Thursday, May 12, 2016

Refugee Week Launch at Southbank Centre (London)_19 June 2016

Counterpoints Arts is delighted to collaborate with Southbank Centre for the launch of Refugee Week in London on 19 June as part of their world famous Meltdown festival – curated by Guy Garvey.
Under the heading of Refugees Welcome, there will be an entire day of free activity at Southbank Centre involving Refugee Week partners. Musicians, poets and dancers will pop ­up across the site, and the marketplace will host activities and craft workshops.
The activity will culminate in The Boat We’re In, a concert inspired by the Red Cross produced album The Long Road and featuring Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant, Meltdown Director Guy Garvey, Mercury Prize nominated folk singer Nick Mulvey, Radio 6 Music favourite Nadine Shah, northern soul singer Josephine Oniyama and the Southbank Sinfonia.
Across the Royal Festival Hall there will be small boats installed as part of a project working with refugee communities.
More programme detail will be announced here shortly.

Preview of Fuocoammare (Fire at Sea) by Gianfranco Rosi_London 2 June 2016

In collaboration with BFI, Counterpoints Arts presents a Refugee Week Preview of Fire at Sea. Directed by Gianfranco Rosi, Fire at Sea is a powerful and beautifully-shot documentary film focusing on the experiences of Lampedusans as they struggle to deal with the thousands of North African and Middle Eastern refugees arriving daily to the island.
The film won the Golden Bear at the 2016 Berlin Film Festival and marks a new wave in documentary film-making that directly engages with the refugee crisis and its victims, many of whom have perished in the Mediterranean sea.
This documentary follows the life of 12-year-old Samuele, a local boy whose life is entrenched in traditional island culture. It thoughtfully examines to what extent the daily lives of Lampedusans are affected by the arrival of refugees, using the perspective of the island doctor to serve as a bridge between each side.
‘Rosi contrasts the tough but essentially content, settled conditions of the Lampedusans with the terrifying uncertainty experienced by the incomers.’
Fire at Sea is a delicate testimony to the struggle of refugees and will provide an important contextualisation of the current refugee crisis ahead of Refugee Week (20th-26th June 2016) as one of many events organised throughout June.
The screening will be followed by a panel discussion (guests to be confirmed).
Tickets available on the BFI website.

Watch the film’s trailer here.

Papers. Festival of the art, culture and architecture of refugee crisis_ 12 June Barbican Centre, London

This critical celebration will examine the creative and urban culture which has emerged from refugee camps across Europe. It will bring together refugee artists, musicians, poets, chefs and builders with a programme of discussions taking place on multiple stages throughout the day.


A mix of short presentation and panel discussion with some of the world's leading thinkers on refugee camps and migration. Panels will examine the built responses which have emerged from camps in Calais, Dunkirk, Lesvos and Pikpa culminating in an open plenary discussion with all participants.


Music, film and discussion. This stage will incorporate a mix of live and recorded music with short films about and by those at the epicentre of the crisis.


The Barbican's vast glass house will host a wide variety of art pieces and installations. It will become a gallery of the rich mix of strange and powerful art which has come from or been made in response to refugee camps. At the heart will be the Blue House by the artist Alpha - an art school and gallery rescued from the Jungle in Calais and rebuilt for the first time in the UK specially Papers.


Hanging above the tropical plants of the jungle-like conservatory is the terrace, a platform which will play host to a mix of built prototype demonstrations, makers and food. The Kent Refugee Action Catering will be running a micro restaurant showing their work with asylum-seeking boys in Folkstone.

Line up to be announced.

Curated by Robert Mull with The Worldwide Tribe, Phineas Harper, Daniela Puga, Grainne Hassett, Jake Raslan, Jayden Ali, Esme Mull and Cindy Palmano.

Papers is part of the London Festival of Architecture 2016
Facebook page of the event 

TICKETS available here

The Migration Museum Project presents: Call me by my name: Stories from Calais and beyond 2-22 June 2016

The Migration Museum Project presents: 
Call me by my name: Stories from Calais and beyond

The Calais camp has become a potent symbol of Europe’s migration crisis. Public opinion on this ever- evolving shantytown and its inhabitants is polarised: to some a threatening swarm seeking entry to our already overstretched island-nation, to others a shameful symbol of our failed foreign policy. Amid such debate, it is easy to lose sight of the tens of thousands of individuals who have found themselves in limbo in Calais, each with their own story and reasons for wanting to reach Britain.
Call me by my name: stories from Calais and beyond is a multimedia exhibition, taking place in a momentous month that sees both the EU referendum and Refugee Week. It explores the complexity and human stories behind the current migration crisis, with a particular focus on the Calais camp.
The exhibition features compelling works by established and emerging artists, refugees, camp residents and volunteers. These include a powerful new installation by award-winning artist Nikolaj Larsen, street art from Majid, drawings of Calais by illustrator Nick Ellwood, art and photography by camp residents, and an installation of lifejackets embedded with the stories of their wearers. It will serve as a forum for a range of discussions, film screenings and performances, including a poetry evening hosted by Michael Rosen. There will also be an opportunity for visitors to leave their responses, which will become part of an art piece by artist-in-residence, Cedoux Kadima.
The Migration Museum Project would like to thank the following donors for their generous grants and support, without which we would not have been able to stage this exhibition: Londonewcastle, Arts Council England, ESRC, Open University, COMPAS and all of the generous contributors to our crowdfunding campaign.

All details here

Frontiers and borders of superdiversity: theory, method and practice_University of Birmingham 23-24 June 2016

The Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS) at the University of Birmingham is organising the second international interdisciplinary conference on superdiversity. The aim of the conference is to map the state of the art in knowledge on superdiversity and reflect on the analytical and heuristic uses of the concept, its potential and limits.

The conference includes an exciting line-up of keynote and plenary speakers:
Prof Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (journalist, writer, University of Lincoln)
Prof Gurminder Bhambra (University of Warwick)
Prof Dan Hiebert (University of British Columbia)
Prof Nira Yuval Davis (University of East London)
Jonathan Xavier Inda (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Prof Angela Creese (University of Birmingham)
Prof Adrian Blackledge (University of Birmingham)
Dr Susanne Wessendorf (University of Birmingham)

All details (including how to register) here.

Borders/Frontiers: A contemporary Interdisciplinary Exploration_Goldsmiths 23-24 June 2016

“What we have come to call a globalized world harbors fundamental tensions between opening and barricading, fusion and partition, erasure and reinscription. These tensions materialize as increasingly liberalized borders, on the one hand, and the devotion of unprecedented funds, energies, and technologies to border fortification, on the other.”
(Wendy Brown (2010), Walled States, Waning Sovereignty)

While Brown is specifically discussing walls and physical barriers in her book, what is clear from this introductory quote is the tension between borders and frontiers, or openings and closings in our contemporary world. This conference seeks to interrogate these concepts in an interd...isciplinary manner, asking: what is a border, what is a frontier, and are they the same thing? Looking to space, the body, economics, sovereignty, citizenship and genealogy, this conference will examine these similar yet connotationally different terms through the lense of our world today. 

This interdisciplinary conference is open to artists and academics interested in interrogating and contesting concepts of borders and frontiers.

23 June - 24 June 2016, LG01 Professor Stuart Hall Building
Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths. 

Participation is free, all welcome.
Click here for the Facebook event.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Screening of documentaries "If Only I Were That Warrior" and "Negotiating Amnesia"_Genesis Cinema London 15 May 2016

Cinema Italia UK presents If Only I Were That Warrior (72 minutes) and Negotiating Amnesia (29 minutes), followed by Q&A with directors Valerio Ciriaci and Alessandra Ferrini.

If Only I Were That Warrior is a feature documentary film focusing on the Italian occupation of Ethiopia in 1935. Following the recent construction of a monument dedicated to Fascist general Rodolfo Graziani, the film addresses the unpunished war crimes he and others committed in the name of Mussolini’s imperial ambitions.
The stories of three characters, filmed in present day Ethiopia, Italy and the United States, take the audience on a journey through the living memories and the tangible remains of the Italian occupation of Ethiopia — a journey that crosses generations and continents to today, where this often overlooked legacy still ties the fates of two nations and their people.

Negotiating Amnesia is an essay film posing a meditation on a semi-forgotten chapter of twentieth century Italian history: its colonial past and, in particular, the Ethiopian War of 1935-36. This period is chosen because of its connections with fascism and its imperial project. Through interviews, archival images and the analysis of high-school textbooks, the film shifts through an array of different historical and personal narratives. In so doing it aims at revealing the amnesic politics that accompany this historical period, while exposing public and personal strategies of remembering and forgetting.

All details here. Book your ticket here.

Refugee week 20-26 June in UK

 A series of exciting and interesting events will take place this year during the Refugee Week (20-26 June 2016). The RW is organized and managed by Counterpoint Arts.
Find all details here.

Don't miss the launch of the RW at Southbank Centre on the 19th of June.

The theme of this year RW is WELCOME.

Don't miss this event I have organized: a double screening by director Luca Vullo on Italian emigration (before and after) at University of Westminster on the 25th of May, 6pm.

The Department of Languages and Cultures of the University of Westminster is pleased to present the screening of two documentaries by Italian filmmaker Luca Vullo, followed by a discussion with the director.
From Sulphur to Coal (52’, 2008) A documentary on the historical emigration of thousands of miners and their families from Italy to Belgium at the end of World War II following the 1946 Italo-Belgian Agreement. Labourers sold for coal's sacks between economic interests, human rights crushed and occupational safety non existent.
Influx - Europe is moving* (15’, 2015) London has never attracted so many Italians as in the last few years. In a period when European immigration is continuously debated in politics, INFLUX, through the perspective of well-established Italian immigrants offers an emotional self-analysis that reveals the strengths and weaknesses of Italians, showing the uniqueness of their mentality as well as their contradictions.
*This is a preview of the full version that will  be released in London cinemas in June 2016. 

The screenings will be followed by a Q&A with the director Luca Vullo and prof. Nicola Mai (University of Kingston). Some of he people interviewed for the documentary Influx will also be present.
The event will be chaired by Dr Federica Mazzara (University of Westminster). For further information please contact:

All details here. Please note registration is required!