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Northumbria  professor chosen to join UK in a Changing Europe project



A protest for Ukraine is held outside a public building
UKICE, an academic thinktank, works to generate independent research on UK-EU relations | Photo: Gayatri Malhotra

New research analysing responses to the displacement of people since the beginning of the 2022 invasion of Ukraine will be the focus of a prestigious fellowship awarded to a Northumbria University academic.

Political Geographer, Professor Kathryn Cassidy, has been appointed as one of 10 new Senior Fellows by the academic thinktank, UK in a Changing Europe (UKICE), which works to generate independent research on UK-EU relations, the UK post-Brexit, and the UK’s place in the world.

The fellowships are funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Professor Cassidy’s research, which has been awarded almost £370,000, will analyse responses to the displacement of people from Ukraine in three countries – Poland, Romania and the UK. Her research team will work with policy-makers, organisations from the voluntary and community sector, host communities, and refugees from Ukraine living in all three countries.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, and the related displacement of millions of people from their homes to other countries in Europe, prompted a range of responses from public debates and policy-makers, including the removal of barriers to travel to and settle in countries across Europe.

Professor Cassidy’s three-year project entitled Debordering Europe through the 2022 Ukrainian Refugee Crisis: Analysis of Responses in the UK, Poland and Romania, will provide in-depth analysis of not only what these responses have been, but also what they mean for the UK in terms of its positioning and geopolitical relations with the European Union and the rest of the world.

“This research will build upon work I have been carrying out since 2012 into everyday bordering – the embedding of border and immigration checks into everyday encounters – in the UK and its impacts on not just mobile people, but also public sector institutions and workers,” explained Professor Cassidy. “However, as well as extending this research to Poland and Romania, the fellowship will also enable me to draw upon expertise in labour migration from communities in the Ukrainian-Romanian borderlands developed during my PhD.

“The expert support of the UKICE team will also offer me the opportunity to engage policy-makers, the media and other non-academic audiences in the findings of the research. The findings will be timely given not only the scale of the displacement but also that responses to accommodate and welcome people from Ukraine are counter to policy-making in a number of European countries in recent years, which has broadly sought to strengthen measures to exclude those seeking sanctuary.”

Research methods will include a survey and focus groups with hosts and people from Ukraine living with host families in Poland, Romania and the UK. Also planned are interviews with decision-makers in community and voluntary sector organisations, policy-makers in all three countries, and in-depth analysis of policies, parliamentary debates and media discourse surrounding government responses to the displacement. This approach will enable the development of a detailed understanding of factors shaping bordering processes and practices during and after the invasion.

From 2019 to 2021, in research funded by the Leverhulme Trust, Professor Cassidy carried out analysis of bordering processes and practices, including a study of the institutionalisation of bordering within three different parts of the UK’s public sector: health care, higher education and social security.

“I am delighted that Kathryn has joined the UK in a Changing Europe team for what promises to be an exciting new phase in the life of the organisation,” said Anand Menon, Director of UKICE and Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs at King’s College London.

Professor Cassidy is a member of Northumbria’s department of Geography and Environmental Sciences. Northumbria was recently ranked second in the UK for research power in Geography and Environmental Studies, with over 90 per cent of research outputs rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.

Full details of the research projects being pursued by the other UKICE Senior Fellows can be found here.

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£125,000 in grants awarded to UK creatives to support careers in screen arts



A man filming a scene with a ginger girl indoors
Emerging creative from low socio-economic backgrounds are amongst the talent receiving bursaries.

BAFTA announced over £125,000 in grants have been awarded to 69 talented creatives to support their career development in the screen arts.  

This year, grants of up to £2,000 each have been made available to 58 emerging creatives including production assistants, costumer designers, writers, game designers, and camera and sound trainees to help them progress in their respective crafts. The grants will go towards essential costs such as driving lessons, specialist equipment, training and relocation costs that might otherwise lock talented people out of a screen arts career.  

The Prince William BAFTA Bursary scheme is named in honour of BAFTA’s President. Kickstarted with the support of film director Paul Greengrass, it is now in its fourth year.

For the first time, BAFTA is also awarding grants to individuals who have been forcibly displaced in collaboration with the Refugee Journalism Project. £30,000 in funding has been awarded to 11 recipients including journalists, editors, directors and videographers.  

The Refugee Journalism Project builds on BAFTA’s recent work with Counterpoint Arts – highlighting the importance of authentic portrayals of refugees on-screen, including recent events with BAFTA award-winning filmmaker and activist Hassan Akkad, a masterclass with BAFTA award-winning director Waad al-Kateab, and ‘Introduction to Filmmaking’ workshops with Deadbeat Films. 

Supporting the next generation of talent is an essential part of our mission. The Prince William BAFTA Bursary Fund is a fantastically effective way to kick-start careers, particularly for those who face socio and economic inequality. The bursaries are transformative for career starters, enabling them to buy an essential piece of kit, secure training, or in some cases it’s as simple as getting driving lessons so they can get to set! There is no shortage of potential in our workforce. Unfortunately, the opportunity to act on that potential is all too often limited by financial barriers. So, I’m delighted to continue The Prince William BAFTA Bursary Fund, thanks to our incredibly generous network of donors and supporters,” says Jane Millichip, CEO of BAFTA.

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Qatar museum opens exhibition revealing new voices from the Arab world



Qatar museums opens exhibition revealing new voices from the Arab world
"Take Shelter" is one of the films showing during "Your Ghosts Are Mine, Expanded Cinemas, Amplified Voices" | Photo: still courtesy © LA CHAUVE-SOURIS

Qatar Museum has opened Your Ghosts Are Mine, Expanded Cinemas, Amplified Voices, a major exhibition coinciding with the 60th International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale, bringing together works by filmmakers and video artists from the Middle East, Africa and Asia. On view at ACP Palazzo Franchetti (through 24 November), the exhibition presents a journey in moving images through contemporary experiences of community life and memory, transnational crossings and exile.

Your Ghosts Are Mine is produced by Qatar Museums and co-organised by Doha Film Institute, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art and the future Art Mill Museum in collaboration with ACP Art Capital Partners and with support from Media City Qatar. It is curated by Matthieu Orléan with Majid Al-Remaihi and Virgile Alexandre, with exhibition design by Federico Martelli and Clément Périssé. The advisory committee includes Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, Zeina Arida and Catherine Grenier.

The exhibition explores themes such as deserts, ruins, borders, exile and women’s voices through films supported by Doha Film Institute and video works from Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art and the future Art Mill Museum.

The works span fiction, documentary, animation and memoir. Included are excerpts from works by over 40 artists including Faouzi Bensaidi (Morocco), Jessica Beshir (Ethiopia), Ali Cherri (Lebanon), Tala Hadid (Morroco), Joana Hadjithomas (Lebanon), Khalil Joreige (Lebanon), Soudade Kaadan (Syria), Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese (Lesotho), Asmae El Moudir (Morocco), Amal Al-Muftah (Qatar), Shirin Neshat (Iran), Larissa Sansour (Palestine), Abderrhamane Sissako (Mauritania), Elia Suleiman (Palestine), Ramata-Toulaye Sy (Senegal), Tariq Teguia (Algeria), Shaima Al Tamini (Yemen), plus works by Wael Shawky, Lida Abdul, Hassan Khan and Sophia Al Maria.

Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums and Doha Film Institute, said, “Your Ghosts Are Mine will open the eyes of international viewers to the ideas, feelings, and artistic visions of today’s filmmakers from the Arab world and neighbouring regions. With this exhibition, Qatar Museums advances its mission of encouraging understanding across borders, while Doha Film Institute continues to nurture rising talents of our region.”  

A schedule of film screenings accompanying the exhibition is available here.    

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Thousands of free travel passes available to travel around Europe



A solo traveler in Europe
Successful applicants will get a free rail pass to travel in Europe for up to 30 days

Starting this summer, thousands of young people will once again travel around Europe by train for free thanks to the latest call of the DiscoverEU programme. Today at 12:00 CET during the European Youth Week buzzing with activities, the Commission launched the latest DiscoverEU application round. It will end on Tuesday 30 April at 12:00 CET.

In total, 35,500 travel passes are available. To get one, young people born between 1 July 2005 and 30 June 2006 can do a quiz with five questions about the EU and one additional question on the European Youth Portal. Successful applicants will get a free rail pass to travel in Europe for up to 30 days between 1 July 2024 and 30 September 2025.

The call is open to applicants from the European Union and countries associated to the Erasmus+ programme including Iceland, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia and Türkiye. Ticket holders can plan their own routes or be inspired by existing ones. For example, they can discover a route launched last year, which focuses on cities and places making the European Union ‘beautiful, sustainable and inclusive’ in line with the principles of the New European Bauhaus.

Participants can also benefit from the DiscoverEU Culture Route an initiative of the 2022 European Year of Youth that combines various cultural destinations including architecture, music, fine art, theatre, fashion and design. Participants can visit the European Capitals of Culture which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List,  European Heritage Label sites, or Access City Award label locations, which are cities that have gone above and beyond to become more accessible to everyone.

Participants will also receive a discount card with over 40,000 discount possibilities on public transport, culture, accommodation, food, sports and other services in eligible countries. Additionally, Erasmus+ National Agencies organise pre-departure information meetings, and national agencies across all Erasmus+ countries prepare DiscoverEU Meet-ups, learning programmes lasting from one to three days.

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