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The Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement

 

Lead Convenor

  •  Danai Avgeri (ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Geography)

Convenors

  • Awa Farah (PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology) 
  • Dita N. Love (Junior Research Fellow in Education, Homerton College, and CDH Associate)
  • Beja Protner (PhD Candidate, Department of Social Anthropology)

Speakers

  • Hassan Akkad (Writer, filmmaker and human rights activist, London)
  • Carolina Alonso Bejanaro (Scholar-Activist, Cartoonist, DJ, Associate Professor of Law, University of Warwick)
  • Gracie Mae Bradley (Writer, Campaigner, London)
  • Gargi Bhattacharrya (Professor of Anti/Post/Decolonial Theory and Praxis, University Arts London (UEL))
  • Nadine El-Enany (Professor of Law, University of Kent)
  • Fatima El-Tayeb (Professor of Ethnicity, Race, and Migration, and of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Yale University)
  • Diana Damian Martin (Co-Founder & Researcher, Migrants in Culture Organisation)
  • Ida Danewid (University of Sussex)
  • Joon-Lynn Goh (Co-Founding Director & Organiser, Migrants in Culture Organisation)
  • Farah Jirdeh-Fonkenell (Director of Almas Art Foundation)
  • Bhanu Kapil (Poet and Fellow, Churchill College, University of Cambridge)
  • Momtaza Mehri (Poet-in-Residence, Homerton College, University of Cambridge. Columnist for Tate. Etc Magazine)
  • Lola Olufemi (Writer, researcher and organiser, London)
  • Harsha Walia (Writer, activist, educator, Vancouver)

Summary

Discussions about migration frequently spotlight ostensibly sudden ‘crises’ across global frontiers. Yet this focus often obscures that patterns of human movement and their control are profoundly shaped histories of colonialism and systems of racial oppression. A mere presentist perspective not only risks masking these deeper historical and structural forces but also limits our capacity to envision other possible futures. This conference aims to re-examine migration and borders through a dual temporal lens: one that acknowledges colonialism, racial capitalism, and migration’s intertwined histories, and one that centers the forward-looking aspirations of migrant and racial justice movements. It seeks to explore migration systems beyond disciplinary confines, highlighting the contributions of diasporic communities and scholars in envisioning liberated worlds. The goal is to shed light on the colonial and racial roots of current ‘migration crises’ and their governance, while encouraging a broad dialogue that spans theory, method, and artistic expression toward new hopeful geographies.

By connecting discussions on racial capitalism, empire, and colonial legacies with contemporary bordering tactics and practices of displacement, the conference intends to enhance understanding of the persistent violence affecting global human movement. Crucially, it also counters the predominant deficit narratives surrounding displaced and oppressed communities, highlighting instead survivance, vitality, and intergenerational justice through creative-activist solidarity and abolitionist worldbuilding. The conference aims to nurture interdisciplinary dialogues by blending research and practice, advocating for an approach to knowledge beyond binary perspectives, as speakers often occupy multiple identities as scholar-activists, refugee authors, artivists, and global majority academics. It will feature diverse formats—lectures, panels, poetry, workshops, discussions, and films—questioning established knowledge hierarchies and exploring how diverse, creative and utopian epistemologies can advance our grasp of racial capitalism, coloniality, and migrant justice.

Related events

This event is  organised in partnership with the Alfred Dubs Lecture: race, corporate “sovereigns” and corporate borders

 

Date: 
Thursday, 16 May, 2024 - 09:00 to Friday, 17 May, 2024 - 18:00
Event location: 
ARB, Cambridge