EVENT POSTPONED: Locked Out | Refuge and Asylum Roundtable Discussion

EVENTS POSTPONED: Due to the hearbreaking situation in central Glasgow this afternoon we’ve decided to postpone our live events this weekend.

We remain committed to having these important conversations with you all in the near future.

In the meantime, our thoughts are with the friends and family of those who have tragically lost their lives, and everybody affected by this


A roundtable discussion with Scotland-based community organisations and activists, discussing some of the most pressing issues faced by refugees and asylum seekers under lockdown.

We’ll talk particularly about housing, as well as access to healthcare and welfare, and address some of the underlying structural conditions exacerbated by the current situation. We’ll also look to touch on media representation of migration, the ever-present threat from the far-right, and the wider border politics that have shaped migration discourses across Europe.

Book a free ticket to join us via Zoom or watch the livestream on Facebook.

Speakers include Pinar Aksu, Ako Zada, Daniel Trilling and Chris Afuakwah – and will be moderated by Teresa Piacentini.


Pinar Aksu is an activist and a Development Officer at Maryhill Integration Network, a charity bringing refugee, migrant and local communities together through art, social and educational groups. Pinar has been campaigning to raise awareness of the issue’s asylum seekers and refugees face and is involved with anti-racism movements.

Pinar is also working with Active Inquiry in Edinburgh, creating theatre with and for the community and World Spirit Theatre in Glasgow, creating theatre that explores integration and migration from the perspective of those experiencing it directly, and have performed all over the UK. She is also in the management committee of Right to Remain.

Why Detention Centres Should be Shut Down – Pinar’s blog post for Scottish Refugee Council.

Allow Wealth of Talent Among Refugees and Asylum Seekers Flourish – Pinar’s article from The Scotsman about integration, right to work and right to vote.

Ako Zada is a journalist, activist, and director of Community Infosource, a human rights charity working with community groups in Glasgow. He came to Glasgow seeking refuge from Kurdistan in 2011, and since arriving has been involved in a number of projects: as a researcher and participant in Living Well; being a book in the Human Library Book projects; as a student mentor in City of Glasgow college; involvement in the Curious Project in St Mungo’s Museum, and acting in different performances about refugee life and multiculturalism in Glasgow.

Ako is an active member of the campaign against the eviction of destitute asylum seekers from their accommodation, and is currently a member of SASRA (Scottish Asylum Seekers’ Residents’ Association); the National Union of Journalists; the International Welcome Club and the Scottish Kurdish Society.

Now they speak, you listen – Ako’s recent work cited in a Bella Caledonia article by Jenny Tsilivakou

Daniel Trilling is a journalist, an author, and an educator. He has written extensively about about migration, nationalism and human rights – regularly contributing to the Guardian, The New Statesman and the London Review of Books, as well as being Editor of New Humanist. He also teaches Creative Storytelling – a course on long-form journalism for second-year undergraduates on the BA (Hons) Journalism course at London College of Communication.

Daniel is author of two books; Lights in the Distance: Exile and Refuge at the Borders of Europe (Picador, 2018), based on five years of reporting on refugees in Europe, and Bloody Nasty People: The Rise of Britain’s Far Right (Verso, 2012), which was nominated for the 2013 Orwell Prize.

The mistreatment of Roma and homeless people during COVID-19 lockdownEurozine, May 2020

How the media contributed to the migrant crisis – Guardian Long Read, August 2019

You can read an extract from Lights in the Distance: Exile and Refuge at the Borders of Europe on the GRAMNet blog.

Chris Afuakwah is Scottish Refugee Council’s media officer. He previously volunteered with Refugee Info Bus in Calais, trying to raise awareness in the media of the ongoing crisis situation at our border. Upon returning to Glasgow, he has volunteered with Glasgow Night Shelter and Scottish Detainee Visitors, and has been working at SRC since late 2018.

Teresa Piacentini is a senior lecturer in Sociology at the University of Glasgow. As an experienced researcher, teacher and activist she has spent most of her professional and academic career teaching and researching about the experiences of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in Scotland.

Her research interests lie in the broad field of migration studies, covering the various aspects of social, cultural and political life affecting migrants’ experiences of ‘settlement’, integration and belonging. This includes assocational practices; access to services; mobilisation practices; solidarity and resistance; interpreting and translation.

Prior to her PhD in 2012, Teresa worked for ten years as a community interpreting Scotland, working with asylum seekers and refugees and with a range of public sector and third sector agencies.


Event: Roundtable Discussion

Date: Friday 26 June

Time: 5.30pm