Date/Time: 25 January 2018, 17.30 - 19.00
Venue: Newcastle University KEVII 2.01
Dr Simon Parker from York University will be giving a talk and showing his documentary film "Precarious Trajectories: Voices from the Mediterranean Migration Crisis"
Set on location in Libya, Italy and Greece during 2015-2016 at the height of the Mediterranean migration crisis, Precarious Trajectories focuses on the perilous sea crossings that hundreds of thousands of refugees have undertaken in recent years in order to arrive at what they hope will be the safer shores of Europe through the eyes of Ruha from Syria and Ahmed from Somalia.
The tragic loss of life off the coast of Lampedusa in October 2013 in a series of shipwrecks forced the Italian government to launch a more effective search and rescue operation ‘Mare Nostrum’. The film explores how when that operation came to an end the death toll rose ten times during ‘Black April’ in 2015 and subsequently how the European Union with the introduction of Operation Triton and Operation Sofia sought to prioritise anti-smuggling and border controls over humanitarian rescue.
The documentary concludes by showing how Angela Merkel’s ‘refugees welcome’ policy and the more humanitarian response of Mayor Leoluca Orlando of Palermo came into conflict with a hostile counter-response by the heads of Europe’s governments as messages of solidarity gave way to razor wire, riot police and the building of ‘hotspot’ detention camps for an increasingly forgotten and desperate people.
Simon Parker is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics at the University of York, formerly Director of the School of Social and Political Sciences and Co-Director of the Centre for Urban Research. He also jointly coordinates the University of York Migration Network. Simon has held visiting positions at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Manchester University, the University of British Columbia, Vancouver and University College London. He is Principal Investigator of the ESRC funded research project: 'Precarious Trajectories: Understanding the Human Cost of the Migrant Crisis in the Central Mediterranean' and is currently coordinating an ESRC Impact Acceleration Award project with Counterpoints Arts on the theme ‘Migration, the Arts and Culture: new methodologies for practice, research and training’. His published books and articles span the fields of comparative politics, urban studies, spatial informatics and the politics of asylum and migration. Simon was also a co-founder of the charity Refugee Action York and the campaign group End Child Detention Now.
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