Photographer & Anthropologist
Sabine de Graaf
PhD Candidate, UCL
Reader in Human Geography, UCL
Co-Director of Migration Research Unit, UCL
Rhode Island School of Design
Visual Artist & Educator
Yousif M. Qasmiyeh
University of Oxford
Writer in Residence, RefugeeHosts, UCL
Department of Anthropology, UCL
Theatre Maker & Director
British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow
Becky Finlay Hall
International Masters Artist Educator Programme
ArtEZ Institute of the Arts, the Netherlands
Department of Anthropology and Vice-Dean International
Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences
Photographer & Co-Founder of Activestills
Cartoonist and Illustrator
Artist & Scholar
Professor of Anthropology,
Graduate Institute Geneva
Senior Research Fellow
Department of Anthropology, UCL
Professor of Anthropology,
Graduate Institute Geneva
Anthony Anaxagorou is an award-winning poet, short story writer, publisher and poetry educator. He founded Out-Spoken in 2012 and Out-Spoken Press in 2013. His work has been studied in universities, schools and colleges across the USA, UK and Australia as well as being translated into Spanish, German, French and Japanese. His performances are highly praised as powerful, complex and spiritual.
Tom Bailey is a theatre maker and director, making work through his company The Mechanical Animal Corporation. Presently, the company engaged with theatre projects in the UK, Finland and Egypt.
Tom is currently Leverhulme Artist in Residence with the Migration Research Unit at UCL. Having worked with the Good Chance Theatre in the Calais Jungle, Tom is now developing a theatre project that explores human migration, as well as migration in the natural world.
Rachael Ball started her cartooning career in 1988, initially doing strips for Manchester’s City Life and for 90’s cult comic‘Deadline.’ Her first graphic novel 'The Inflatable Woman' (pub' Bloomsbury) was one of the Guardian's Best Graphic novels 2015 and was shortlisted for British Book Design Awards 2016. The Inflatable Woman is a surreal, poetic and comedic response to her experiences with breast cancer. She is currently completing her second graphic novel the Wolf Man which will be published by Self Made Hero and is a fictional retelling of the loss of her father as a child. You can see more of the Wolf Man on the last day of each month on her website at http://rachaelball.tumblr.com Her work appeared in the ‘Comixatrix’ exhibition, HOI 2015 and can be seen at ‘The Inking Woman’ exhibition at the Cartoon Museum 26 April to 23 July.
Emma Brown (Olivebranch Arts)
Emma Brown is an award-winning portrait and humanitarian photographer. She has been working alongside Olive Branch Arts and documenting their work with the Sahrawi refugee community since 2012. As a visual storyteller, Emma is intrigued by the poetic character of people and looks for the beauty in imperfection and small, seemingly unimportant and everyday things. Her calm and meditative approach to photography enable her to go almost unnoticed, allowing her to create lyrical images in a humanistic way.
Emma’s photograph of two Sahrawi women collecting their rations on Smara refugee camp has recently won the World Food Programme Food for Life category at the Food Photographer of the Year Awards 2017.
Cathrine Bublatzky is a trained photographer and anthropologist based at Heidelberg University. After her studies in South Asian History and Visual Anthropology and a dissertation project about contemporary Indian art in the global context, she is currently working on migrated professional photographers from Iran in the European Diaspora. Her research and study foci are on contemporary art, migration, photography, and the regions of Europe, South Asia and Middle East.
Dominic Davies is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the English Faculty, University of Oxford, where he also completed his DPhil in March 2015. He has written and published a number of articles and chapters and is the co-editor of two forthcoming essay collections, Fighting Words: Fifteen Books That Shaped the Postcolonial World (Peter Lang, 2017) and Planned Violence: Post/Colonial Urban Infrastructures and Literature (Palgrave, 2018). His first monograph, Imperial Infrastructure and Spatial Resistance in Colonial Literature, 1880-1930, will be published by Peter Lang in 2017. He was the Facilitator of the Leverhulme-funded Network, ‘Planned Violence: Post/colonial Urban Infrastructures and Literature’, and his current research project, provisionally entitled Urban Comix: Collaboration, Reconstruction and Resistance in the Divided City, focuses on the way urban space in postcolonial cities is represented in graphic novels and comics. He is also the project facilitator for the British Council-US funded network, ‘Divided Cities: Culture, Infrastructure and the Urban Future’, and the convener of a new network and seminar series based at The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), ‘Comics and Graphic Novels: The Politics of Form’.
Sabine de Graaf
Sabine de Graaf is a PhD Candidate in Social Anthropology at University College London. Her research focusses on Syrian refugees in Greece, where she analyses the power of hope in imagining future possibilities, and the use of personal and digital networks in Syrians’ pathways to Europe. She holds a BSc in Cultural Anthropology and Sociology, and an MSc in Medical Anthropology from the University of Amsterdam. Her master thesis on trust and hope in the narratives of advanced-stage cancer patients led to several articles in international journals. Before moving to London, Sabine worked as a junior lecturer at the University of Amsterdam where she taught a variety of undergraduate courses at the departments of Anthropology and Sociology.
Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh is Reader in Human Geography, Co-Director of UCL's Migration Research Unit, and is the coordinator of the Refuge in a Moving World research network across UCL (@RefugeMvingWrld). Her research focuses on experiences of and responses to conflict-induced displacement, with a particular regional focus on the Middle East and North Africa. Elena is the PI of a major 4-year AHRC-ESRC funded project, 'Local Community Experiences of and Responses to Displacement from Syria' (see www.refugeehosts.org; @RefugeeHosts), which draws on creative writing as a key part of its methodological framework. She is also the PI of a new 5-year European Research Council funded project, South-South Humanitarian Responses to Displacement: Views from Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.
Elena's recent publications include The Ideal Refugees: Gender, Islam and the Sahrawi Politics of Survival (Syracuse University Press, 2014), South-South Educational Migration, Humanitarianism and Development: Views from the Caribbean, North Africa and the Middle East, (Routledge, 2015) and The Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, (co-editor, Oxford University Press, 2014). In addition to being awarded a 2015 Philip Leverhulme Prize, Elena was awarded the 2013 Lisa Gilad Prize by the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM) in recognition of her article 'The pragmatics of performance: putting 'faith' in aid in the Sahrawi refugee camps' (Journal of Refugee Studies).
Becky Finlay Hall (Olivebranch Arts)
Becky Finlay Hall trained as an actor at London’s Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, and has worked extensively as an actor and facilitator with some of the UK’s leading Community Theatre and Arts companies. Responding to the growing need for a level of psychological support and exploration in much of Olive Branch’s work with marginalised groups and individuals, she completed an MA in Drama and Movement Therapy at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Becky is currently running dramatherapy groups for elders living with dementia, as well as with children and adolescents in mainstream education with a broad range of needs.
Lindsay French is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her research interests focus on post-Pol Pot Cambodia, and the process of social and cultural reconstruction in the aftermath of genocide. All her projects look at Cambodian families divided by war, displacement and migration, and the efforts to maintain family ties attenuated by time, space, politics, and very different economic experiences. Her current project looks at Christian conversion among Cambodia’s youth, who have grown up in a world defined by the violence of global capitalism rather than radical social engineering. More generally, she is interested in migration of all kinds, Buddhism and everyday life, narrative processes, and the challenges of representation, whether ethnographic, photographic, theatrical, or curatorial.
Karrie Fransman's comics have been commissioned by The Guardian, The Times, The New Statesman, The BBC, The Arts Council, Southbank Centre and Manchester Art Gallery. Her graphic novels, 'The House That Groaned' and the award winning 'Death of the Artist' were published by Penguin Random House. ‘Over, Under, Sideways, Down’ was created for The British Red Cross. You can find more of her work at www.karriefransman.com
Gabi Froden is a Swedish illustrator, author and graphic novel artist, living and working in London. Currently her work is included in 'A Perilous Journey: Stories of Migration' exhibition at the Brunei Gallery, School of Oriental and African Studies, curated by the PositiveNegatives Programme also at SOAS.
Several of Gabi’s children’s books are published in Scandinavia and translated to a number of languages. Amongst her clients are the Guardian, the Observer, BBC, Huffington Post, Age UK, NHS, ODI, Christian Aid, as well as numerous publishers and advertising companies. Gabi’s work ranges from subjects dealing with trafficking and modern day slavery to board games for early years, children’s books on the subject of gender equality, as well as record covers and animated projects. Her work is featured in Creative Review and her latest children’s book has received fantastic reviews calling Gabi’s work “jubilant”. Examples of all work can be seen at her website www.gabifroden.com
Sarah Glidden was born in 1980 in Massachusetts and studied painting at Boston University. She started making comics in 2006 when she was living at the Flux Factory artists collective in Queens, New York, and soon began working on her first book, How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less. The first chapters of this were self-published as minicomics, earning her the Ignatz Award for Promising New Talent in 2008. The complete book was published in 2010 and translated into five languages. Glidden's work has appeared in various newspapers and magazines, as well as in the Best American Comics anthology. She spent a year as an artist in residence at the Maison des Auteurs in Angoulême, France. Her second book, Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq, was published by Drawn & Quarterly in October 2016, quickly becoming a New York Times bestseller and appearing on fifteen best of the year lists. Glidden lives in Seattle, Washington.
Jojo Hynes is a visual artist, arts educator and interactive parade performer. Her current practice explores representations of real and fictional protagonists through a range of media. Her visual art is influenced by where the past and the present meet and overlap. She has exhibited internationally including in Korea, Australia, China, and across Europe. As an arts educator her workshops often explore the themes of place, cultural identity and link socio-political issues to arts education.
Jojo is a performer with Macnas, who energise audiences with interactive performances at celebrations around the globe, bringing stunning large-scale images and brilliant chaos to the streets.
John Johnston originates from Belfast in Northern Ireland. He leads the 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.’
Rachel Lehr (PhD in Linguistics, University of Chicago) is an award-winning artist and scholar. She founded and served for 10 years as Executive Director of Rubia, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to developing economic opportunities through craft heritage, support education, promoting health and well being for Afghan women and their families. Rachel's work focuses on the domestic spheres of rural Afghan women, capturing the rhythm and vitality of life in women's private spaces. Her latest book The Carpetbaggers of Kabul and other American-Afghan Entanglements, co-authored with Jennifer Fluri, explores the everyday actions of people associated with the international effort in the post 9/11 era. For more than 20 years she has examined the languages and cultures of central and south Asia, while living and working in the region. Lehr’s translation from Tajik of The Sands of Oxus: Boyhood Reminiscences of Sadriddin Aini with John R. Perry was awarded the 2004 Lois Roth Endowment Persian Translation Prize. As a research associate in the Department of Geography at University of Colorado- Boulder, Lehr has been working on Afghan women’s civil society organizations and their role in peace building, through a USIP funded grant. Currently, Dr. Lehr is a Fulbright scholar at the National Library in Oslo, Norway, exploring the archive of the Norwegian linguist Georg Morgenstierne.
Koen Leurs, PhD, is Assistant Professor in Gender and Postcolonial studies at the Graduate Gender Program, Department of Media and Culture Studies at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. A critical internet researcher interested in migration, diaspora, gender, race, urbanity, multiculturalism and youth culture using mixed methods and ethnography, Leurs has published widely. He is the chair of the Diaspora, Migration and the Media Section for the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA) and is the principal investigator for the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) funded project ‘Young connected migrants. Comparing digital practices of young asylum seekers and expatriates in the Netherlands’ (2016-2019). See www.koenleurs.net.
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.
Alessandro Monsutti is Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. He has conducted multi-sited research since the mid-1990s in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran to study the modes of solidarity and cooperation mobilised in a situation of conflict and forced migration. He has subsequently broadened the geographical scope of his research to include members of the Afghan diaspora living in Western countries. This led him to analyse war and post-conflict reconstruction in the light of the social networks and economic strategies developed by refugees and migrants, and – more generally – to address theoretical and methodological issues related to globalisation.
Yousif M. Qasmiyeh
Yousif M. Qasmiyeh is Writer in Residence for Refugee Hosts (a 4 year interdisciplinary project funded by the AHRC-ESRC), and teaches Arabic at the University of Oxford. His recent poems and articles include ‘Writing the Camp and ‘The Camp is Time’ (Refugee Hosts, 2016, 2017), ‘At the Feast of Asylum’ (GeoHumanities, 2016), and ‘Thresholds’ (Critical Quarterly, 2014). Yousif’s poem, ‘If this is my face, so be it’ (Modern Poetry in Translation, 2016), featured in Jenny Holzer’s public light projection artwork at Bispetorv (Aarhus, Denmark), as part of the 2017 European Capital of Culture Program, and will be exhibited from late May in a new projection project at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. His poetry will feature in The Absence of Paths as part of the Tunisian Pavilion exhibition at the 2017 Venice Biennale.
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.
Patricia Spyer is Professor of Anthropology at The Graduate Institute Geneva that she joined in 2016. She was the Chair of Cultural Anthropology of Contemporary Indonesia at Leiden University (2001-15), Global Distinguished Professor at New York University’s Center for Religion & Media and Department of Anthropology (2009-12), and a Visiting Fellow at the Humanities Research Centre of the Australian National University in 2014. She is the author of The Memory of Trade: Modernity’s Entanglements on an Eastern Indonesian Island, Duke 2000, editor of Border Fetishisms: Material Objects in Unstable Spaces, Routledge 1998, co-editor of the Handbook of Material Culture, Sage 2013  and of Images That Move, SAR Press, 2013. She has published, among other topics, on media and visual culture, materiality, violence, and religion. Her current book project Orphaned Landscapes: Violence, Visuality, and the Work of Appearances in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia focuses on the mediations of violence and post-violence in the religiously inflected conflict in the Moluccas, Indonesia. She is on the board of the Prince Claus Fund, a member of the Advisory Council of the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and an editorial board member of the Annual Review of Anthropology.
David Stothard (Olivebranch Arts)
David Stothard trained as an actor at The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and has also completed an MA in Theatre for Young Audiences at Rose Bruford College. As a Creative Director of Olive Branch Arts, he is a highly experienced facilitator and director, working creatively with young people of all ages across a variety of settings. Current projects in development include an ongoing youth theatre project on the Saharawi Refugee Camps in SW Algeria. This project offers an opportunity for young people living in this region to participate in a theatre-training program and to devise and perform their own pieces of original theatre.
David is a former Course Director of Bruford Youth Theatre (Rose Bruford College) and has also worked as an Education Associate for international theatre ensemble NIE and as a Curriculum Partner and Trainer for NCS The Challenge. He continues to work with some of the country’s leading arts and education organisations including; Tender Education & Arts, Mousetrap Theatre Projects, ArtsLink and The Primary Shakespeare Company.
Shireen Walton is a visual-digital anthropologist. She is currently a Teaching Fellow in Material and Visual Culture in the Department of Anthropology, University College London, where she convenes courses in Anthropology and Photography and The Anthropology of Social Media: Digital Media and the Islamic World. She holds a BA in History from University College London, and an MPhil and DPhil in Anthropology from the University of Oxford. Before joining the anthropology department at UCL, she worked at the Centre of Migration Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford, on a research project entitled: Immigration Narratives in the British Press.
Oren Ziv is co-founder of Active Stills collective, which has extensively documented political and social issues in Palestine/Israel over the past ten years. In particular, Active Stills engages in work concerning Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, as well as with displaced Bedouin in Israel. Active Stills has created an ‘open archive’ — one that is freely downloadable by members of the public — as an attempt to improve the visibility of the communities with whom they work and wish to support. This has seen the use and adaptation of their images not only by people in other parts of the world, but also by the subjects themselves.
Olive Branch Arts
Olive Branch Arts offer a broad range of innovative arts-based experiences and training programmes designed to engage, challenge and support people of all ages and backgrounds. Our aim is to create work of artistic excellence for, with and by the community. Current projects include ‘Bloodlines’, an innovative and interactive theatre-training programme created in partnership with the National FGM Centre, Barnardo’s. This production, designed to raise awareness of, and promote best practice around FGM, has recently completed a tour of the UK.
Photographs by Emma Brown