Behind The Red Door: Stigmatising the Survivors

Date: 24.5.16

Refugees, red doors and wristbands: is this penchant for labelling survivors an echo of a darker past? Join Syrian Poet Maram Al-Masri, academic Linda McDowell CBE and Gambian exiled journalist Pa Modou Bojang to explore the personal experiences and the western political and social response to the current refugee crisis. Writing on the Wall presents a discussion on the historic and current refugee situation and looking at the real stories of those in exile.

What does it mean for the refugees in Middlesborough to have their doors painted red? Was it intentional to single them out? Even if it wasn’t the intention, what was the effect and how has that impacted on relations between locals and asylum seekers? Comparisons between this, the red wrist bands in Cardiff, the Jewish yellow star, and the rise of Nazism in the 1930’s, are being made. What can history teach us? Through discussion and personal experience we try to understand the current refugee crisis, opening up the debate on the wider issues of social inclusion, housing and benefits. Linda McDowell CBE is a Statutory Professor and a Fellow of the British Academy. She is a labour geographer. At present she is the Vice-President of St John's College and the Fellow for Graduates. Linda has published a number of books, in particular Migrant Women's Voices: talking about life and work in the UK since 1945. Pa Modou Bojang is a Gambian journalist, working in community radio in particular the banned Yiriwa Development Radio as a General Manager. After being detained in Gambia for expressing his political beliefs, he fled to the UK claiming asylum in 2009. Maram Al-Masri is considered one of the most renowned and captivating feminine voices of her generation. She was awarded the “Adonis Prize” of the Lebanese Cultural Forum for the best creative work in Arabic in 1998, the “Premio Citta di Calopezzati” for the section “Poesie de la Mediterranee” and the “Prix d’Automne 2007” of the Societe des gens de letters. Her poetry collections include “Karra humra’ ala bilat abyad” (Red Cherry on the White Floor) and “Undhur Ilayk” (I look at you). 

Venue: Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre, 4 Princes Road, L8 1TH
Date: Tuesday 24th May
Time: 7pm

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