Refugee Nights November/December 2020 hosted by the Imperial War Museum

Refugee Nights is a virtual festival created by the IWM Institute marking its launch in November 2020. From those risking everything to cross the seas, to thousands who experienced the devastating fire in Lesbos’ Moria camp last month, 2020 has seen the highest levels of displacement on record. With an estimated 79 million people currently displaced worldwide, media attention has gravitated back to the so-called refugee crisis. But how much do we really know about the experiences of those behind the headlines? Over three nights, the festival will explore refugees’ stories throughout history in talks, eyewitness accounts, music and food, and celebrate refugees’ rich and important cultural contributions to UK public life.

Each night, spaced over three weeks, will be hosted by Hassan Akkad, Syrian refugee and creator of BAFTA-winning documentary ‘Exodus’ , who will guide online viewers through the festival and share his moving story along the way.

Story: Tales from a Refugee Camp – Free showing @edgehill

Thursday 14 November, 6pm

Edge Hill Lecturer, Yiannis Koufonikos’ new film, ‘Story: Tales from a Refugee Camp’ is the exciting outcome of a collaborative project with Coventry University, bringing together residents of the camp and the local community to share their stories.

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Dr Julia Hope: Children’s Literature about Refugees

Visiting from Goldsmiths’ University, last week Dr Julia Hope shared with the faculty her wealth of experience from her PhD research and a decade as a ‘refugee teacher’, working with children from a refugee background in the classroom.

Her paper explored the range of ways in which children’s books can support children with a refugee background to recognise themselves in fiction, as well as the opportunity for children without these experiences to develop empathy and understanding. Her examples demonstrated that even very young children can through discussion and art demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the reasons people leave, and what it might be like to come to a new classroom, a new school, a new country.

 

Feedback from the session was excellent. One delegate stated, ‘Excellent session –   thoroughly enjoyed it. Thankyou!’ Another, who is a trainee teacher commented, ‘We need more talks like this.’ Students and staff plan to read more of the titles Julia included in her presentation, approaching them critically, and seeking to undertake research in the area. Others reflected on the way the session would help in the classroom to work with refugee families and children.