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Research Centre for Migration, Diaspora and Exile (MIDEX)

The UCLan Research Centre for Migration, Diaspora and Exile (MIDEX) develops in-depth, state-of-the-art and impactful analysis of cultural, political, social, socio-legal and historical topics within migration, diaspora and exile.

With more than 60 members across all faculties of the university, including established and young scholars, teaching staff and PhD students, MIDEX has emerged as an interdisciplinary centre of research and community engagement. Our projects include contemporary migration in Britain and Europe and beyond including the Windrush scandal, deportations and detentions and the racialisation of migrants as a result of the rise in xenophobia and far-right political parties, migration as a consequence of climate change.

We also research ways that refugees, migrants and the rest of civil society are challenging these inequities. We do this through links to community groups that work with refugees and migrants such as Preston Black History Group, Sewing Café, Lancaster, Lancashire County Council (Syrian Resettlement Programme) and Preston City of Sanctuary.

As well as conducting research on contemporary cases, we also tackle past events such as the Spanish exile after the Civil War, the cultural history of the Black Atlantic diaspora, and the responses of Asian societies to their colonial past. Our Centre includes researchers from the social sciences, law and humanities, which builds on the University’s existing research strengths in the field, including Black British artistic practice (2017 Turner Prize winner, Lubaina Himid), Migrant Nurses (Mick Mckeown), Russia Abroad (Olga Tabachnikova), Spanish literature in exile (Eduardo Tasis), Peace and Justice Studies (Kim McGuire) and Chinese Migration (Lara Momesso).

We work with existing centres and institutes at the University, such as the Vladimir Vysotsky Centre for Russian Studies and the Institute for Black Atlantic Studies (IBAR). We also collaborate with leading researchers on migration issues in the Asia Pacific such as the Northern Institute of Taiwan Studies (NorITS), the Institute of Korean Studies at UCLan (IKSU), the Centre of Austronesian Studies (COAS).


MIDEX has three main objectives:

  • to establish a network of academics and research students from across the University and enable them to engage with international communities in research
  • to enable its members to produce high quality outputs and develop impact case studies by offering them access to research grants, support for publication and impact cases and visiting fellowship opportunities
  • to organise seminar programmes, conferences and other activities in collaboration with community groups, media outlets and other third parties, developing materials that allow us to share our research through books, broadcasts, webpages etc.

MIDEX research strands

TOES by Jade Montserrat
TOES by Jade Montserrat


Videos from our events

Seminar series

If you would like to keep updated with our most recent news & events follow us on Facebook & Twitter: @MIDEXCentre

June 2021

23 June, Teams, 4-5pm
“Migration, Memory and Masculinity: The Subculture of the Stowaway in Dar es Salaam”
Dr David Kerr (University of Johannesburg).

May 2021

12 May, Teams, 4-5pm
“You Are not Alone! Experiences of LGBTQ+ Migrants in the UK during Covid-19 Lockdown. A Minority Stress Perspective”
Kisley Di Giuseppe (Independent Researcher)

The post-migration issues of exclusion and isolation are not new to sexual minority migrants, resulting from the intersecting stigma associated with their non-conforming sexuality, racial and migration status. The present study explored how LGBTQ+ forced-migrants navigated the structural discrimination presented within the system during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, it explored how the Zoom online social support provided by Say It Loud Club helped to address the aforementioned intersecting stigmas, assessing the impact this had on their mental wellbeing. Twenty-seven participants took part in qualitative focus-groups. Findings revealed that, like other vulnerable populations in the UK, LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and refugees faced similar general stressors during lockdown (e.g., Isolation, financial constraints and mental health issues). As expected, participants’ sexual minority identity led to additional stressors related to homophobia and the perception of the self as stigmatised and devalued minorities (e.g., double-marginalisation and discrimination from both their own diaspora communities and local government). Further empirical evidence shows that having social support tailored to their unique condition addressed social isolation, enhanced sense of belonging, acceptance and resilience, while providing skills and knowledge building in terms of sexuality and in accessing healthcare and local resources.

26 May, Teams, 4-5pm
“The emergence, representation and shifting identities through hip hop culture in the provincial South-West and North-West of England during the 1980s”
Dr Adam de Paor-Evans (UCLan).

Hip hop culture made its transatlantic journey to Britain at the dawn of the 1980s, and ever since British hip hop has been in constant dialogue across the Atlantic with American hip hop. Hip hop arrived in a Britain governed by a nationalistic and neo-liberal Thatcherite conservative party during a period of industrial unrest and decline, and offered a space in which young people were able to contest the official narrative and develop new forms of identity.

There is a marked difference though, between British hip hop that evolved in the dense urban metropoles and that which grew from the regional-rural areas. The emergence of hip hop in the provincial South-West and North-West of England was shaped by the social, political, and economic realities of the late 1980s and early 1990s, yet there remained distinctions between the cultural practices and rituals in these regions. The vernacular, geography, economics, society, and politics of local areas also impacted hip hop’s growth and development.

Through these distinctions. provincial British hip hop also began to establish a regional-rural music economy which could speak to local issues in local dialects. This seminar discusses how provincial hip hop practitioners engaged with the legacies of American hip hop, and sought to navigate their own path remaining true to hip hop’s aesthetic practices and values. The seminar also explores the hidden histories and stories of hip hop’s emergence in these regions, where fans and practitioners created distinct forms of regional, national, and racial identity whilst concurrently raising questions and commentary about the differences and similarities of regional socio-political contexts.

April 2021

14 April, Teams, 4-5pm,
“LANDSCAPES OF UN/BELONGING: An empirical psychosocial study of Lithuanian migration to London since the early 1990s”
Asta Binkauskait (UCLan)

This talk shed some light on a poorly-known country, Lithuania. Although its population is plummeting, the academic literature is largely silent – even that of the UK, the prime destination of Lithuanian emigrants.

My study investigated the possibility that this increased social and physical mobility of Lithuania's population is partly related to an immobility within the ‘cultural psyche,’ related to the country's exposure to repeated historical trauma over many decades. The study considered those born in ‘Soviet’ Lithuania.

The study – using psychosocial interviews and groups – looked at how the cultural imaginary (the ways migrants imagine their collective social life) is produced out of this history in the context of a ‘melancholic subjectivity’ that the psychosocial scholar Frosh has associated with the XXIc. Regarding the present day, arguably some migrants are ‘haunted’ by legacies of the past.

Whilst my findings focused on Lithuania, some were widely applicable.

28 April, Teams, 4-5pm,
“Revisiting Narratives of Climate Justice: A Critical Study of Eco-documentaries on Pacific Climate Migration”
Dr Ti-Han Chang (UCLan)

In the era of climate crisis, low-lying Pacific islands such as Kiribati, Papua New Guinea and Tuvalu in the tropical zone are the first nations that suffer from severe consequences of rising sea level and climate instability. With the rise of eco-consciousness and climate justice, documentaries addressing problematic issues of climate migration are going through a booming phase since 2010. This seminar proposes to study three selected eco-documentaries, There Once Was an Island: Te Henua E Nnoho (2010), The Hungry Tide (2011), Anote’s Ark (2018) and critically evaluates the political narratives and global discourse of climate justice that are shaped by these eco-documentaries. This research attempts to tackle a key question of the global climate migration issue, that is, whether global consensus of climate migration shaped by contemporary eco-documentaries withhold an Euro-centric perspective and neglects the possibilities for in-situ adaptation for the Pacific Islanders.

March 2021

24 March, Teams, 4-5pm
“Shall WeChat? Women’s migration, e-entrepreneurship and emotion between China and Taiwan”
Dr Beatrice Zani (TRIANGLE, ENS Lyon and ERCCT, Tubingen University).

This seminar draws on my multi-sited ethnographic research in China and Taiwan, including over one hundred interviews, and explores the mobilities of Chinese women's who move from the countryside to the city, and their marriage-migration to Taiwan. With close attention to the link between migration, emotion, and ICT, it considers the development of digital social networks, solidarity practices, and e-entrepreneurship by women to undo a condition of subalternity along their multiple mobilities. In the digital age of migration, it elucidates how the multiplication of migratory paths and the growing use of the application WeChat by the ‘connected’ migrants and the emotional dimension of commerce and entrepreneurship bring about novel digital, commercial and emotional geographies of interconnection between China and Taiwan.

February 2021

February 3rd, Teams, 4-5pm
“Slavery versus Freedom: The Peculiar Case of Japanese Intervention in Unregulated and Regulated Indentured Labor Regimes -1872”
Dr Bill Mihalopoulos (UCLan).

Histories of the extension of human rights have a magnetic appeal. Sometimes, however, they are too normative to do justice to the historical conditions in which new rights and freedoms—and new obligations and limitations—are brought into existence. More frequently change assumes the form of mutations in historical circumstances themselves. That is the manner this seminar approaches the difficult and fascinating case of the Maria Luz Incident (1872).

In the seminar Mihalopoulos will share some of his ongoing research.

February 17th, Teams, 4-5pm
“Catalans pel món’ by Pere Calders in the Context of Catalan Diaspora: an Insight into Irony and Magic Realism as a Tacit Expression of Trauma”
Dr Alicia Moreno (Edge Hill and UCLan)

This paper discusses Pere Calders’s “Catalans pel món” [Catalans about the world], which constitutes an example of literary ironic discourse characteristic of the author’s narrative exile. Calders was a 20th century Catalan writer renowned for his ironic short stories that are often endowed with irony, fantasy and humour. Irony is a covert form of communication that has a social intent, and given its complexity, it can sometimes lead to misunderstanding. This discussion will argue that, this story represents, through irony, both the Catalan diaspora following the Spanish civil war and an ideology regarding Catalan identity. An insight into the story and the ironic cues will demonstrate the important role that the author´s strong sense of Catalan identity has in discerning the traumatic experience of exile.

January 2021

January 6th, Teams, 4-5pm
“Jim Crow Representations: Memorialising Difficult Histories”
Dr Jessica Moody (University of Bristol)

The Black Lives Matter movement in the 21st century has drawn urgent focus to the tangible monuments in our towns and cities which are part of the architecture of white supremacy; celebrating figures of the Confederacy, slave traders and imperialists in the United States, Europe and postcolonial countries. Drawing on exhibition analysis, qualitative interviews and participant observation of museum tours, this talk considers the ways in which the dissonance inherent in museological representations of racism, still an emerging area, create tensions between past and present, between history, memory and ‘legacy’, and evoke painful pasts as performative avenues for present and future action.

January 20th, Teams, 4-5pm
“Women in the Haitian Revolution”
Dr Nicole Willson (UCLan)

The Haitian Revolution of 1791-1804 was the most radical antislavery and anticolonial struggle of the modern Atlantic World, and the only successful slave revolution. Nicole Willson's research project 'Fanm Rebèl: Recovering the Histories of Haiti's Women Revolutionaries' represents the first major scholarly attempt to resurrect Haiti’s women revolutionaries from archival silence. In this seminar, she will talk about some of the important discoveries that she has made, shedding light on the stories of women that have too often been consigned to the margins. In particular, she will spotlight two of the major projects that she has overseen: the creation of a digital archive ( and the production and release of a documentary following the life of the first Queen of Haiti in Britain.

December 2020

December 2nd, Teams, 4-5pm
“Immigration Law as an Anti-Terrorism Technique: ‘Medieval’ Exile?”
Dr Kim McGuire (UCLan) 

This seminar will utilise an interdisciplinary approach, including Law, to consider the specific challenges, not least to Human Rights, that ex supporters of extremist groups pose for various nations. In particular, it will consider the use of exile, rather than prosecution or rehabilitation, for example, of ISIS supporters in Syria. Indeed, ‘exile,’ supported by potentially dubious claims to legality, appears to be a ‘popular’ UK choice, both for governments and the public: The UK has been described as being in the “vanguard of citizenship deprivation”. The interdisciplinary approach will consider one specific example, and discuss reasons for various responses, in the current political and socio-economic climate. Audience participation is widely encouraged.

December 16th, Teams, 4:30-5:30pm
“Exile: The Temptation of the Trope in Nazi Germany and Francoist Spain”
Dr Monica Jato (University of Birmingham)

This seminar explores the concept of exile, emphasizing its historical reality and the need to rehistoricise the word in the face of the recurrent tendency to conceive it in metaphorical terms. It first discusses the genealogy of “exile” and its conflicting definitions and uses over time and then focuses on the concept of inner exile and the controversies that have raged over its use in both Spain and Germany, including contemporary testimonies revealing the term’s positive inflexion but also examples of how it has been used inappropriately over time.

November 2020

November 2nd, Teams, 6-7pm
“Global Migration and Multicultural Society: Teaching English in South Korea”
Dr Hyangkue Lee & Prof Anthony Banks (Hanyang University) (In collaboration with IKSU).

This presentation provides young UK university students with the necessary background knowledge to help them relocate to South Korea for work. The topics to be discussed are UK Expatriates in

Korea; Numbers compared to other nationalities; Getting an ESL job; Cultural Differences, and General Advice. Time for questions from the audience will be allocated at the end. Participants are encouraged to take full advantage of this rare opportunity to get bespoke advice.

November 25th, Teams, 4-5pm
“Chinese Muslim Students' Mobility and Migration in the Era of BELT and ROAD Initiative. A Case Study of Women Graduates of Quranic Schools in Linxia City Resettling in Malaysia”
Francesca Rosati (Leiden University).

This paper addresses the mobility of Muslim women graduating from religious schools in Linxia to Muslim-majority countries in the era of BELT and ROAD initiative (hereafter, BRI). It is based on the findings of a twelve-year (2006–2017) research on Islamic education in Linxia city (Gansu, China), and on a month fieldwork survey carried out in Kuala Lumpur/Gombak (Malaysia) in the fall of 2017.

My case studies on mobility patterns among Quranic school female students between Linxia and Malaysia aim to shed light on whether the Party-state's religious policies, on the one hand, and the BRI trade partnerships with Muslim-majority countries, on the other, affect Muslim women's religious educational networking, spontaneous mobility, and migration trends.

October 2020

October 7th, Teams, 4-5pm
“Queer Asylum in Europe: Intersectional Human Rights Challenges”
Dr Nina Held (University of Sussex).

Whilst Europe is proud of its record on LGBTQI+ rights and presents itself as a haven for LGBTQI+ people, the situation of individuals who seek international protection on grounds of sexual orientation and/or gender identity looks rather bleak. Taking an intersectional lens and drawing on findings from the 4-year (2016-2020) European research project SOGICA – Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Claims of Asylum, this paper will discuss the legal and social challenges LGBTQI+ asylum claimants and refugees face in Europe.

21 October 4-5pm, Join Seminar
“Canaan Limited: Canada in Black Slave and Neo-Slave Narratives”
Dr Astrid Haas (UCLan) (In collaboration with IBAR, Black History Month).

The lecture explores the depiction of Canada in mid-19th-century black slave narratives as well as 20th- and 21st-century neo-slave narratives. In the 19th century, Canada held a reputation of being a “land of liberty,” where slavery was absent and fugitives from slavery in the USA could establish a life in freedom. The lecture discusses how the autobiographies of former slaves Josiah Henson and Austin Steward portray Canada and its black community. These are compared to the images of the country in two novels about slavery, African American Ishmael Reed’s Flight to Canada (1976) and Black Canadian Lawrence Hill’s The Book of Negroes (2007).

May 2020

May 19th, Teams, 4-5pm
“Tropical Horror Stories of Resistance – Poisoning, Obeah and Slave Rebellion” in Matthew Lewis's Journal of a West India Proprietor Stephanie Volder (Aarhus University)

Stephanie's project "'Gothic images of slavery and rebellion: The dispute over the meaning of freedom and race in the transatlantic print culture of Jamaican slavery, 1800-1834" explores how Anglophone transatlantic writers shaped and reworked a vocabulary of Gothic and racist stock tropes in representations of slave rebellion in the British-West Indies. The project looks at how these Gothic images of slave rebellion took part in a larger dispute over the meaning of freedom in European and colonial emancipation debates in the early 19th-century. 

March 2020

Mar 17th, LH202, 5pm
“Slave Agency: A Case Study”
Raphaël Lambert (Kansai University/Oxford University) in conjunction with MIDEX & IBAR:

Raphaël Lambart is a professor of African American literature and culture in the department of American and British Cultural Studies at Kansai University in Osaka, Japan. He has published essays in Journal of Modern Literature, Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction and The African American review. His latest piece, “From Édouard Glissant’s The Open Boat’ to Age of Mass Migration,”appears in the collection Cosmopolitanisms, Race, and Ethnicity: Cultural Perspectives (De Gruyter, May 2019), and his book, Narrating the Slave Trade, Theorizing Community (Brill Press) was published in January 2019.

Mar 18th, ABLT3, 1-2pm
“The Subculture of the Stowaway in Dar es Salaam: Migration, Memory and Masculinity”
Dr. David Kerr (University of Birmingham/University of Johannesburg)

This talk explored the subculture of stowing away on ships which developed in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania during the 1970s and 1980s. Over time, the figure of the stowaway has become a potent symbol of masculinity, transgression and possibility in the imagination of the city. Through songs, fiction and rumour, the image of the stowaway continues to circulate in the social imagination of Dar es Salaam. In the last year, a Kiswahili term for a stowaway, baharia, has been trending on Tanzanian Twitter. This paper explores the life story of a single stowaway and its imaginative afterlives. Situating the Tanzanian stowaway’s story in its social and historical context this paper examines how the telling, interpretation and reinterpretation of this story acts as a site for the imagination of the possibilities and anxieties of life in Dar es Salaam.

February 2020

Feb 19th, LH202, 5pm
"Rebellious Passage: The Creole Revolt and America’s Coastal Slave Trade"
Prof. Jeffrey R Kerr-Ritchie (Howard University, Washington DC)

In late October 1841, the Creole left Richmond with 137 slaves bound for New Orleans. It arrived five weeks later minus the Captain, once passenger, and most of the captives. Nineteen rebels had seized the US slave ship en route and steered it to the British Bahamas where the slaves gained their liberty. The focus on south-to-south self-emancipators at sea differs from the familiar narrative of south-to-north fugitive slaves over land. Written with verve and commitment, Rebellious Passage chronicles the first comprehensive history of the ship revolt, its consequences and its relevance to global modern slavery.

Feb 26th, BB438, 4pm
“Humanitarian Health in North Korea” 
Dr Jiho Cha (University of Manchester) (In collaboration with IKSU).

In the last decades, a deteriorating economy coupled with international sanction has led to unstable socioeconomic transitions in North Korea, particularly an expansion of informal market mechanisms. The socialist health system was distorted, and the unregulated health system was expanded through the informal market.This lecture explored how health disparities have emerged in-between changing social determinants and power during and after humanitarian crises in North Korea; and what is the context-specific determinants of health in the most marginalized group from crises-induced-transition.

January 2020

Jan 8th, ABLT3, 1-2pm
“From Sweatshop to Fashion Shop: Korean Immigrant Entrepreneurship in the Argentina Garment Industry”
Dr Jihye Kim (MIDEX, University of Central Lancashire) (In collaboration with IKSU)

Currently, among the approximately 20,000 ethnic Koreans living in Argentina, an estimated 80% are engaged in the garment industry. Within the theoretical frameworks of immigrant entrepreneurship, this research examines why and how Korean Argentines have been continuously concentrated in the clothing industry from the beginning of the Korean immigration in the 1960s to the present. By combining historical contextualisation with theories on immigrant entrepreneurs that had previously only been tested on short-term study periods, finding further suggest that scholars should pay closer attention to historical shifts and accounts in analysing longer-term periods of ethnic business.

Jan 29th, ABLT3, 1pm
“Chinese migrants in Italy”
Antonella Ceccagno (University of Bologna).

Prato – close to Florence – is a well-known industrial district playing an outstanding role in fashion production, it is the hub of Chinese immigrants in Italy. Focusing attention on this relatively small locality, Ceccagno tracks the transformations that have been taking place in the Italian (fast) fashion production over time. When the flexibility of native workers in Southern Italy was no longer enough, the ‘factory cum dormitory’ working regime of the Chinese garment producers prevailed; and when Chinese workers were no longer available, Chinese employers started tapping into a global labour pool of asylum seekers from Pakistan, Bengal & Africa, constantly replenished by new arrivals. The presentation situates the recurrent restructuring of the space of production and the growing precarity of workers within dynamics that, while unfolding in the locality, stem from global transformations and are supported by national policies.

December 2019

Dec 11th, LH 202 (5-6pm)
“Black Inter-American Mobilities and Autobiography in the Age of Revolutions (1760-1860)”
Astrid Haas (Marie Curie Research Fellow, IBAR & MIDEX, UCLAN)

This talk introduced the research project Astrid carried out during her two-year tenancy as Marie Curie Research Fellow at UCLan. The research explores the ways transnational autobiographies by black authors address different forms of black mobility in the Americas during the Age of Revolutions and its immediate aftermath. Combining the approaches of the Black Atlantic and Inter-American Studies, it pursues two goals. On the one hand, the project explores how the major types of transnational black autobiography from this period address forms of black mobility in the Americas. On the other hand, it seeks to advance the transnational, comparative study of early black autobiography across the Americas and its connections to the Atlantic world.

October 2019

Oct 3rd Harrington LT, 4-6pm
“The Big Steppe: An Exhibition Talk”
Robert Walley (MIDEX, UCLAN)

Mongolia was undergoing drastic change both politically and climatically. It was an unprecedented situation which was under reported in both environmental campaigns and humanitarian affairs. UCLan Lecturer and Outreach Project Coordinator Bob Walley travelled to this unique country with a team of researchers, to find out the reasons behind the changes happening there. The team aimed to raise awareness of the challenges facing the incredible people struggling to continue this disappearing way of life, one that has existed for thousands of years.

Oct 9th, ABLT3, 1-2pm
“Irony and Humor in the Exile Narrative of Pere Calders”
Dr Alicia Moreno (MIDEX, UCLan, Edge Hill University)

In celebration of the 80th anniversary of the Republican exile, this paper discusses the exile narrative of Pere Calders, a Catalan writer whose exile in Mexico spanned 23 years. Calders, who wrote over 200 short stories, was later to become best known for his innovative short stories that never conformed to literary trends of the time. This discussion intends to highlight the characteristics of the stories that he wrote during his exile, which sometimes reflected his inability to settle in Mexico.

Oct 28th, Creative Innovation Studio, 12.30 -2.30 Black History Month Event: “The Reality of Being Gullah/Geechee”
Queen Quet (Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation).

Poster: Celebrating Black History Month, IBAR, in conjunction with the Lancashire Research Centre for Migration, Diaspora and Exile (MIDEX) and the School of Humanities and Global Studies, is proud to present: Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (, is the elected Head-of-State and spokesperson for Gullah/Geechees. Queen Quet took us on a journey through their cultural history and continuing legacy from Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade to human rights and their current stand to stay on their land.

Catalogue of other events

November 2021

Community UCLan Peace and Justice Studies Network, MIDEX, John’s BAME Centre
“Race, Space, Place: and Justice”

This conference will question and explore the concepts and perceptions of identity, cohesion and conflict in various contexts. Participants will discuss how different meanings, interpretations and responses may variously impact upon cohesion and integration.

The event will bring together the ideas and perspectives of leading academics, policymakers, practitioners and community workers, offering a cutting-edge interdisciplinary approach to the key debates.

Other key features include:

  • strong links between theory, practice and policy
  • up-to-date analysis of contemporary policy issues
  • 'reflections' on key themes, and case studies that illustrate the relevance of research to 'real life'

This conference is an opportunity to contribute to debates about identity, diversity, community cohesion and conflict. It is of interest to those studying social policy, race, community studies, politics, Law, Hate Crime and Sociology, mental health, as well as being relevant for policymakers, researchers and those working in the public sector.

June 2021

23 – 24 June,

“Making Home, Doing Belonging: Mobilities and Immobilities in Experience”

Keynote speakers: Paolo Boccagni (Trento, Italy), Les Back (Goldsmiths College, London) & Rebecca Joy Novell (Refugee Community Development Officer, Lancashire County Council)

The observation that ‘[b]elonging like home entails personally significant and emotional connections between people and places’ (Kusenbach and Paulsen 2013:6) continues to take on novel forms and high political and existential stakes. Irreducible to having a roof over one’s head or identity/ citizenship, ‘home’ and ‘belonging’ have, in theory, been de-coupled from notions of naturalised origin or essentialised being. Yet, in the current political context, they tend to be mobilised in all too static, idealised and fixed forms producing fearful (b)ordering relations, immobilised lives and surveillance anxiety rather than positive critical values of security, familiarity, connectedness and control (Back, Sinha with Bryan 2012; Brun 2015, 2017; Yuval-Davis, Wemyss and Cassidy 2018; Wemyss and Yuval-Davis 2020). The same might be said of belonging. Where Boccagni (2017: 16) argued that ‘… the resources available for individuals to appoint a place as home and the mobility infrastructures accessible to them, are distributed in deeply unequal ways along several axes; they are a major factor of social stratification at a global level’, the consequences of this inequality have been illuminated in the wake of ‘COVID-19 ‘.

‘Stay home’ has been experienced and interpreted alternatively as: little different from the usual for marginalised groups (Boccagni 2020); as an act of and opportunity for solidarity (Brickell 2020); an exclusive experience sparking a redistribution and potential reframing of (im)mobility (Xiang 2020); or an indiscriminate illegitimate restriction on civil liberty (Lord Sumption 2020). Whatever the interpretation, however, it can be argued that issues of ‘home’ and ‘belonging’ are on personal, scholarly, policy and political radars to an extent without recent precedent. This event seeks to explore how mobilities and immobilities in home and belonging have, do, and could, relate and intersect in experience, theory, policy, and how our research can more effectively apprehend, represent and intervene in, their possibilities.

MIDEX, in collaboration with HOMInG, therefore invite researchers, policy makers, public sector workers and interested individuals to hear the keynotes, join in this discussion, and contribute their knowledge and experience to foster further theoretical development of these terms with concern to recognise their importance and consequence to individuals and the future of shared lives.

May / June 2022

Communities of Engagement: Contesting Borders, Barriers and Walls in the Era of Climate Crisis UCLAN Cyprus, 12th Biennial Multi-Ethnic Society – Europe and the Americas (MESEA) Conference at UCLAN Cyprus

For the twelfth MESEA conference we welcome papers that look at the ways in which literature, film, and other art forms as well as social and political activism critically engage with climate change and (shifting) physical borders, and/or virtual, social, political, and cultural ones. The conference welcomes intersectional approaches to its topic, including but not limited to perspectives that include race, gender, ethnicity, class and sexuality. Held in Cyprus, within the liminal UN Buffer Zone that divides the island, this conference will provide a forum for discussions on the global climate crisis, the effect of borders on competing ideas of nation and religious belief, as well as the ways in which artists and activists work around these difficult issues. More details

February 2021

5th-6th February
The Anthropocene and Race Conference

This conference brings together an international array of thinkers from geography, literature and culture.
The term Anthropocene remains controversial. Discussions among geologists are ongoing. Is the scale of ‘human’ activities really what is at stake here, or the activities of a few individuals, nations, corporations and governments? A subsistence farmer in Africa quite clearly does not have the same impact on the Earth as the chief executive of a coal mining company. Is the very idea of the Anthropocene western-centred – even racist?

Environmental damage is a major driver of diaspora and new forms of exile, from climate change migration and the flight from polluted cities to ‘solastalgia’ (a feeling of distress caused by environmental damage close to your home.)

Hosted by the Institute for Black Atlantic Research, the Asia Pacific Studies Institute and the Centre for Migration, Diaspora and Exile More info here:

Opening of Memorial to Zong exhibition, Lancaster Maritime Museum

IBAR is proud to announce the exhibition of Co-Director Professor Lubaina Himid’s Memorial to Zong at the Lancaster Maritime Museum which is the culmination of her engagement with the City and its slave trade history which began with the inaugural public meeting of the Slave Trade Arts Memorial Project (STAMP) in November 2003 and continued in 2007 with the display of her 100-piece overpainted ceramic work Swallow Hard: The Lancaster Dinner Service at the Judges’ Lodgings.

Due to COVID Restrictions, there is a delay to the opening of the exhibition to members of the public. However, accompanying the exhibition, during Black History Month, a series of videos and other materials will be shown on the Museum Facebook Page related to it and to Co-Director Professor Alan Rice’s newly-designed Lancaster Slave Trade, Abolition and Fair Trade Trail which is being launched to coincide with Professor Himid’s exhibition.

Online exhibition to open by end February 2021.
Exhibition to be extended to end September 2021 (tbc)
Exhibition info

January 2021

15th January

Public Launch of MIDEX

Celebrating the official launch of MIDEX, with guest speakers Johny Pitts and Ipek Demir!

November 2020

4th November
Mapping Taiwan Related Civic Activism in Europe Event at UCLan

On 4 November 2020, the Northern Institute of Taiwan Studies at the University of Central Lancashire organized a workshop under a project sponsored by the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy. The workshop brought together nine representatives of grassroots organizations based in Europe, who conduct activities aimed at raising the visibility of Taiwan.

The participants were asked to contribute thoughts on various aspects of their work: the most rewarding elements, problems they encountered, or the sustainability of citizen diplomacy.

This very successful workshop was the first stage in a larger project including further research into Taiwan-related grassroots activities in Europe, and establishing a platform for integration and collaboration. We look forward to expanding our “map of citizen diplomats” and to meeting our workshop participants again.

March 2020

9th March
International Roundtable: The Role of Social Media in Shaping (Un)Democratic Processes

On the 9th of March 2020, the International Roundtable on the role of Social Media in (Un)Democratic processes took place at the People’s History Museum in Manchester. It featured talks from 11 Participants.


  • George Ogola from the University of Central Lancashire
  • Nicole Yung Au from the Oxford Internet Institute
  • Haddas Emma Kedar, an Independent Scholar
  • Brian Ball from the New College of Humanities
  • Wu Min Hsuan, deputy CEO of Doublethink Lab
  • Dickens Olewe, BBC Journalist
  • Omar Al-Ghazzi, Assistant Professor from the LSE
  • Filip Jirous from the Prague-based Synopsis Organisation
  • Gizem Gültekin dr.Várkonyi, LLM in European Public Law University of Szeged
  • Lara Momesso from the University of Central Lancashire
  • Ti-han Chang from the University of Central Lancashire
  • Adina Zemanek from the University of Central Lancashire The Roundtable Proceedings will be found here soon

February 2020

February 7th
Transnationalism, (im)mobilities and informal practices in Europe, and beyond Workshop hosted by UCLan in conjunction with Autonomous University of Barcelona.

Work or family-related mobilities have been strongly fostered, at least within Europe, by the process of European integration. Indeed, according to Eurostat (2018) there are 19,3 million of EU citizens residing in a country different from the one they were born in.

Whilst in the case of highly-qualified labour mobility is dealt with relatively little complications and minimal bureaucracy, a great majority of transnational activities, connections, linkages, positions and belongings across national borders (Dahinden 2017) generated a higher informality, here defined as activities that happen outside the controlling, or coercing, presence of one or more states, or their institutions.

We thus welcome contributions that can provide further empirical evidence on the existence, performance and persistence of informal practices, and/or explore the relationship between mobility and informal practices.

February 12th
An Award Winning Film ‘Oscar’ Presented by its Co-Director Alexander Smoljanski (Russia-Germany) 18:00 – 20:00, Mitchell and Kenyon Cinema

Alexander Smoljanski presents his film – a winner of numerous awards. Smoljansky started this documentary project in 2008. After four years of extensive researching, writing, interviewing and filming, he invited a BAFTA winning director Eugene Tsymbal into this project. They finished the first part, the documentary ‘In Search of a Lost Paradise’ (52 min) in 2015. Since then it attracted considerable attention from the international public and cinema professionals. Alexander Smoljanski co-wrote, co-directed and produced the second part of the project, the documentary ‘Oscar’ (90 min, 2018).


This crowdfunded, award-winning project is the story of one of the most famous Russian artists, Oscar Rabin (1928-2018), who challenged the Soviet communist system and managed to prevail. In 1974, he organized an open-air art exhibition which the KGB smashed with bulldozers. This was the most effective act of civil disobedience in the USSR since Stalin’s death in 1953. The story spans three decades of the Soviet history and documents Oscar’s successful attempts to confront the regime with paints and brushes. This is a story about the power of non-violent resistance, about the borders of compromise, about people who tried to preserve inner freedom in a country that wasn’t free. It is a refugee success story: a story of love, art and human dignity.

January 2020

January 16-17
Conference on Black Women and Creativity featuring Lubaina Himid & Jackie Kay at UCLan

Some of the country’s best black female artists gathered at University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) as part of a major symposium celebrating the achievements of black women’s art in Britain.

‘Black Women Artists Making and Doing’ focused on the work done by black women artists in the past four decades. The event marked 40 years since the formation of the BLK Arts Group in Wolverhampton in 1979, which first came together to help raise the profile of black artists through sculptures, painting and exhibitions in Britain.

A highlight was an In Conversation event between UCLAN’s Turner Prize winner Professor Lubaina Himid and the Scottish Makar Professor Jackie Kay facilitated by UCLAN graduate and Chisenhale Gallery director Dr. Zoe Whitley.

January 22nd
Members meeting: Presentations by Dr Saulo Cwerner

In this members meeting there is a presentation by Dr Saulo Cwerner which is titled: ‘Asylum and Refugee Policy in the UK: the Local Dimension.’

The 21st century has seen two major developments in asylum and refugee policy in the UK that have impacted communities across the country. Firstly, following the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, asylum seekers (adults and families) have been supported through a 'dispersal scheme', whereby they are accommodated in a number of local authorities in the country.

Initially restricted to a few dozen LAs, in 2014 the government began a drive to 'widen' dispersal to include an increasing number of areas in the UK. This paper explores local policy responses to these developments, with a focus on Lancashire.

27th January
Holocaust memorial-day event in Preston

MIDEX member Kim McGuire participated & spoke in the Holocaust Memorial Day. It was a time for everyone to pause to remember the millions of people murdered or whose lives changed beyond recognition during the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

This once in a lifetime event reminded us never to forget what happened.

View: Poem Kim McGuire delivered for Holocaust day ‘Let’s Not Be Silent’

December 2019

December 5-6
80th Anniversary of the Republican Exile of 1939: Lessons from and for Modern World

The year 1939 marked the end of three years of conflict that led the “defeated”, those who managed to cross the border, into a long journey of exile. This journey should have taught the world many lessons, but history always seems to repeat itself. Today, the origins of conflict may be rooted in different places (Myanmar, Syria, North Korea...), but the result is the same: an exile that perpetually repeats itself.

As a commemoration of the 80th Anniversary of the republican exile, this symposium looked at revealing and sharing experiences that could enable us to shed some light on today’s reality, as well as revisit these experiences in light of that same reality, all with the aim of contextualising our views of the current world alongside a time of past extremes that reminds us so much of today.

December 10th
16 days of Action/International Human Rights Day: Focusing on Empowerment

This talk considered ‘empowerment’ through potential ‘hate crime’ legislation. Current legal protection in the UK covers race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender, and disability. Prosecution depends upon proving that the perpetrator was either motivated by bias against the protected characteristic or demonstrated such hostility at the time of a criminal offence.

This talk offered three potential approaches: exclude gender related crimes from hate crime legislation; include only certain types of gendered crimes; include all gendered crimes as potential ‘hate crimes.’ Arguably, proving a bias motivation, or a demonstration of requisite ‘hostility’ could prove problematic – audience participation in this debate was welcomed.

October 2019

October 7th
Preston Refugees at Home Hosting Roadshow

Refugees at Home is a UK based charity aiming to connect those with a spare room in their home with asylum seekers and refugees in need of accommodation. On the night will also be a representative from Refugees at Home to explain all about their hosting scheme.

October 12-19
Hate and Crime Awareness Week

UCLAN Hate and Crime Awareness week offers an entire week where incredible events are held across UCLAN. Kim McGuire delivers a public lecture on the ‘Perspectives on Hate Crime’. The session introduced criminal legislation relating specifically to race hate crime and how to recognise and address this. It also included academics perspectives on the impact of hate crime on victims and their communities. We were fortunate to have several first-person testimonies on their experiences of hate crimes involving race, LGBT, and disability.

October 30 – 16th November
Exhibition: Brilliant Cities part of Liverpool Biennale, Victoria Building

Brilliant City showcased work by three contemporary photographers from mainland China; Haohan Zheng, Cuilixin, and Ratsberry. The result of a two-year commission, the exhibition highlights a diverse range of responses from contemporary photographic practitioners to the ever-expanding urban world around them. The distinctive bodies of work offer unique insights into the experiences and mutable environments produced by these emerging city spaces at this historic moment of urban transformation.

6-7th November
Russian British Intercultural Dialogue: ‘Russian Music in Britain – British Music in Russia’ organised jointly with The State Institute for Art Studies (Moscow, Russia)

The conference, supported by The Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, The Foundation ‘Art Studies: Science, Experience, Education’ and the Faculty of Culture and the Creative Industries (UCLan) took place within the framework of the British-Russian Year of Music 2019. It addressed the cultural heritage of both countries from the viewpoint of intercultural dialogue. It focused on artistic links and mutual influences between Russia and the United Kingdom in the field of music and its connections with other art forms.


Team members

Contact us

The Centre holds a series of Seminars, Conferences and Events throughout the year. To find out more please contact Centre Director Professor Alan Rice or Centre Deputy Directors Dr Eduardo Tasis and Dr Lara Momesso.

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