Theatre & Visual Arts
Prof. Dawn Chatty
Refugee Studies Center
University of Oxford
Dr. Khachatur Gasparyan
Chair, Medical Psychology Department, M. Heratsi Medical University, Yerevan, Armenia
International Masters Artist Educator Programme
ArtEZ Institute of the Arts, the Netherlands
Prof. David Napier
Professor of Medical Anthropology and Director of
Science, Medecine and Society Network, UCL
MA War Studies, King's College London
Prof. Michael Stewart
Anthropology Department, UCL.
Founder Open Cities Doc Fest, Vice-Dean Enterprise, Faculty of Social and Historical Studies
Ice and Fire
Verbatim Theatre, London
Applied Theatre; Wellbeing and Support Manager at Afghan Association Paiwand, London
Musician and Composer with Fargespill
Dr. Ruth Mandel
Department of Anthropology and Vice-Dean International
Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences
Prof. Evthymios Papataxiarchis
Department of Anthropology and History
University of the Aegean, Greece
Maria Pisani, PhD
Department of Youth and Community Studies,
University of Malta
UCL Creative Entrepreneur in Residence
Author and Journalist
Storyteller and Author
Wales and London
visual artist, educator
Producer/Director, Terrestrial Journeys
Dr. Susan Pattie
Senior Research Fellow
Department of Anthropology, UCL
Singer and Teacher with Fargespill
Dr. Bruce White
Organization for Cultural and Identity Development
Organizations and NGOs
Ice and Fire
Organization for Cultural and Identity Development
Conflict Resolution and Social Cohesion
Mike Ayvazian, actor director and therapist, has studied theatre arts in Lebanon and around the world, including clown, mime and commedia dell'arte. He has also studied and worked in expressive arts therapy and social change and is currently completing a training in psychodrama with an emphasis on the therapeutic spiral model. Mike has been working with populations who come from underprivileged and minority backgrounds for the past 30 years, including poor neighborhoods, refugees and the LGBTQI community. In 2015, Mike and an artist from Syria worked with the NGO Search For Common Grounds, creating a drawing project as part of the “Better Together” project. Taking place in two areas in Lebanon, the aim of the project is the integration and development of normal communication between Syrian and Lebanese youth. Teaching theatre arts in schools, training youths, teachers and social workers in the use of expressive arts therapy in Lebanon and Armenia, Mike also teaches acting and art direction in two Lebanese universities.
Christine Bacon is Artistic Director of ice&fire, the only theatre company which places the human rights issues of the day at the core of its work. Before joining ice&fire, Christine was an actor and activist in Australia and then came to the UK to complete an MSc in Forced Migration at the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University. At ice&fire, she founded Actors for Human Rights, a national network made up of over 700 professional actors that tours rehearsed readings of testimony-based plays such as Asylum Monologues (chronicling the experience of three individuals going through the UK's asylum process) across the UK, with the aim of inspiring audiences to take personal action. Directly inspired by this work, a German Actors for Human Rights is now in operation (mentored by Christine), with over 200 German actors and musicians involved, touring their own version of Asylum Monologues. She has written over a dozen testimony plays for ice&fire, as well as On the Record (Arcola 2011, with Noah Birksted-Breen) and The Island Nation (scheduled for production in 2016). She is currently developing a musical with songwriter Seiriol Davies about long-term unemployment in the UK. She is Artist-in-Resident at Room to Heal, a therapeutic charity for asylum seekers.
Caroline Brothers is an author who has worked for many years as a reporter in Europe and Latin America, most recently with the International Herald Tribuneand the New York Times. In 2006 she began writing about migration issues in Europe, from the Canary Islands to the land and sea border with Turkey, and travelled half way to India on a deportation flight with shipwrecked Punjabi migrants. She has also tracked developments in policing and asylum law and has reported several times from Calais over the years since Sangatte's closure. Her critically acclaimed first novel, Hinterland (Bloomsbury), went into its second edition this year, and grew out of her encounters with migrant children, particularly Afghan minors, alone on the roads of Europe. She has a history PhD from UCL and is about to publish her second novel.
Dawn Chatty is Emeritus University Professor in Anthropology and Forced Migration and former Director of the Refugee Studies Centre, Department of International Development, University of Oxford, UK. Her research interests include coping strategies and resilience of refugee youth, tribes and tribalism, mobile pastoralism and conservation, gender and development, health, illness and culture. Her most recent books include: Dispossession and Displacement in the Modern Middle East, Cambridge University Press, 2010; Dispossession and Forced Migration in the Middle East and North Africa (eds. With Bill Finlayson), Oxford University Press, 2010. She is currently researching Syrian refugee perceptions and aspirations in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan with a grant from the British Academy.
Kate Scarlett Duffyhas worked with Afghan Association Paiwand since 2012, initially as a volunteer and then managing the Youth Project and directing London's 1st Afghan International Film Festival. In her current role as Wellbeing and Support Manager she co-runs Paiwand's supported housing project for 14 unaccompanied minor young men aged 16-19. She provides all pastoral care and also runs workshops on wellbeing, including sexual health, conflict resolution and mental wellbeing. Her background is in Applied Theatre and performance, and has used theatre, art and comedy with different hard to reach groups including refugees, prisoners and young people at risk of joining gangs. She is also currently a part-time Masters student at SOAS, in Migration and Diaspora Studies, and 'Dear Home Office' will be the focus of her dissertation in 2017.
Helen East was born in Sri Lanka and grew up on stories in Norway, Nigeria, U.K, Iceland, Italy, and India. She began telling tales professionally in 1979 as ‘outreach street and housing estate storyteller’ for Brixton libraries, also working with elderly groups in Hackney. Soon after she co-founded the influential group 'Common Lore Storytellers’, a starting point for many tellers from different traditions and from 1988-92 was Director of the National Folktale Centre, working with ‘mother tongue storytellers’ to collect, translate and publish folktales, including “The Singing Sack,” an international bestseller.
Helen also pioneered intergenerational storywork combining oral history and personal story with traditional folklore to help bring together communities, encourage sense of belonging, and define local ‘sense of place’. Projects include Surrey’s Asian artists ‘Yatra’ exhibition and ‘Trodden Path’ multi media performances, ‘Sensory Detour’ with South London refugees and the HLF commended Community Initiative ‘After Offa –remapping the Welsh/English Border through stories’, involving 800 people of all ages.
Helen has always continued “simply tellingstories,’ wound in and out with music, song and riddles. She works with everyone, (hospital isolation wards to family forest walks) and is in demand world wide as a teacher as well as performer, frequently backed by the British Council. Partnered by the Hakaya project she worked with local and refugee groups in Jordan in 2014, and ran an extensive community storytellers training programme in 2015. This year she has been in South Sudan for a British Council/Unesco project on stories for peace, justice and reconciliation. Helen is also an award winning author.
Dr. Khachatur Gasparyan is M. Heratsi Yerevan State Medical University Chair, Medical Psychology department, Chief Psychologist, Intra Mental Health Centre, and Advisor, Minister of Defense, Republic of Armenia. In 1995, Dr. Gasparyan was a Visiting Fellow at the Refugee Studies Program, University of Oxford, and received his PhD in 2005 at M. Lomonosov University, Moscow. Postdoctoral work followed at Columbia University – NYSPI, New York, in Clinical Child Psychiatric Epidemiology. Since 2000 he has been a director of the Mental Health Care Centre (funded by the British charity CAFOD for 5 years) where his research focuses on developing a model for training in culturally appropriate mental health work. In a second research project he conducts a situational analysis on the mental health care system, with a focus on persons affected by conflicts. Currently he is also a principal investigator researching “Transgenerational transmission of the Armenian Genocide trauma”, funded by the Committee of Science of the Ministry of Education and Science. Dr. Gasparyan has extensive experience working with soldiers, their families and displaced refugees from the Nagorno Karabkh conflict (late 1980s, early 1990s), with survivors of the 1988 earthquake in Armenia, and currently with refugees fleeing conflict in Syria who are settling in Armenia.
Ole Hamre is a Norwegian musician and composer living in Bergen, Norway. He has composed music for film and television as well as music played on the horns of 22 steamboats in the harbor of Bergen, and is also well known for his work with transforming speech into music.
From 2006 until 2010 Ole was the head of the Norways largest art festival, the Bergen International festivals outdoor program. Ole is also constantly working on his video and sound sampling project - The Folkofon (The Humanizer). As a musician he has performed with a big variety of Norwegian and Scandinavian artists as well as international names like David Bowie’s long time collaborater Mick Ronson and Cuban saxophone legend Paquito De Rivera.
JoJo Hynes is a socially engaged artist educator from Ireland working with issues of political and social relevance. She is currently working with schools in London addressing refugee narratives through visual practice.
John Johnston originates from Belfast in Northern Ireland. From September 2016 he will lead a new International Masters Artist Educator (IMAE) programme at ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in the Netherlands. John has many years experience of working with and within communities emerging from conflict and has developed a unique pedagogical force that draws on art-based learning in contested spaces to challenge the underlying perceptions of what he calls ‘corrupt difference’ that underpin the conditions for violent conflict. He has applied this concept and practice in the Middle East, North and sub-Saharan Africa, the Balkans, Aboriginal Australia and his home country of Northern Ireland.
John states that ‘his origins taught him much in regard to how identity is corrupted to create division and conflict between communities.’ He recognizes the street as public battle-ground where discreet forces struggle to capture the hearts and minds of people. Therefore he has continuously drawn on the concept of the public spectacle and street art as a place to position his practice. ‘I posit street art as a form of critical public pedagogy that redefines public space for political purposes. The public mural is an incredibly loaded object, particularly in divided societies where the mural is crucial as a means of reclaiming and redefining identities. Artists must realize the power that they hold when they make work through this medium in the public arena. While I do not believe that we can teach a way out of violence and mistrust, I do believe that we can learn our way out. This can only be achieved by an enlivened sense of our world and the application of imagination. In short a new type of aesthetic is needed that places learning at its core.’
John will present an example of one project that was developed in the aftermath of a sectarian killing in Northern Ireland. The project brought two opposing groups of young people together through a process of art production and critical inquiry.
Dr. Ruth Mandel teaches in the Department of Anthropology at UCL; at UCL she also serves as Vice-Dean International, in the Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences. She received her PhD from the University of Chicago. She has long been engaged with issues of xenophobia and migration. Her award-winning book Cosmopolitan Anxieties: Turkish challenges to citizenship and belonging in Germany (Duke University Press) has been widely reviewed, and recently was published in French. Another book, Markets and Moralities: Ethnographies of postsocialism, reflects her work in post-Soviet Central Asia. She is completing a book stemming from her research in Kazakhstan, about international development aid and media. She was a Berlin Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, and a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, in Washington, D. C. She is the recipient of many research grants, including AHRC, ESRC, DAAD, Fulbright, SSRC, and Wenner-Gren.
Dina Mousawi’s work aims to challenge preconceived conceptions, encourage integration and empower. As a performer, her work spans television, film and theatre. Her role as actor merged into theatre maker and producer when she began creating her own work which focuses on political and social issues. She wrote and produced her own semi-autobiographical theatre piece Return, in which she travelled to Iraq, Jordan and Syria with a video camera to meet and interview Iraqi women about the recent occupation. Working collaboratively with a creative team they developed a witty and provocative verbatim piece which was performed to sold out audiences The Yard Theatre, London, the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival and Aat International Festival in Amman, Jordan.
In 2014, Dina worked on Antigone of Syria, an arab adaptation of Sophocles’ Antigone, in which she led daily theatre workshops with 40 Syrian women refugees living in Beirut. Her role was to train the women to take the stage for the first time in their lives.
Dina produced and directed Terrestrial Journeys in 2015, a six week theatre project consisting of daily practical workshops culminated in a cross-platform, site specific performance in Beirut. Through improvisation, text, movement and personal stories, a group of refugee women and a professional creative team worked collaboratively to devise an interactive theatrical event, drawing on their multiple experiences of migration. For more information on Terrestrial Journeys go to: www.terrestrialjourneys.wordpress.com
Prof. David Napier is Professor of Medical Anthropology at University College London (UCL) and Director of its Science, Medicine, and Society Network. He has been a fellow of a number of universities and colleges, including Harvard University, New York University, the Johns Hopkins University, All Souls College, Oxford, and Green Templeton College, Oxford. Napier’s special interests include perceptions of the foreign, xenophobia, primary health-care delivery, human wellbeing, caring for ethnically diverse populations, migration and vulnerability, and homelessness. He has published on law and anthropology, creativity, art and anthropology, and intellectual property and biodiversity, as well as being the author of many scholarly books and numerous book chapters. Napier has been involved in three Lancet commissions, leading the 2014 Lancet Commission on Culture and Health. His recent book, Making Things Better (Oxford University Press 2013) explores notions of property and local value across cultures. He regularly writes for the press (e.g., Le Monde) and his work and writing have been featured in The New York Times, The Financial Times, and The Guardian, among others. For his activities with more than 100 charities and NGOs, the UK government and research councils awarded him the Beacon Fellowship in Public Engagement. He is also the recipient of the Burma Coalition’s Human Rights Award. Napier has served as a consultant on vulnerable populations in the aftermath of natural and human disasters, having worked for, among others, the World Health Organization, CRISIS UK, The United Nations, and the International Organization for Migration. He is currently the academic lead on a global Cities Changing Diabetes initiative.
Evthymios Papataxiarchis is Professor of Social Anthropology at the Department of Social Anthropology and History of the University of the Aegean where he directs the Postgraduate Programme ‘Social and Historical Anthropology’, the International Postgraduate Summer School ‘Cultures, Migrations, Borders’ and the Laboratory of Ethnography. He did his undergraduate and postgraduate studies in social anthropology at the London School of Economics and holds a bachelors degree from the School of Law of the University of Athens. He has taught as a visiting professor in the Universities of Athens and Crete, in the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris) and in Bogadici University (Istanbul). He has published extensively in various languages on kinship, gender and power, on extra-domestic sociality, on the anthropology of emotions and the politics of locality and on historical anthropology. His recent work, inspired by long term fieldwork on the island of Lesbos, is on the management of cultural difference and migration. His is currently on sabbatical, attached as a Senior Research Fellow to the Institute of Advanced Studies, UCL, and working on the spatial restructuring effected at the local and regional level by the current ‘European refugee crisis’.
Dr. Susan Pattie, Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Anthropology, U.C.L, received her PhD from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her multi-sited ethnography, Faith in History: Armenians Rebuilding Community (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997) was based in Cyprus and the U.K., leading to further work on the Armenian diaspora in Syria, North America and Armenia. She has taught at UCL, Syracuse University London Program and as a visiting professor in the Armenian Studies Program of the University of Michigan. Articles, chapters and books include Treasured Objects: Armenian Daily Life in the Ottoman Empire 100 Years Ago and a children’s book, Who Are the Armenians? Formerly Director of the Armenian Institute in London, in 2012 she became Director of the Armenian Museum of America and in 2014-15, Program Manager of the National Armenian Genocide Centennial Commemorations in Washington, DC.
Rob Pinney is a documentary photographer and researcher. He graduated with a degree in politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in 2011 and recently completed an MA in the Department of War Studies, King's College London, where he focussed on photography and conflict. His current projects all share a common interest in the aftermath(s) of war, displacement and migration. To see more of his work, please visit his website.
Maria Pisani, PhD is a Maltese academic and activist. She is the co-founder and director of Integra Foundation, a lecturer with the department of Youth and Community Studies, University of Malta, and also coordinates the Centre for Critical Migration Studies with The Critical Institute. Maria has published in international journals and contributed to edited texts. Her research interests include forced migration with a special focus on youth, intersectionalities, ‘race’ and colonialism, national identity and citizenship. She combines this work with her interest in critical pedagogy and engaging praxis as a project of social transformation towards social justice.
Sissel Saue is a Norwegian singer and teacher, with a massive insight into Norwegian folk music. She has developed several projects for and with children, some alongside renowned artists in Norway. She has dedicated the last decade to obtaining more knowledge about Norwegian folk music and to building an even bigger archive. In the process Sissel has trained with and taken inspiration from some of the greatest folksingers in Norway.
Sissel has a rare aptitude for communicating with children, and by using traditional folk music she has opened many doors into the musical universe of the thousands of refugee children she has met over the last 12 years.
Professor Michael Stewart teaches in the Department of Anthropology, University College London, where he is also Vice-Dean Enterprise, Faculty of Social and Historical Studies. He is the Founder of Open Cities Doc Fest.
Gregory Thompson is an award winning theatre director creating productions that combine ensemble performances with innovative stagings and actor-audience relationships. He’s directed for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Young Vic amongst others in the UK and his own company AandBC has performed Shakespeare all over world.
At UCL he matches scientists with performing artists to enhance, extend and disrupt academic activities to yield deeper or more surprising research outcomes; and applies creative and collaborative practises to enterprise activities.
Bruce White is founder and director of the Organization for Identity and Cultural Development (OICD), an organization which applies interdisciplinary research to conflict transformation, prevention and cohesion building. Bruce works to promote the OICD approach in many places around the world, and has built teams and proposals for the application of OICD work in Iraq, Japan, Ireland, Nigeria, Guyana, Fiji, the UK, Mali and Kosovo. As OICD director, Bruce continues to work on expanding the organization’s membership, partnerships, projects and scope of activities. More recently he has developed specialist interdisciplinary courses on identity and conflict, involving students and participants in practical real-world development scenarios. In addition to his roles in the OICD, Bruce is also Dean of the Institute of the Liberals Arts Doshisha University, Research Fellow at the Europe-Japan Research Centre, an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London's Department of Anthropology, executive member of the Senegal-based NGO Imagine Africa, and an external consultant for the London-based NGO International Alert. Bruce has published on the topics of Civic Engagement, Conflict Transformation & Generational Change and Identity.
Rick Wilson (Zither) uses drumming and rhythm as the core of his creative work, both in workshop and performance. Mixing various traditional teaching techniques with a very personal style, he has lured thousands happily into the world of the big and not so big beat. He draws on a vast experience of travel and learning and his extensive collaborative ventures with artists of all sorts. He also incorporates strings and home-made instruments into his palette to provide melodic elements and practices a collective hands-on approach to teaching where the experienced can play alongside the novice. Rick has taken this approach around the world and in all kinds of places from working with under-5s in the Atacama desert to the residents of a secure psychiatric prison unit.
Ice and Fire
Ice and Fire explores human rights stories through performance. We put human rights at the core of everything we do to make accessible theatre for a wide range of audiences across the UK. We are a company with a distinct and determined voice, developing original theatre pieces from human rights testimony and documentary evidence. Each piece is shaped by the real people and communities with whom we closely work. From full-scale productions to making small pieces with vulnerable groups, our theatre-making is renowned as provocative, principled and innovative.
We believe that through theatre we can bring unparalleled understanding and empathy to some of the world’s most urgent issues. We want to empower people and communities to express their rights through the power of sharing stories and transporting performance.
It is our mission to inspire artists and audiences to create positive change in the world through human rights.
Fargespill has enthused over 145,000 people, young and old, with their explosive and gripping shows for more than ten years. They have a solid reputation for conjuring heart-warming tears and a lot of joy.
When different cultures meet, what happens if we look for gold instead of dirt? Because that’s how we humans are put together - the things we look for in other people, is what we find. And the things we don’t look for, we rarely find. And what we look for – that’s up to ourselves. Fargespill is an ensemble consisting of children and youth from all over the world. On stage we meet about 100 young people from around 35 different countries, including Norway. Most of them have come to Norway as refugees and immigrants. These young people are the heart of Fargespill.
The shows are created from folksongs and folkdance they have brought with them from their respective countries and cultures on their journey all the way to Norway; Treasures from around the world we never would have seen or heard if these kids hadn’t come here. These gems are in turn united with the Norwegian folk heritage, as well as global youth culture such as hip hop and beatboxing;
Ethiopian shoulder dance meets Norwegian “gangar”. Mogadishu meets Kollywood, “fallturillturalltura” meets “habibi habibi”, and children’s rhymes from all over the world unite in one grand polyphonic mantra.
Through the fusion of our musical heritage, Fargespill seeks to encourage an emotional and deeply rooted understanding of the fact that we wander this little planet together, and that we need to make the best of it. Through traditional music and -dance it becomes so evident; How obvious it is that we are alike, and how enriching it is that we are different.
Consequently, Fargespill is an intimate, musical meeting with young peoples’ stories about who they are and where they come from, told through music and dance from their respective cultures. The experience is elevated by professional musicians, choreographers, instructors, sound- and light designers and set designers, who bolster and fortify the kids’ stories through their professional expertise.
Fargespill’s debut in 2004 during the Bergen International Festival in 2004 was a great success, and more than 145 000 has since seen their performances. They have released a book and an album (which was nominated for the Norwegian Grammys) and they have performed for Aung San Suu kyi, most of the European Royal Houses and most ministers in Norway - amongst others. The Fargespill-concept is licensed out to several cities all over Norway, as well as to Sweden – and several others are on the verge of starting up.
Phosphoros Theatre is made up of 3 interdisciplinary artists based in London. Dawn Harrison is an experienced television writer and youth theatre director, whose current work includes lead writer on CBBC's flagship show 'The Dumping Ground', about looked after children. Rosanna Jahangard's work as an English and Drama teacher and practitioner has seen her direct multi-lingual productions focusing on intercultural voice. Kate is a refugee youth practitioner, managing Afghan Association Paiwand's housing project for 14 unaccompanied minor young men in North West London. Her performance background is rooted in Applied Theatre, and she is also a Masters student at SOAS studying Migration & Diaspora Studies. Together they use devised theatre to shine a light on important untold stories. Their work is collaborative, stripped back and rooted in a desire to offer alternative perspectives. The 'Dear Home Office' project is an extension of the Key Work support provided these young men on a daily basis. Through drama and performance they are developing confidence.
Phosphoros Theatre are currently working on 'Dear Home Office', an Applied Theatre project funded by the Arts Council, developed in partnership with Afghan Association Paiwand's housing project and supported by the Southbank Centre. 'Dear Home Office' is a letter to those in power, detailing the true stories of a group of male unaccompanied minors who have fled Eritrea, Afghanistan, Albania and Somalia. Playing versions of themselves onstage, they take the audience on a rollercoaster of immigration and social services interviews, shopping for winter coats, finding their way around their first day of college and learning to live alongside each other in a supported accommodation in North London. With a backdrop of intimate footage filmed at home and at a weekend away in the countryside, they perform with live music, dance, comedy and spoken word 'who we were then, and who we are now'. The 'Dear Home Office' project is an extension of the Key Work support provided these young men on a daily basis. Through drama and performance they are developing confidence, English skills, team work and self-esteem.
Organization for Cultural and Identity Development
The Organization for Identity and Cultural Development (OICD) was established in 2006, primarily as a vehicle for bringing together a range of interdisciplinary findings on the role of identity dynamics in conflict resolution/prevention and cohesion building. Subsequently, the OICD has sought to apply these findings to help improve the effectiveness of real world cohesion/peace building projects and initiatives.
OICD Activities and Experts: OICD continues to work to innovate and apply perspectives on identity’s role in the promotion of cohesion and/or conflict. Regular workshops and conferences share findings and provide a platform for academic and practitioner collaboration. The OICD also offers training to individuals and organizations and works with organizations and agencies to confront specific identity-based problems amongst given populations.
Developing identity-based solutions requires a diverse list of experts. Within the OICD network, anthropologists, social psychologists and behavioural specialists compile the latest findings on social identity into employable models of theory and practice. Terrorism studies experts, historians, political scientists and human geographers help to map real world identities. Policy analysts, law, security, policing and civil society specialists, script writers, social, community and youth workers and trainers build and implement the most effective strategic messages and interventions for use in any given social transformation context.
ArtEZ Institute of the Arts
For more information on ArtEZ, please visit their website.