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The Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement

Newsletter - Oct 2019


Wednesday 14 October: 4:30pm - 6.00pm


Jesus College, Frankopan Hall, Jesus Lane



What is 'appropriate' shelter for refugees? What ultimately is shelter?

One of the most vital concerns for migrants when they first leave their homes is where to find a safe and stable space. Tents and camps dominate media images of forced displacement, but forced migrants find shelter in many other ways; abandoned buildings, staying on the floors of friends and relatives, self-built shelters, sleeping in the natural environment, and being housed in specially created spaces, prefabricated shelters, or government-run detention centres.


Through an exclusive preview of the documentary 'Shelter Without Shelter' this interdisciplinary panel will discuss some of the latest research and issues in refugee shelter to create a more nuanced and detailed understanding of refugee sheltering, helping us understand the impact of shelter policies on the lives on refugees. The panel will explore the roles of architecture, engineering, anthropology and more to not only improve refugee shelter, but question the very nature of shelter itself.


Our Panel:
Dr Mark E Breeze -
Director of Studies in Architecture, St. John's College, Cambridge
Dr Tom Scott-Smith - Assoc Professor of Forced Migration, Oxford University Refugee Studies Centre
Dr. Georgia Cole - Margaret Anstee Centre for Global Studies, Newnham College
Jenny George - Doctoral Researcher, Dept of Engineering, University of Cambridge
Dunya Habash - Research Officer, The Woolf Institute, Cambridge


Tickets are free – book here  



Saturday 19 October: 3:30pm - 4:30pm


Alison Richard Building, S2, Sidgwick Site 7 West Road, CB3 9DT



As emergent technological integration strategies are shaping ways of experiencing cities such as Berlin (with apps designed for refugees and asylum seekers) and New York (with technologies including public wifi and ID cards), it is important to interrogate whether they exclude, adversely include, or empower vulnerable migrants. Such developments hint at an emergent consensus between technology actors and local governments to share in the management of socioeconomic life in the city. As this asymmetrically affects stateless populations, the concept of the “smart city” is no longer sufficient to describe the ways these technologies are used to sort and control migrant bodies. Rather, the implications of this transition of technology actors into an integration industry is better understood through an acknowledgement of a “digital periphery.”

Activists and scholars question whether NYC’s commitment to a “smart city” future is compatible with its Sanctuary City status. In Berlin, a combination of initiatives target refugees for jobs, house-sharing, social credit, and identity management. To what extent are these a reflection of racialized integration and the construction of a particular kind of urban-entrepreneurial refugee prone to precarity? Do they broaden or constrain socioeconomic life?

This talk interrogates these digital boundaries through an account of newcomer and anchor-community experiences, and unpacks the implications of these developments for refugee justice.

Book here


LAUNCH: Mon 14 Oct: 6:30pm - 7:30pm

Mon 14 Oct – Sat 19 Oct 8am - 5pm

Mon 21 Oct – Sat 26 Oct: 8am - 5pm


Michaelhouse Centre, Trinity Street St. Michael’s Church, CB2 1SU


A joyously vibrant and unnervingly raw exhibition by Paris-based artist, Diala Brisly who fled Syria in 2013. Her work tells the stories of four Syrian children, and their hopes in contrast to how life has turned out. Join us for the launch and a view of this arresting and thought-provoking work. The launch takes place on MON 14 OCT 6.30PM – 7.30PM.


No need to book.


Wednesday 16 October: 10:00am - 12:00pm


Peterhouse, Trumpington Street, CB2 1RD



During WWII, Cambridge played a key role as city of refuge for people fleeing the War. Incredible women like Greta Burkill, Sybil Hutton, and Eva Hartree facilitated the kindtertransport that saved the lives of thousands of refugee children. Cambridge residents opened their homes, while the ‘Academic Assistance Council’ (AAC), presided over by future Nobel laureates Ernst Rutherford and Archibald Hill, found homes for over 2,000 refugee scholars; 16 later won Nobel prizes, 74 became Fellows of the Royal Society, and 34 Fellows of the British Academy. The AAC, now the ‘Council for At Risk Academics’ (CARA), continues to bring refugee scholars to Britain and Cambridge today.


Our walking tour includes entrance to Cambridge Colleges, as well as visits to streets in Cambridge home to houses opened to refugees from WWII on. Discussions will touch on the lives of Nobel laureates like Max Perutz and Hans Krebs (of ‘Krebs Cycle’ fame), as well as the economist Piero Sraffa, who helped Ludwig Wittgenstein to some of his most important philosophical insights. We will look, too, at institutions that moved to Cambridge, from the London School of Economics to one of the most important music libraries in the world, the Hirsch Collection, first welcomed to the UK by the town and University of Cambridge. The tour will cover approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km), and will last approximately one and a half hours.


Book here


Thursday 17 October: 6:00pm - 8:30pm


Newnham College, Cynthia Beerbower Room, Dorothy Garrod Building, Sidgwick Avenue, CB3 9DF




Join us for a screening of the indigenous language Guatemalan film 'Ixcanul' followed by a panel discussion.

'Ixcanul' is named for the active volcano on which teenaged María (María Mercedes Coroy) lives with her parents (María Telón and Manuel Antún) in a small Kaqchikel village. They grow coffee and live on the volcano's slopes, mostly isolated from an increasingly globalized world. The film was entirely produced in Guatemala with a largely non-professional cast and crew or Kaqchikel people.


The panel discussion (speakers tba) will focus around the portrayal of indigenous Guatemalans and the issues the film brings forward about the relationship between the United States and Latin America, current immigration and globalization.


Book here


Saturday 19 October: 11:00am - 5:00pm


Faculty of Law, Sidgwick Site, 10 West Road, CB3 9DZ


Not the obvious monetary expense but the impact on culture and health: superstitions, dietary habits, environmental changes, infectious diseases etc. This interactive exhibition explores travel through anthropology, (bio)medical research and culture.


No need to book


Image copyright: pixabay



Monday 21 October: 7:30pm - 8:40pm


Cambridge Junction, Clifton Way, CB1 7GX





"Common Salt ... was exquisite ... A miniature with epic undertones.”
Audience on Twitter


In 2018, artists Sheila Ghelani and Sue Palmer made and toured a new work Common Salt. Developed over four years of research into the colonial and geographical history of England and India using nature as our guide, the work is rich and resonant with our contemporary times.


Working against our collective amnesia, Common Salt explores the knotty complexity of lucre, trade, enclosures and borders. Supported by an Arts Council England grant, the live art work toured to libraries, museums and arts venues in London and the South West.


“The best hour I’ve spent in the Central Library ever…but also one of the most thought-provoking artistic encounters I’ve had in a long time.”


Pay what you feel - between £2.50 and £20


Book here


Tuesday 22 October: 1:15pm - 2:00pm


Faculty of Classics, G19, Sidgwick Avenue, CB3 9DA





How did war change people's lives? Join Dr Manuela Dal Borgo to consider how war can move people away from their homes, work, family and sometimes even across the sea. These changes can have longlasting effects on the economy of the places from which they emigrate as well as the places to which they immigrate. This lunchtime talk will explore the economics of warfare in a few cases from the ancient world.


The talk will run from 13.15-13.45, with 15 minutes for questions.


The Museum of Classical Archaeology will also be open, for event attendees who may wish the visit. Access information: G19 is on the ground floor and has step-free access, with space for wheel-chairs. Seating is wooden lecture-room fold down chairs and space can be restricted. The room can get very warm and stuffy during sunny weather. For further access information, please do not hesitate to get in touch or visit our website:


Image copyright: Museum of Classical Archaeology, Cambridge; Susanne Turner


Booking Information here


Download a printable copy of the full 2019 programme.