A public event organised by Home Away from Home in partnership with HOMELandS.

Four people bumping fists together
Image caption and source
Event image: HafH project

The Home Away From Home (HafH) ERASMUS+ project together with HOMELandS (Hub on Migration, Exile, Languages and Spaces) are holding this public event within a context of increasing levels of migration in Europe. Given the well-documented increase in negative sentiments towards immigration, we aim to support the integration of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants.

Though the concept of integration is a contested one, we define it as successful co-existence of two or more cultures within one society, which requires change and re-education for all in order to address negative attitudes towards increasing diversity, rather than the ‘melting pot’ metaphor, which tends to be synonymous with assimilation.

The event is one of five national dissemination events organised by HafH ERASMUS+ partner countries (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Germany and UK). We seek to use this opportunity to share some of our research and practices with a larger audience, and to generate wider debate on cultural diversity and migration integration that has been the focus of research of both HafH and HOMELandS.

The overall aim of this one-day event is to contribute to the better integration of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in Europe through promoting innovative youth actions and empowering young volunteers and professionals. The intention has been to produce a rich, action-oriented and experienced set of outcomes in relation to both practice and research through the co-production of knowledge between academics and practitioners and through interdisciplinarity.

The event will start with a presentation of HafH project activities and research findings by Professor Terry Lamb from University of Westminster in order to introduce the themes of the day, which include critical discussion of the construct of integration and ways of supporting inclusion in multicultural contexts.

This is echoed by a panel that introduces HOMELandS research dedicated to migration and diaspora studies through a cross-cultural and comparative perspective. In the third session, representatives of grass-roots migration projects and organisations share their insights and experiences of working with migrants and refugees in the UK.

The final session discusses participatory art practices as an innovative way of enhancing community integration, leading to the final general discussion of the event that unpacks the notion of integration and debates on new perspectives and innovative practices towards the future.

Convenors: Terry Lamb and Cangbai Wang

Location

Five Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW