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Russia, asylum seekers and Afghanistan on international agenda at University conference

Controversy around policies towards asylum seekers is among the topical issues being tackled at University of Gloucestershire’s upcoming symposium featuring an array of UK and international speakers.

Encompassing film and art, ‘Home: Provoking Conversations on Place and Belonging’ will explore concepts that are key to the personal, social and political transformations brought about by events such as wars, climate change and migration, combined with reflections on their impact on domestic concerns such as housing, the rising cost of living and identity.

As well as presentations by experts from the University and other UK institutions, the in-person and online symposium will include key speakers from the University of Montreal, the Norwegian Theatre Academy, COMSTATS University Islamabad, University of Porto and Konstfack Stockholm University.

Keynote speaker and artist Anne Marie-Creamer will discuss her current film ‘Dear Friend I can no longer hear your voice’, made in collaboration with the Sir John Soane’s Museum in London.

Portait photo of Anne Marie-Creamer
Anne-Marie Creamer, keynote speaker at the 2022 Home: Provoking Conversations on Place and Belonging symposium

Presentations will include ‘No Place Like Home: Exploring policy discourses around unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in the UK’ and ‘The Rootless Forest: Stories of change, home and relocation from people affected by the Afghan conflict’.

Writer and artist Denis Esakov, formerly living in Moscow and now resident in Berlin, will present

‘Homeland Warland: Place, home and ‘Russianness’’, while other presentations include an examination of the Capitol Hill Riots in the United States, and the British South Asia contribution to shaping Britain.

Home’ will be hosted in-person at the University’s Park Campus on Friday, 1 July and online on Monday, 4 July, with each event featuring a separate programme of speakers and presentations.

Both events are free to attend and registration for tickets via Eventbrite is open.

‘Home’ has been organised by Dr Kirsten Adkins, Lecturer in Film Production within the University’s School of Creative Industries, and Tony Clancy, Senior Lecturer in Photography from the University’s School of Arts.

Dr Adkins said: “This symposium provides an interdisciplinary forum for researchers to explore current debates on themes of belonging, place and home.

“As much of this debate is done through film and art making, we will be screening and looking at art performance and film work to explore these issues.  

“The symposium aims to provoke conversations into the meaning of home, to have a sense of place and belonging and provides an informal and supportive forum for researchers to explore opportunities and challenges associated with inter-disciplinary research. This is a space to test ideas, discuss methodologies and receive feedback from peers.”