UNESCO RILA Sofa Café #4 - The role of hospitality in community building

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Prof Alison Phipps in conversation with Cheryl Cockburn-Wootten, Rema Sherifi, Salma Zulfiqar and Alison McIntosh.

About this Event

In this fourth edition of the UNESCO RILA Sofa Cafés, Professor Alison Phipps , holder of the UNESCO Chair in Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts (RILA) at the University of Glasgow, will enter into conversation with Cheryl Cockburn-Wootten (Waikato University), Salma Zulfiqar (ARTConnect for Solidarity and UNESCO RILA Affiliate Artist), Rema Sherifi (Maryhill Integration Network) and Alison McIntosh (Auckland University of Technology) to discuss the role of hospitality in community building.

This UNESCO RILA Sofa Cafés are a series of discussions around topics that touch on integration through languages and the arts. These informal discussions will be held on Zoom: the link will be in the confirmation email. Audience members are being encouraged to join in and ask their own questions to the panellists.

The Sofa Cafés are held on a monthly basis. The next scheduled episodes are on:

Wednesday 24 February 2021 - Health and Hospitality

Tuesday 23 March 2021 - Migration and Arts: A closer look at the MiDEQ Project

Thursday 22 April 2021 - Arts and Integration: examples from around the world

Biographies of the speakers:

Salma Zulfiqar

Salma Zulfiqar is an International Award winning Artist and Human Rights Activist working on migration. Her current creative projects, such as ARTconnects for Global Solidarity & The Migration Blanket, focus on empowering refugee and migrant women by promoting cohesion, tolerance, LGBT rights and preventing hate and extremism. Her artwork has been exhibited during the Venice Biennale in Italy, London, Birmingham, Paris, Greece & Dubai. She has been celebrated as one of Birmingham's most inspirational women in the book One Upon A Time in Birmingham - Women Who Dared to Dream alongside Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai and sportswoman extrodinare Lisa Clayton.

Salma's work has been an inspirational catalyst for changing the landscape of diversity in the arts particularly for inclusion and opening doors for female BAME artists in the Midlands region and beyond.

She has worked all over the world with the United Nations raising awareness of humanitarian issues in conflict and developing countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, Egypt, Somalia, Chad and Kenya.

Cheryl Cockburn-Wootten

Dr Cheryl Cockburn-Wootten is Director of Teaching & Learning and Senior Lecturer at Waikato Management School, University of Waikato, New Zealand. She aims to facilitate research that informs and makes a difference to our society. She adopts critical organisational communication perspectives to examine social issues within tourism and hospitality. Her work examines issues relating to stakeholders, community engagement and social change. She is also, along with Professor Alison McIntosh, co-founder and co-facilitator of the Network for Community Hospitality which bridges teaching, research expertise with external stakeholders and organisations to make a difference to issues facing New Zealand society.

Alison McIntosh

Dr Alison McIntosh is Professor of Hospitality and Tourism at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. As a critical scholar, her main research interests are in social justice, inclusion and advocacy through tourism and hospitality; accessible tourism, community hospitality, indigenous tourism, sustainability and stakeholder engagement for social change. She is founding co-editor of the international journal, Hospitality & Society, and the open access journal Hospitality Insights that aims to bridge academic research with industry and community.

Rema Sherifi

Remzije (Rema) Zeka Sherifi -Trained as an electrical engineer, but radio was her passion and Rema was one of the first female radio journalists in Kosovo at age 17 (1973). She lost her job in 1990 as a result of the political persecution of Albanians at the time of the fall of Yugoslavia. As the war in the Balkans spread, and at the beginning of the western military intervention in Kosovo, Rema was forced to flee and was evacuated to Glasgow on medical grounds for cancer treatment , from a refugee camp in Macedonia.

Since Coming to Scotland Rema has worked tirelessly for other refugees arriving in the country. In 1999 she established Albanian Scottish association, youth drama and theatre production, women’s dance group” Colours of life” and costume making project.

For more than 16 years, she has been directing Maryhill Integration Network (MIN) where seven staff and 60 volunteers operate a diverse program of weekly activities in health, learning and creativity to support and improve the lives of people from overseas as well as local Scottish people. She believes that the arts and storytelling are a powerful way to reach out and change attitudes, culminating in MIN publications, exhibitions, costume making and fashion displays, international choir, folk dance, theatre production and events at local, city-wide and national levels.

Rema is a published author and a poet.

Alison Phipps

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 one of the founding members of Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNET). She is Co-Chair of the AHRC GCRF Advisory board and recipient of a number of GCRF grants as both PI and Co I working in Zimbabwe, Gaza, Ghana, Uganda and with refugees in the UK. Most recently she was appointed Co-Director and Co-I for the £20 million UKRI GCRF South South Migration Inequality and Development Hub.

Alison chairs the New Scots Core Group for Refugee Integration in partnership with Scottish Government, COSLA and Scottish Refugee Council; She Co-Chairs AHRC GCRF Advisory Board and she is an Ambassador for the Scottish Refugee Council.

She is author of numerous academic books and articles and a regular international keynote speaker and broadcaster, including most recently, Decolonising Multilingualism: Struggles to Decreate, with Multilingual Matters. Her first collection of poetry, Through Wood was published in 2009, with a further collection - The Warriors who do not Fight was published in 2018, with co-author Tawona Sitholé.

In 2018 she was awarded the De Carle Visiting Professorship at Otago University, 2017 she was appointed Adjunct Professor of Hospitality and Tourism at Auckland University of Technology. In 2016 she was appointed ‘Thinker in Residence’ at the EU Hawke Centre at University of South Australia. She was the Inaugural Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Waikato, Aotearoa New Zealand in 2013, and is Adjunct Professor of Tourism. In 2011 she was voted ‘Best College Teacher’ by the student body and received the Universities ‘Teaching Excellence Award’ for a Career Distinguished by Excellence. In 2012 she received an OBE for Services to Education and Intercultural and Interreligious Relations in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. In 2019 she was awarded the Minerva medal by the Royal Society of Philosophy. She is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

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