Welcome Refugees

Posted on 13 February 2018

‘Refugees Welcome’ and ‘The Politics of Hospitality & the Refuge City' were hosted by the University of York Migration Network

Refugees Welcome’, a site-specific Installation by artist Alketa Xhafa (at the Minster Piazza) and ‘The Politics of Hospitality & the Refuge City’ (Learning Lab at the Kings Manor); were hosted by the University of York's Migration Network in collaboration with Counterpoints Arts, our IAA ESRC (Impact Acceleration Accounts, Economic and Social Council) Research Fellows, Dr Aine O’Brien and Almir Koldzic. 

This event was intented to engage the public in conversations around stories of moving, migration and belonging.

The Learning Lab took its inspiration from artist Alketa Xhafa Mripa’s installation Refugees Welcome. The Politics of Hospitality and the Refuge City comprised a series of films, a public conversation between Alketa Xhafa-Mripaand Maggie O’Neill (Department of Sociology and UoY Migration Network Co-convenor), and a panel discussion about the role of arts and culture in opening up spaces for civic action, the values of everyday human rights and urban sanctuary. 

Participants in the Panel discussion were: Simon Parker (Refugee Action York), Alice Nah (CAHR), Emily Riddle (Arthouse, Wakefield), Emine Surbe (York Mosque), Paul Wordsworth (City of Sanctuary, York) and Jan Haaken (Department of Sociology & UoY Migration Network visiting Fellow).

The Learning Lab included a poster display and exhibition produced by students from the University of York.

This short film about the installation was created by Counterpoints Arts Intern, Nelli Stavropoulou. 

Student internship.  Working in conjunction with the University Careers Service six First Year student interns drawn from across the University were tasked with designing and developing public information posters for the ‘Hospitality’ learning lab at King’s Manor University of York. Students also visited Counterpoints Arts at their London office and talked with staff members about the organisation of the learning lab and an appropriate choice of themes.

The student interns also assisted with the Refugees Welcome installation outside the Minster: interacting with the public, helping with logistics and providing information about the installation and learning lab to passersby.