UCL Mellon Programme Presents Three Short Films by Shahrzad M. Davis

davis1Dr. Saeed Talajooy and Sanaz Raji would like to invite you to a film screening and UK premier of three short films by Iranian-American film-maker, Shahrzad M. Davis on Wednesday, 25th of March 2009 at 5:30pm, Engineering Building, Malet Place, Room 1.02.

The films all deal with aspects of migration, identity, and sexuality. After the screening, there will be a Q&A session with the film-maker.

About the Film-maker:

Shahrzad M. Davis is a polyglot activist anthropologist hailing from California- the land of golden dreams. Making her Iranian mother and Anglo-American father proud, she received a master’s degree from London’s School of Oriental and African Studies with the support of a Fulbright Scholarship upon her graduation from UC Berkeley. True to the fabled woman inspiring her name, Shahrzad likes to retell stories from the diasporic frontiers through the pen and video camera.

For full details visit: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/mellon-program/seminars/2008-2009

We warmly invite you and please pass the message around to those who might be interested.

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Multicultural Centre Prague

Multicultural Center Prague Migration Online is a specialized website of the Multicultural Centre Prague focusing on migration issues in Central and Eastern Europe. It maps migration reality, research and policy, offers a range of articles, interviews and reports and promotes debate among experts, public administrators, NGOs and the wider public. The section Refugees in CEE explores forced migration in Central and Eastern Europe, it points out similarities and differences in the experience of various actors involved in forced migration and it views the problem of refugees in Central Europe from different perspectives. Possible contributions may address but are not limited to: – newly created/dissolved borders and their influence on refugees’ access to protection and their migration strategies; – refugees involvement in transnational networks; – differentiation of statuses of international protection and its impact on social status of refugees; – continuing impact of the Dublin II Regulation on refugees’ access to protection; – application of asylum policies in everyday practice (at the EU borders, in contact with authorities, in refugee camps); – increasing use of detentions in CEE and its consequences. We are looking for contributions in the form of studies (maximum 4,000 words), fresh excerpts from the field, reports, essays, interviews (with migrants or experts) and information about interesting projects of NGOs or other organisations to the themes “Refugees in CEE”. Language: English or Czech Deadline for abstracts: 31st March, 2009 Please send the abstracts/suggestions/questions to the section coordinator: Radka Klvaňová (Masaryk University), e-mail: radka.klvanova(at)gmail.com.

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Englandesh project

Here’s Sam Strickland’s fascinating photography project about migration from Sylhet to the UK.


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Moroccan Memories National Touring Exhibition

I know I’ve been out of the loop for a while, but things have begun to pick up with a project that I’ve been working on for the past year, Moroccan Memories in BritainI have previously mentioned this project before on the blog, but to refresh your memory, Moroccan Memories is an oral and visual history project, exploring three generations of British-Moroccans.

At the moment, Moroccan Memories is having a national touring exhibition, which started with a bang at the British Library, where some of the oral histories collected will be archived. The exhibition has travelled to Westminister Academy and will be at SOAS, University of London from Monday, 15th of December to Thursday the 18th of December 2008. This will be your last chance to see the exhibition of you are in London, as we will be travelling to St. Albans, Crawley, Trowbridge, Manchester and finishing on the 9th of February 2009 in Edinburgh.

If you are out and about and would like to hear amazing beats from the Harir Band and Gwana Blues, please come to a FREE concert on Monday the 15th of December 2008 at the Brunei Gallery at SOAS. The concert starts at 7:30-9:30pm.

For information regarding the Moroccan Memories in Britain National Touring Exhibition please visit out site at:



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Mapping Minority Groups in Britain

In order to illustrate the current diversity of different parts of Britain, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has commissioned a new interactive map. When you click through you will find 30 cities or areas of Britain, which appear as red circles – if you double click on a circle this takes you to a detailed neighbourhood map showing the most numerous minority groups by postcode, in that area. The white British population is excluded as otherwise it would dominate the maps, obscuring the minority group data. Click here for more about how information was gathered and to access the map.

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Second Generation Research Dialogues in Berlin

Call for Papers for two day workshop in Berlin:

*Second Generation Research Dialogues: Comparative Perspectives on Children of Immigrants

*Berlin, 16|17 January 2009

Within integration debates across Europe, focus has shifted from the first to the so called second generation of immigrants in recent years. Their performance in educational systems and on the job markets is tied to success or failure of integration policies and scrutinized with concern, as is their cultural, social and religious orientation. In many places a very contested group, the second generation symbolizes permanency of migration and growing diversity while raising questions about the concept and mechanisms of “integration” today.

In this workshop, current work on second generation immigrants will be discussed along two main themes:

  • the second generation and the city
  • the second generation in school

Central questions and concerns include

  • the impact of cities on processes of second generation identity construction, self representation and negotiation between cultural spheres
  • its role as arena for political participation, claim making and social positioning
  • its role as living and working environment and space of opportunity or restraint
  • as social space and place of belonging
  • the educational participation of second generation immigrants in comparative perspective
  • inequalities within educational systems
  • linkages between educational settings, policies and attainment
  • the role of teachers, friends, families and other factors impacting educational careers 

The workshop offers internationally comparative perspectives on second generation research in Europe and the US, featuring keynote presentations by:

*Philip Kasinitz*, chair of Dept. of Sociology at CUNY, NYC, USA on the New Second Generation in metropolitan New York; *Jens Schneider*, Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies (IMES), Amsterdam introducing the EU- research project TIES on the European second generation covering fifteen cities in eight European countries

Workshop format:

The workshop aims at facilitating intense dialogue and exchange among doctoral students and junior researchers involved in work on second generation immigrants. This will be reflected in the amount of time in the program allocated for discussion in a constructive, supportive setting.

We invite papers presenting theoretical and/or empirical contributions from a variety of methodological perspectives and different disciplines on second generation immigrants, regarding one of the central themes:

  • the second generation and the city
  • the second generation in school

Papers should not exceed length of 7,000 words and include an abstract (no more than 700 words). It is expected that collected papers will be published in some form after the workshop.


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Pilgrim State and Motherland: From Migration to Homecoming

This is an essay from guest writer for Intersections, Jacqueline Walker, the author of Pilgrim State.

In 1959, as a five year old, I arrived in Southampton from Jamaica having experienced periods of separation from my mother. Like many Caribbean parents of the time, my mother had been working away, in her case in Canada, to save enough money to take her family to Britain. As children we were being united not just with our physical mother but with the country we had been taught to think of as the Mother Country. Many years later, when I began research into the construction of British Caribbean identity for a postgraduate thesis, it became clear that the confluence between Caribbean notions of mothers and Motherland with experiences of separation and reunion were not just part of my personal childhood history. The work of Stuart Hall and Paul Gilroy, amongst others, has explored the response of Black British people to migration and colonialism. My intention here is to examine one strand of this thinking, with particular reference to a number of literary works, Sam Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners and my own book Pilgrim State in order to better understand the ways that the experience of migration and settlement for people of Caribbean descent has changed over the last sixty years.


The effects of enslavement on the relationship to ‘self’ has been commented on by writers such as CLR James and Franz Fanon. For more than two hundred years people of African descent had their bodies and minds enslaved through a number of violent and subtle stages that internalised oppression, making bearable what was, in reality, insufferable. However, people will always subvert oppression and Africans were not passive victims; they never have been, they rebelled, not just through acts of open revolt, such as those which occurred in Barbados or Haiti[1]. In every day life enslaved peoples subverted the power of the plantocracy, developing coded, highly mobile language systems, casting spells, corrupting food and saboutaging work schedules. However, one of the most effective and least known modes of resistance was the action taken by women in relation to their own reproduction. Control of fertility was, not surprisingly, a central arena for conflict; the issue being not simply how many children a woman would have, but when they would be born, who the father would be and the eventual fate of those children. Continue reading

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