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2020 Session Videos

As a woman migrant: A response through literature
50:58
Global Migrant Festival

As a woman migrant: A response through literature

Gender dynamics in relation to migration is finally something that has been given the attention it rightfully deserves. Join us therefore as we seek to understand how these award winning migrant women writers employ literary techniques as a response to the gender dynamics associated with migration. Our Speakers: Asiya’s story begins in Swat Valley, Pashtunistan. She was 8 years old when the war in her hometown endangered the lives of the people. To survive, Asiya and her family fled from place to place, eventually escaping to Malaysia in 2010 as a refugee. She has faced many obstacles in her 22 years of living, yet she has manage to use those challenges to hone her resillience. She was the first prize winner at Migrant & Refugee Poetry Competetion, Malaysia, 2019 Nyamad Biel is a former South Sudanese refugee who is currently working as a humanitarian in her home country, South Sudan. She is an award winning poet, filmmaker and a writer. Yulia Endang, from Ciamis, West Java, has been working in Singapore as a migrant worker for 14 years. In addition to writing poetry she enjoys photography. Yulia was awarded second place in Singapore’s 2019 Migrant Worker Poetry Competition Moderator: Amanda Chong is a lawyer who writes poems during lunch breaks. Her first collection Professions (2016) was shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize in 2018. Her poetry has been engraved on the Marina Bay Helix Bridge and included in the Cambridge GCSE syllabus. She co-founded ReadAble (www.readablesg.com), a non-profit which aims to improve social mobility by empowering children and migrant women with literacy.
Golden Waves: An artistic response to a hardline migrant policy
01:02:28
Global Migrant Festival

Golden Waves: An artistic response to a hardline migrant policy

This session will showcase the work of the Golden Waves project in Italy. In response to the hardline migrant policy adopted by Italy, the 'Golden Waves' art project promotes solidarity for migrants. One of their best known activities was to cover a village in golden blankets. The session will also feature a panel discussion with the founder of the project and key participants. Our Speakers: Mili Romano teaches Cultural Anthropology at the Academy of fine Art in Bologna. She is an artist and curator of public art, participatory and relational projects, often focused on promoting integration of migrants. Since 2005 she runs her project “Cuore di pietra” (Heart of stone) in Pianoro (Bologna). She published essays and books about literature, urban anthropology, public art. www.cuoredipietra.it www.milromano.com Clement I. Thomas was born in Nigeria, Edo State, in 1992. He attended secondary school in Lagos between 2003 and 2008. He arrived in Italy in 2016, when he arrived by boat in Pozzallo. He was then transferred to Bologna, where he lives with his wife and his three-years-old daughter in a Immigrant Welcome Center managed by the Association Mondo Donna onlus. Recently, he was hired for some temp work by the DHL Courier and he’s working as an hodman in Pianoro (Bologna). Moderator: Nazrul Kamsol, Managing Editor of MulaZine, a collective of multi disciplinary individuals and digital platform for paragraphs, photographs and ideas alike. Mula, the Malay word for ‘start’, aims to do exactly that by promoting insights into retrospective and current affairs, providing a safe space for lingering questions, discussions and a lifted censorship in all forms of bulletin, opinions and expression. Outside of Mula, Nazrul is a fourth year architecture student, with keen interest in conceptual works, and humanitarian causes. As a future designer, Nazrul aspires to be able to create disaster relief architecture that can improve the many lives of people that are vulnerable from natural disasters, poverty or war conflicts.
The Tacoma Refugee Choir: Sounds of migration
53:08
Global Migrant Festival

The Tacoma Refugee Choir: Sounds of migration

The Tacoma Refugee Choir is not your typical choir, it is a welcoming community of refugees, immigrants, and second-generation Americans using the power of music to share their stories and unite their community. The choir is a diverse, non-auditioned choral ensemble. This session will feature a musical performance by the choir followed by a panel discussion with founder and director of the choir and some of the participants. Our Guests: Nathalie Bajinya was born in Democratic Republic of Congo and spent time in refugee camps in Kenya where she learned to sew from the nuns in the orphanage. She now has a thriving tailored clothing shop, Undeniable Bajinya, where she creates amazing one-of-a kind garments. She is a wife, mother, sister and member of the Tacoma Refugee Choir. Kimsang Lor immigrated to the United States in 1984, from war-torn Cambodia. His passion is working with the youth--to help them succeed in school and enrich their communities--brought him to works at APCC’s Youth Program. He also teaches Khmer language/dance at KLACA, and is a loud/proud member of TRC! Thierry Ruboneka is a peace advocate, entrepreneur, and is passionate about music. He moved to the US in 2016 with his family from DRC. While he was a refugee in Uganda, he studied Multimedia and managed one of the most successful music startups in Africa. He can speak 5 languages and has a startup to promote African culture and lifestyle. Erin Guinup is the founding Executive and Artistic Director of the Tacoma Refugee Choir, a TEDx speaker, author, composer, conductor, and soprano soloist. Moderator: Shivaji Das is the author of four travel memoirs and photography books. His latest book is ‘The Other Shangr-La: Journeys through the Sino-Tibetan frontier in Sichuan.’ Shivaji’s work has been featured in TIME, Economist, BBC, Asian Geographic, etc. He is the conceptualizer of the acclaimed Global Migrant Festival and Migrant and Refugee Poetry Contests and is the Managing Director-APAC for Frost & Sullivan, a research and consulting company.
The Visuals of Migration: Expressing the migrant experience through Art and Photography
45:26
Global Migrant Festival

The Visuals of Migration: Expressing the migrant experience through Art and Photography

How does one respond to the dynamics of Migration through art? In this panel discussions, three acclaimed photographers and artists of refugee background will share their work and discuss the relevance of visual arts in the context of migration. Our Speakers: Azad Mohammed: Azad obtained refugee status and now resides in Germany. Prior to 2020, he was living in a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh after fleeing Myanmar in August 2017. While living in Cox’s Bazar, Azad documented stories of people and of day-to-day living. Azad is a talented photographer, motivated to grow his communication skills and grow professionally. Murtaza Ali is a Hazara visual artist from Afghanistan, currently living in Jakarta, Indonesia. He discovered art at Sketch Club Quetta, Pakistan. His paintings specialize in the abstract and semi-abstract, and are his self-experience and journey. He believes art has a great role in mankind's lives, and that artists are sincere, sensitive and show reality to the people as a mirror on the wall. He believes Art is a great way to express emotions and difficult situations that cannot be put into words. Geeti Ara spent six years in Malaysia as a refugee, and is currently in Ontario, Canada. She worked as a teacher in Malaysia for 4 years, studying concurrently She writes poetry, and is a self-taught artists who usually draws realistic portraits. She is currently studying graphic design, while working as an art instructor with Young Rembrandts. Moderator: Paroma Ray is a feminist educator and artist. As a South Asian woman and a parent of three, she spends a lot of time immersed in dialogues about gender, race and rainbows. Paroma identifies herself as being rootless and frequently wonders about the meaning of home, belonging and identity.
Telling migrant stories through community theatre
01:07:54
Global Migrant Festival

Telling migrant stories through community theatre

Hear from acta community theatre in Bristol, England, an internationally renowned theatre company that works with disadvantaged people to give them the confidence to tell their stories through theatre. In this talk they’ll explain why storytelling is so important for refugee and migrant communities in an increasingly global world, using examples of their previous and current European partnership projects. Our Speakers: Neil Beddow, acta Artistic Director: Neil was born and brought up in the Black Country, studied at University of Exeter and Goldsmiths College, and co-founded acta in 1985. He specialises in devising, writing and directing original community theatre with the diverse communities of Bristol. He represents acta at national and international levels, and has a particular interest in community theatre in a global context. Ingrid Jones, acta Associate Director :Ingrid has directed numerous community plays over the years, along with developing and directing acta youth theatres. Over the past ten years, she has focused on adult groups in particular working with migrant women. She has supported various European projects and training programmes; enabling her to share her experience, knowledge and enthusiasm for making community theatre. Rosalie Pordes, Projects Director: Born in London, Rosalie studied Drama at the University of Exeter where she discovered a passion for community theatre. Outside of her degree she volunteered with the theatre company Magic Carpet and supported a PHD student in her project Vital Spaces. Rosalie has led many projects at acta and currently directs the international Rapport company for migrants and refugees alongside co-Director and acta associate Hiba. Hiba Elhindi, acta Associate: Born in Sudan, Hiba moved to the UK in 2014. Since childhood, she has always been passionate about drama, arts and creative writing. She took part in shows at primary schools, creating sketches in French and performing them later at university. Hiba has been involved with acta since 2017 as a participant, audience member, trustee on the board and very recently as a foundation drama worker. Moderator Vivian Lim: Vivian is a community builder and lead curator TEDxSingapore. She was part of the co-founding team at TEDxNTU, where she curated years of Ideas Worth Spreading since 2011. Building communities has always been her passion. She brings diverse people together, shares conversations and builds authentic connections. She is the co-founder of Women In Asia, a community which helps to amplify perspectives from Asia, and help bridge cultural and gender differences. With educating women and girls as their key outcomes, her organisation runs programs like photo story exhibitions, mentoring circles to connect and engage the women community. Recently she was also selected as an Obama Leader, one of the 200 leaders on a year long program under The Obama Foundation Leaders: inaugural Asia-Pacific Program. Representing Singapore, she was chosen for Women In Asia’s work on women issues and girls education in the region.
Notes from the Gulf: Migrant Worker Artists of Abu Dhabi
51:55
Global Migrant Festival

Notes from the Gulf: Migrant Worker Artists of Abu Dhabi

This session will feature five very talented contracted colleagues from New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) presenting the migrant worker experience in the UAE. Brendalle Belaza and Tristan Legaspi will be doing this through their photography; Harkamal Singh through his utilisation of poetry, Sathpium Peiris through art and Baljit Kumar through singing. Our Speakers: Harkamal Singh: Harkamal Singh is from India. He has been working with ADNH Compass at New York University Abu Dhabi for the last 3 years. He is self-motivated and passionate about hospitality. He enjoys making videos about hospitality on YouTube and other social media platforms. His other hobbies include writing poetry, reading books, and clicking random pictures of nature. Brendalle Belaza: Brendalle Belaza was born and raised in the Philippines. She has been in the UAE for 13 years and is currently working as a domestic worker at New York University Abu Dhabi. She loves photography as it has been a life changing process while being far away from herloved ones. She also has a BSc in Animal Science and love taking care of animals. Sathpium Peiris: Sathpium Peiris is from Sri Lanka. He has been in the UAE for 8 years and is currently working as a lifeguard at New York University Abu Dhabi. He loves to make paintings, play computer games, study history, and swim in the ocean with big waves. Baljit Kumar: Baljit Kumar is from Punjab, India. He has been working at New York University Abu Dhabi since 2011. His hobbies include singing and playing piano. The main focus of his future career is to provide the best essential education to his kids. Tristan Legaspi: Tristan comes from Lucena City. He has been working in the UAE for 6 years and loves dance and music. He also enjoys freehand drawing, volunteering, and continuous learning. Additionally, during his time in Saudi, in 2009, he rediscovered his interest in photography. Moderators: Nandini Kochar: Nandini is a senior at NYU Abu Dhabi, pursuing a double-major in Social Research and Public Policy & Film and New Media. Having been born in India, raised in Botswana, and now living in the UAE, Nandini is passionate about documenting the experiences of migrants through visual storytelling. She is currently making an ethnographic documentary on the nexus of gender, migration and labour in the UAE. Aasna Sijapati: Aasna Sijapati is from Kathmandu, Nepal. She is currently a senior at New York University Abu Dhabi studying Social Research and Public Policy. She is extremely passionate about gender issues, especially in South Asia; she writes about her experiences as the gender columnist on NYUAD’s student-led publication, The Gazelle. "
Writers of Change: Archipelago Writers Collective and Emerging Writers in ID's Refugee Community
57:31
Global Migrant Festival

Writers of Change: Archipelago Writers Collective and Emerging Writers in ID's Refugee Community

Join these talented refugee writers as they use Literature to imagine new horizons beyond the disenfranchisement, marginalisation and displacement that is very much a part of the life of a refugee. Warsan Weedhsan writes on the experiences of refugee women in Indonesia and East Africa; JN Joniad explores the impact displacement has on mental health; Erfan Dana writes of limbo in Indonesia's outer islands and MA Raha writes fiction on the lives of girls in Afghanistan and Iran. Our Speakers: 1. Warsan Weedhsan Warsan Weedhsan is a writer and co-director of the archipelago writers collective in Jakarta. She is the co-founder of the Sisterhood Women’s Empowerment Centre in Jakarta which runs skills training and wellbeing programs for refugee women. Warsan’s writing aims to uncover the social and cultural problems facing refugees and to support women to stand against discrimination. Contact: warsanweedhsan633@gmail.com 2. JN Joniad JN Joniad is a Rohingya journalist and a journalism editor of the archipelago. He is a student of political science and human rights activist. He was formerly an Engineering and Physics student in Myanmar, before being forced to flee to Indonesia. Joniad contributes to film and publishing accounts of refugees searching for a safe and durable solution. Contact: jnjohn3d@gmail.com 3. Erfan Dana Erfan Dana is a Hazara writer from Afghanistan. He is an activist, volunteer and interpreter for refugees in Indonesia. He has lived in constant uncertainty in Indonesia after being compelled to flee Afghanistan since 2015. Contact: erfan.dana2018@gmail.com 4. MA Raha MA Raha writes fiction on the lives of girls. Her goal is to be a changer of her culture and to empower girls and women especially in Afghanistan and Iran Moderator: Kieren Kresevic Salazar is a Peruvian-Australian writer and the founding editor of the archipelago. He is a public service fellow at Harvard University and holds a degree in Comparative Literature from Harvard."
Letters from Taiwan: Literary activities by Migrant Worker Writers in Taiwan
01:00:01
Global Migrant Festival

Letters from Taiwan: Literary activities by Migrant Worker Writers in Taiwan

Taiwan is a country with migrant workers from many different countries. Letters of Taiwan aims to amplify these diverse voices via the literary works of some of the winners from the annual Taiwan Migrant Literature Competition. Thereafter, participants will be involved in a panel for discussion. Our Speakers: Erin Sumarsini, a.k.a Erin Cipta worked in Taiwan from 2012 until 2015 as a caregiver. She writes poem, short stories, and popular articles for Indonesian magazines published in Taiwan. She won the Merit Award on Taiwan Literature Award for Migrant twice, in 2014 and 2015. After going back to Indonesia, she continues writing for local media as a freelancer. She published her novel ""Carlos"" in 2017 and one children book about mathematicians in 2018. Now she lives in a village with her family, while opening a public library in her hometown in Central Java. Sri Lestari is an Indonesian migrant worker at Taiwan and studying communication in Universitas Terbuka Taiwan. This year she won the Taiwan Literature Award for Migrant with article Sri Pon dan Dongeng yang Mungkin Salah. Pratiwi Wulansari Cheng Chang is the co-founder of ‘4-way Voice Monthly(四方報)’ (2006), ‘Grandma Bridge Plan(外婆橋計畫)’ (2011-2015), ‘Singing in Taiwan(唱四方)’ (2013-2015), and ‘Taiwan Literature Award for Migrants’ (2014- ). In 2015, Cheng Chang kickstarted the event ‘Bringing Back Books That You Cannot Read’, and found a Southeast Asia-themed bookstore called ‘Brilliant Time’. He is dedicated to improving understanding between migrants and locals, and building a diverse, fair, and friendly society. Moderator: Yolanda Yu, born in North Eastern China, lives in Singapore since 1998. Award winning writer and poet, she also runs YoYo's Career Channel on YouTube.
At the Border: State Policy and Migrant Lives
01:11:32
Global Migrant Festival

At the Border: State Policy and Migrant Lives

As they move between territories, jurisdictions, and cultures, how do state actors influence the barriers migrants face and the conditions they endure? This panel considers how such effects, along with the dynamics of gender and capital, take shape in India, the US-Mexico border, and the city-state of Singapore. Our Speakers: Deepak K Mishra is Professor of Economics at the Centre for the Study of Regional Development, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi. His research interests are in the areas of the political economy of agrarian change, agrarian institutions, rural livelihoods, migration, and human development. He has co-authored The Unfolding Crisis in Assam's Tea Plantations: Employment and Occupational Mobility (Routledge, 2012) and has edited Internal Migration in Contemporary India (Sage, 2016). Recently he has co-edited Land and Livelihoods in Neoliberal India (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2020). Priscilla Lugo is from the South Texas border and a dual Masters candidate in Public Affairs and Women & Gender Studies at The University of Texas and studies discrimination in the immigration/asylum system. She has previously worked with pro-immigration groups like Refugee Services of Texas and the Workers Defense Project. Emma Israel is a masters candidate at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas.where she studies US immigration policy, with a particular focus on asylum and humanitarian migration. She previously worked in immigration legal aid with Kids in Need of Defense and Project Citizenship. Hema Kalamogan is a recent graduate, from University College London, with a Master's in Global Health and Development and is a recipient of the 2019 Chevening Award. She is the co-founder of Vaangae Anna (Come Brother!) a migrant worker initiative in Singapore and is passionate about health in migrant communities. Moderator: Theophilus Kwek is a writer, translator, editor and independent researcher based in Singapore. He has published four full-length collections of poetry, They Speak Only Our Mother Tongue (2011), Circle Line (2013), Giving Ground (2016) and Moving House (2020). Both Circle Line and Giving Ground were shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize, in 2014 and 2018 respectively. In addition, his pamphlet, The First Five Storms (2017), was shortlisted for the Michael Marks Poetry Award and won the inaugural New Poets’ Prize.
"Obra" After Work: Migrant Worker Artists in Hong Kong
01:02:31
Global Migrant Festival

"Obra" After Work: Migrant Worker Artists in Hong Kong

Have you considered Migrant Workers as Painters, Tattooist, Fashion Designers, Culinary Fruit Artists or Glass Artists? This session will showcase the various arts and crafts practised by the migrant workers in Hong Kong followed by a panel discussion to understand the relevance of arts in the migrant context. Speaker Bios: Cecil Calsas is a writer and poet. Her pieces were published in an E-book Wishing Well: Voices from Foreign Domestic Workers in Hong Kong and Beyond (2017), the main title coined from one of her works. She organised Philippine Sluggers, the baseball team featured in the documentary film Sunday, which was shortlisted in Hong Kong International Documentary Film Festival 2019. She conquered TEDx Wanchai Emergence 2018 stage with her poem Tsetserella. Cecil performs at Peel Street Open Mic Poetry in Central. Elpie Malicsi is a fashion designer using recycled materials and a culinary fruit artist. She works as a foreign domestic worker since 1988. A self taught artist paired with strong will to cultivate her days off, Elpie's works were showcased in a solo exhibition Sustainable Sunday Couture organised by Hong Kong University and the Philippine Consulate General in 2018. She is currently a livelihood trainer of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD), Hong Kong. Donna Sagudang is a self-taught Philippine painter and tattooist. She fulfilled her childhood dream by exploring her talents using pencils and paints since 2015. One of her breakthrough works was the mural painting at her employer's garden, which was featured in multiple media platforms including Asia Times and HK01. She is a member of various artist groups including Guhit Kulay. She has since participated in several art exhibitions including Obra: Likhang Sining at Galing ng Migranteng Filipino organised by the Philippine Consulate General, Hong Kong and Guhit Kulay in 2019. Ju-chen Chen is a senior lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She is interested in the relationship between gender and migration. Her research focuses on Filipino migrant workers’ participation in beauty pageants and other communal events. Ju-chen is the co-editor of Wishing Well: Voices from Foreign Domestic Workers in Hong Kong and Beyond (2017) and the organizer of Babae Ipagbunyi/ Empathy in a Click: Joan Pabona Solo Photo Exhibition (2019).
In Their Voices: Migrant Narratives and Voices
02:37:49
Global Migrant Festival

In Their Voices: Migrant Narratives and Voices

How do we ensure that migrants’ perspectives, concerns, and histories have their rightful place in our collective understanding – and how do we remake our maps and archives to represent their knowledge? This panel examines how migrants’ voices and experiences can be brought to the fore in widely varied contexts. Our Speakers: Dr. Dolly Kikon is a Senior Lecturer in the Anthropology and Development Studies Program at the University of Melbourne. She received her PhD from the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University in 2013, and was a Post-Doctoral fellow at the Department of Social Anthropology at Stockholm University from 2013-2015. Ashley Moore earned her B.S. in Political Science from the University of Houston and her M.A. in Global Policy Studies from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. Lucas Pastorfield-Li: Between 2015 and 2017, Lucas served as Circle of Health International’s Emergency Response Officer in Haiti, Greece, Turkey, and Texas where he focused on nutrition and healthcare challenges for migrants and refugees. At the LBJ School of Public Affairs, Lucas specialized in global migratory trends and the elements of mass-displacement. Samira Hassan is a Global Studies major in the National University of Singapore. Having worked with migrant communities for over 7 years, Samira has recently taken an interest in exploring possibilities of creating socially-engaged art, specifically within the realm of lens-based mediums. She is still learning and hopes to combine her passion for research, activism and documentary-making in a meaningful way. Manishankar is an independent writer and researcher working on the intersection between migration and the corporate social licence to operate. Trained as an environmental engineer and activist ethnographer, he is at present working on a book draft on the 'Invisible Gulf' capturing the migrant neighborhoods and narratives of the region. He read his masters degree at the National University of Singapore. Moderator: Theophilus Kwek is a writer, translator, editor and independent researcher based in Singapore. He has published four full-length collections of poetry, They Speak Only Our Mother Tongue (2011), Circle Line (2013), Giving Ground (2016) and Moving House (2020). Both Circle Line and Giving Ground were shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize, in 2014 and 2018 respectively. In addition, his pamphlet, The First Five Storms (2017), was shortlisted for the Michael Marks Poetry Award and won the inaugural New Poets’ Prize.
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