Policy, Activism and Politics

Responding to the refugee crisis in the UK and Italy

Refugees Image The project will explore how people in the UK and Italy make sense of international conflict and how this understanding shapes attitudes to those displaced by conflict.

We are interested in analysing the representation of conflict and of the impact of conflict through media representations, official and popular discourses, and institutional and citizen initiatives.

The project will include:

  • A survey about media use and understandings of global conflict
  • Analysis of media representations of global conflict
  • Memory and discussion work with people displaced by conflict
  • The creation of an online exhibition and theatrical script created in collaboration with people displaced by conflict.          

Both the UK and Italy have experienced mistrust towards national, European and international institutions, connected to concerns about corruption, economic ineptitude and border controls. Far right populist groups and anti-immigration politicians have tried to exploit the situation by blaming immigrants and refugees for a whole host of social and economic problems. 

But at the same time there have been many examples of solidarity, including those who have called on their governments to take more refugees and their cities to offer sanctuary, offered up their homes and donated clothing. Much of this has been organised on social media and reflects the depth of humanitarian impulses towards the victims of war and conflict. The project will explore how European populations understand questions of international responsibility in a time of global conflict that is displacing millions of people.

Finally, we’ll explore how refugees themselves – many of whom have fled conflict and destitution – remember and memorialise the situations they have left behind. How can they help us understand the refugee crisis, and more generally international conflicts?

For more information visit the Conflict Memory Displacement website or contact Dr. Kirsten Forkert