and complications involved in integrating and belonging anew in exilic experiences.

This paper examines theatre as a space for hospitality, where embodied experiences of compromised belonging can be reimagined. This exploration relies on two key ideas: Firstly, it is exactly in the presence and embodiment of people on stage and the coming in community as audiences that theatre tells stories. Secondly, the notion of hospitality and integration can be seen as being mirrored in theatrical storytelling: The giving, receiving and sharing of stories in theatrical space relies on both giver and receiver being changed in the process.

Starting in March, I will lead theatre workshops based on these explorations with the Women’s Group at the YSCA (Youth Community Support Agency). The women in the group all come from multicultural or refugee backgrounds, and the workshops focus on the giving and receiving of stories, questions of hospitality, agency and processes of integration as well as whether or not these processes have led to a sense of belonging and feeling at home in the communities they inhabit.


Helene Grøn is a PhD candidate in Theatre Studies at the University of Glasgow and Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMnet). Prior to embarking on her PhD Helene co-founded a theatre company, Leylines, bringing to the stage stories of home, homelessness and being caught between languages and cultures. Helene also works as librettist, poet and playwright. Most recently she wrote a libretto for Scottish Opera’s Connect company called Little Black Lies, which premiered in April.




Isabella Corvino

RestART – integrating refugees through art, cultivating resilience and wellbeing


The growing number of journalistic inquiries, statistic studies as well as ethnographic studies on forced migration have been a precious source of information for government, institutions and legislators to raise consciousness about this complex issue. Migration is perceived as a shocking phenomenon, always related to war, escapes and landing but what happened when refugees begin with the integration process?  How can they overcome traumas and start feeling at home? What about integration and empowerment?

In common basic principles for immigration integration policy in the EU (CBP), the Council stressed that successful integration was in the common interest of the EU. It recommended actions such as inter-cultural dialogue and education about immigrant cultures to enhance interaction between immigrants and EU citizens. The European Commission constantly suggested actions increasing immigrants’ cultural participation and contacts between migrants and host society through cultural activities. Arts can give voice to migrants as a therapeutic tool being a driver for social cohesion for all the residents, particularly in disadvantaged urban areas; a win-win solution.

The impact of cultural actions can bring change through co-creation and co-production. Culture can be the common language able to support the development of skills, recovering from trauma and personal empowerment. Cultural actions involving migrants are an act of recognition and a real opportunity to participate the country of destination’s life providing unique opportunities to bring together refugees, migrants and host populations.

Artistic expression can help migrants to rework and keep their culture alive. War in some country has been not only a military action but a systematic destruction of cultural and personal identity. Saving songs, traditions, giving life to theatrical pieces is a very important way to cure the cut roots and prepare a bridge for the next part of migrants’ life.

“As a psychiatrist I feel that traditional mental health activities have only a limited role in these circumstances. By contrast the Arts might help to restore a sense of meaning, of joy and humor, of pleasure and achievement in joint activities and finding that we all share a common humanity which helps to combat isolation and alienation” (Littlewood, Lipsedge 1997).

The most vulnerable groups as minors and exploited women really need to find some indirect but still deep and meaningful language to communicate their experience, overcome traumas and build a new self. The collaborations with the host community is the best way to avoid emargination and recreate potentially conflictive environment.

Analyzing case studies and best practice could be a strategic action to collect valuable information and rework it for a policy advice action.


Isabella Corvino PhD in Sociology, University of Bologna, adjunct professor at University of La Tuscia. Since 2006 researcher specialized in Human Mobility, International Development, welfare policy analysis and gender studies.




Mona Al Najjar and Dr Nazmi Al-Masri

Using Mantle of the Expert (MOE)


"I imagine , I create then I learn" is the logo of my initiative and story of success in teaching English based on Mantle of the Expert(MOE) for the Palestinian refugees in UNRWA schools in Gaza .Since I always believe in Benjamin Franklin's quote : "Tell me and I forget ,teach me and I remember ,involve me and I learn", I decided to always involve my seventh graders students in all the activities inside my classes in creative and artistic ways that increase their awareness of their cultures and enhance their intercultural competence. As a revolutionary dramatic inquiry-approach invented by Dorothy Heathcote (1980s),MOE “gives students responsibility within the fiction. Stories are created and students have a real connection to their learning.” (Tim Taylor,2017 )

In MOE learners are passionate , problem solvers and creative thinkers. MOE enables the students to inquire and search in order to invent their own worlds and concepts .It engages them to take the role of the expert and reconstructs their cognition , beliefs and critical thinking through increasing their eagerness to discover and adapt to new contexts .In MOE students can come in and out of the fiction according to the tasks they are doing .It has four main components ; responsible team presented by the students as experts , client the person who assigns the experts to do some tasks, commission and mission itself. In this dramatic approach , various arts can be applied to promote the learners' involvement like stable pictures ,silent scenes thoughts in mind , storytelling, painting , singing and writing . Using all these genres of arts enriches my students' schema of art and reinforces their learning as along life process. 

What motivates me to adapt and adopt this approach is its positive impact on the learners' self-awareness, metal health and wellbeing .Using MOE in teaching English for Palestine, seventh graders , does not only result in a better recognition of language skills but also encourages learners to be autonomous and develop fearless-spirit. Practically, I got inspired by MOE after joining "Drama in a Learning Context" diploma in Jordan Summer School then I voluntarily trained a group of teachers of English in a comprehensive course entitled "Using the updated strategies of drama and MOE in TEFL" in Gaza. My presentation focuses on these two professional experiences where the teachers who attended the training were required to prepare lessons based on MOE and fill questionnaires to measure the effectiveness of MOE in teaching English in addition to checklists to observe the development and progress of their learners.

Being nominated to represent my country in the Palestinian Award for inspirational initiatives motivated me to apply MOE on more lessons and grades in English for Palestine Series. Further it sharpened my interest in sharing this professional experience in using this effective approach in a context of conflict where refugees represent about 70% of the Palestinians living in Gaza.


Mona Jamil Al Najjar has 6 years experience in the teaching field at UNRWA schools. She trained Gazan refugees in "summer programs" in  institutions like AMIDEAST, Save the Children and Mercy Corps. She has completed various courses in communication and leadership, TOT, coral skills and teaching refugees at UNRWA schools in Ramallah, West Bank with cooperation of the British Council. She volunteers in trainings for drama to teachers and students. She won a competition for play writing in hands up project with a group of my students, as well as the Inspirational Palestinian initiative which promotes creativity and uniqueness in teaching for a well-being for Palestinian Refugees. She now works as a coordinator for the International School A ward (ISA)

For Nazmi Al Masri's biography, please see the section on keynotes.




Amadu Khan

The role of the arts in forced migrants' citizenship forming: towards a research agenda


This paper draws from my professional practice as a refugee-background storytelling and poetry performer, and from a qualitative study among Scotland-based asylum seekers and refugees. My practice is a reflective critique of nearly two decades of storytelling and poetry performance in local and international events across the UK and abroad. The qualitative data is part of a PhD on asylum seekers' citizenship formations and their perceptions of the role played by the UK press in these processes. Both my personal experience and the interviews will be used to demonstrate that the arts have possibilities for forced migrants' orientations to citizenship processes of belonging, identity and integration. It will be argued that arts events provide the creative spaces and agency for forced migrants' narrating, constructions and contestations of forms of belonging, identity and integration. The paper will therefore develop an understanding of how forced migrants who are in the process of resettling in the UK employ art and cultural production as social locations and 'dislocation' for citizenship-forming, 'voice', self-representations and cultural repositories for the younger generation within families. The relevance of these for evoking empathy, support and understanding of asylum as a humanitarian issue and good community relations will also be considered. The paper will also proffer some areas that are in need of further research to improve our understanding of the potential of the arts for forced migrants' citizenship-forming.


Amadu Khan is an independent researcher and consultant on forced migration, international development, the news media and social policy. Amadu Khan is a human rights journalist and storyteller/poetry-performer artist. He has organised performances, readings and workshops in Museums, schools, community, local and international festivals, as well as delivered academic seminars, tutorials and papers on the refugee condition. These include the Refugee Week Poetry Reading, the Radical Book Fair, the Stanza Poetry Festival, the Edinburgh Internal Festival and the Scottish Borders Community Orchestra Celebration 2004. He has also published his refugee poetry in reputable arts journals. Amadu was a founding memer, Co-directed and co-produced a play entitled ‘Asylum Monologues’ for IKAZE- a drama group by and for asylum Seekers and refugees. The group was commission by various organisations including City of Edinburgh Council, Scottish Refugee Council, Amnesty Internation, Oxfam-Scotland to tour schools, communities and festivals across Scotland to raise awareness of the plight of refugees and counter public and media hostility.




Oudai Tozan

The Syrian Network in Glasgow


Oudai Tozan, UNESCO RILA Ambassador and Co-founder of the Syrian Network in Glasgow will speak about the importance of refugees supporting refugees. He will talk about his motivation to create the Network and the way the Network operates. How do you think refugees can help themselves and what stops them from doing so? Find out in this presentation.




Interfaith Glasgow

The Weekend Club


“As asylum seekers with three children, we don’t have many opportunities to go out and meet people.  The Weekend Club offers a great chance to see people, especially since we have limited financial resources.  It’s also great to learn new things about Scottish heritage and to eat a lovely variety of food.  And to have something I can do with my whole family is important to me.  My children have made new friends and so have I.” Weekend Club participant

Presenter: Lynnda Wardle (Project Manager, Weekend Club) and Weekend Club volunteers

Interfaith Glasgow is a local charity promoting understanding and cooperation between people of diverse faith and belief traditions in Glasgow.

Welcoming new people to our city is a concern shared by many across Glasgow’s faith communities, and the Weekend Club was conceived to give people from different faith backgrounds a chance to work cooperatively to improve the lives of New Scots. Our team of volunteers from diverse faith traditions help plan and deliver the fun, free, weekend activities, trips and socials for our participants to make friends, get to know Glasgow better, enjoy a good meal and improve their English.

The Weekend Club has gone from strength to strength and, since May 2017, we have hosted over 400 refugees, asylum seekers, and new migrants from more than 20 different countries at our events.

This presentation will share our work and provide space for questions and discussion.




For questions, comments, or information, please contact the UNESCO Chair Secretariat at


Link to registration page:

Spring School Evaluation Form