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Poetry of sanctuary: Searching for safety, belonging and home - 1 November 2022

Please note that this event has passed.


Hosted by Dr Sohail Jannesari and Dr Guntars Ermansons, with panellists Ravi from Payanam, Habib, Maral Normand, Habib

The Refugee Mental Health and Place network invites you to engage with forms of personal knowledge and poetic expression, foregrounded by the voices of people with lived refugee experience.

Harnessing the power of poetic expression, poets with refugee background will make explicit the harsh realities of migrant detention centres, exhausting asylum processes, existential suffering on the verge of life, and the power of inner resilience and support networks to shift direction of postmigration trajectories. The poems are part of a poetry anthology and have also been used in secondary schools to talk about refugees and mental health.

The event will explore intersections between public representation, experience-based knowledge and participatory research. It will be of interest to people who are concerned with issues affecting refugees and sanctuary seekers, mental health effects of the politics of asylum in UK, and search for belonging in the context of forced displacement.

It will foreground lived experience and combine forms of poetic expression and personal reflection focused on issues connecting personal and socio-political realities, and mental health. We welcome a broad audience, both academic and non-academic.

Running order

18:30 – 18:50: Poetry readings by people with lived refugee and sanctuary seeker experience. The poems come from interviews with sanctuary seekers. They will highlight repercussions of 'hostile environment' policy for people who seek sanctuary in the UK and its influence on mental health and wellbeing, sense of identity, human dignity, and belonging.

18:50 – 19:00: Presentation of photographic collection of images depicting asylum process with commentary by the photographer.

19:00 – 19:30: Panel discussion by performers and researchers followed by audience Q&A.

ESRC Festival of Social Science 2022

This in-person event is part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science 2022 at King's, running from 22 October - 13 November 2022.

At this event

Sohail Jannesari

Sohail Jannesari

Post-doctoral Researcher

Guntars  Ermansons

Guntars Ermansons

Lecturer in Social Science, Health & Medicine

Hanna Kienzler

Hanna Kienzler

Professor of Global Health

Zara Asif

Zara Asif

Research Assistant

Peter  Schofield

Peter Schofield

Senior Lecturer in Population Health


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