Shedding light on historical stories of displacement and forced migration

During Leicester’s 2018 Journeys Festival international, where the creative talents of exceptional refugee and asylum seeker artists are celebrated, the University of Leicester’s DICE unit is hosting an event entitled ‘Reckoning with Refugeedom.’

For this free public event, Professor Peter Gatrell and Kasia Nowak, from the University of Manchester, will discuss their collaborative three-year Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project “Reckoning with refugeedom: refugee voices in modern history, 1919 to 1975.”

The project, which began in July 2018, explores the testimonies of refugees in different moments and sites of displacement, including pre-1939 and post-1945 Europe, and South Asia between 1947 and 1971. It pays particular attention to how refugees communicated with officials and others in positions of authority, and with what consequences.

Journeys Festival International aims to bring the talents of local, national and international refugee artists to the general public, creating a positive interface with the community. The festival takes place annually in the cities of Leicester, Manchester and Portsmouth.

It explores the refugee experience through a whole range of free arts activities including live music, hands-on artist-led workshops, theatre, performance, film, discussion, exhibitions, storytelling, pop-up events and more.

The event forms part of Leicester’s wider initiative to be recognised as a University of Sanctuary, a place of welcome for refugees and asylum seekers.

It will take place on Tuesday 21 August from 1-2 pm on the Ground Floor Lecture Theatre of the University of Leicester’s School of Media, Communication and Sociology, Bankfield House, 132 New Walk, Leicester LE1 7JA.

Aleks Palanac, from the University of Sanctuary Steering Group, University of Leicester, said: "We are very pleased to welcome Peter Gatrell and Kasia Nowak to the University to talk about their new project. As we move towards becoming a University of Sanctuary, we value this as an opportunity to not only engage in further academic debate on this topic, but also to make space for the human stories of refugees to be shared."

Professor Surinder Sharma, Co-Director of DICE said: “DICE are delighted to host this talk at the University of Leicester as part of Journeys Festival International, in celebration of the positive contribution refugees continue to make locally in our city, and globally. Participants at a recent DICE event with Baroness Sayeeda Warsi told us they wanted more opportunities to discuss these vital contemporary and historic issues.”