RESCHEDULED: Locked Out | Refuge and Asylum Roundtable Discussion

EVENT RESCHEDULED: New dates announced for our live events! Join us on Friday. 17 July, from 5.30pm for the live event on Zoom and Facebook live.

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.

Register here to join us via Zoom or watch the livestream on Facebook.

Speakers include Pinar Aksu, Ako Zada, Graham O’Neill and Daniel Trilling – and will be moderated by Professor Alison Phipps.


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.

Graham O’Neill works as Policy Officer at the Scottish Refugee Council. His previous experience includes working at the Commission for Racial Equality in London, or the Equality and Human Rights Commission in Scotland, or advocating for effective anti-slavery in Scotland and beyond.

The campaign against the Serco lock-out is in the best internationalist traditions of Glasgow.

Alison Phipps holds the UNESCO Chair in Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts at the University of Glasgow where she is also Professor of Languages and Intercultural Studies, and Co-Convener of Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNET). She is based in School of Education at the University of Glasgow where she teaches refugee studies, critical multilingual studies, religious and spiritual education, anthropology and intercultural education and education for non-violence.


Event: Roundtable Discussion

Date: Friday 17 July

Time: 5.30pm