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Refugees and Direct Provision focus of Trinity and the Changing City Series Finale

15 February 2021 – In the last instalment of a three-year series, this week ‘Trinity and the Changing City’ will focus on the artistic representation of refugees and direct provision.

Chaired by Steve Wilmer, Professor Emeritus in Drama at Trinity College Dublin, this Thursday 18 February, a panel discussion will bring together artist Vukasin Nedeljkovic, Dr Bisi Adigun, director and writer, Bulelani Mfaco of the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI), and Dr Roja Fazaeli of Trinity’s School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies at Trinity College Dublin.

Artist Vukasin Nedeljkovic compiled an archive of photographs while in direct provision and afterwards to document the conditions in Direct Provision. As part of  the upcoming panel discussion, he will present images from his archive available here.

A picture of Ballymullen Barracks, Tralee from Vukasin Nedeljkovic's collection.

Speaking about his work with Arambe Theatre Company, Dr Bisi Adigun will discuss how he brought awareness of African immigrant experiences to Irish audiences through his work as a director and writer. Dr Adigun is an Adjunct Lecturer in Trinity’s School of Drama and a Senior Lecturer in Bowen University, Iwo Nigeria.  His adaptation, co-written with Roddy Doyle, of a Nigerian Playboy of the Western World, was presented at the Abbey Theatre.

Bulelani Mfaco is a South African refugee who has spent several years in Direct Provision in Ireland after receiving a Masters degree from UCD. He has been a representative for MASI, the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland, on the government’s expert group tasked with reforming direct provision.

Dr Roja Fazaeli is an Assistant Professor in Islamic Civilisation at Trinity College Dublin. She will speak about her work with refugees and the importance of Trinity College Dublin becoming a recently designated University of Sanctuary. Dr Fazaeli has served on the boards of Amnesty International, the Irish Refugee Council, and the Irish Immigrant Council.

The Trinity and the Changing City series has, for three years, reflected on Dublin’s development into the cosmopolitan city it is today. It has looked at the lived experience of Dublin’s citizens through the prism of Trinity’s Arts, Humanities and Social Science research, and the often ‘representative gap’ between Dublin’s languages, ethnicity and class, and the images and narratives that we see represented in broader culture, in media and public discourse.

Organised by the Identities in Transformation research theme, and led by Dr Daniel Faas of Trinity’s Department of Sociology, the Trinity Long Room Hub has supported the series from its inception in 2018 when it looked at a range of issues from Dublin’s housing, Dublin’s migrants, social class, languages, racism, natural and cultural heritage, and Dublin’s religions.

Dr Daniel Faas, Convenor of the Identities in Transformation Research Theme, said: “Over the past three years, we have organised 13 public events as part of the Trinity and the Changing City Lecture Series, bringing internationally recognised scholars in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, from Trinity and further afield, together with key stakeholders and practitioners from across the city. This dialogue between academic and non-academic community on pressing topics such as housing, migration, educational inequalities, health, or the environment, as well as the interdisciplinary nature of each event is what has made this series so special and successful”.

Professor Eve Patten, Director of the Trinity Long Room Hub, said that the series had shone new light on how Dublin works - -and sometimes doesn’t work – as a city. "These remarkable talks have opened up fresh perspectives on the culture and complexity of our urban landscape", she said, adding that "above all, the series has illuminated the richness and variety of the city’s changing population and given us a window to Dublin’s everyday life".

Register here for 'Migration and its Artistic Representation' on Thursday, 18 February 2021, 7 – 8pm.

To listen to the Trinity and the Changing City series to date, please see here:



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