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Refugee across the Sea


Why do people migrate? Why across the sea, and how? And what happens after they arrive? During three Sundays this spring, the Centre on Global Migration together with the Gothenburg Maritime Museum and Aquarium, will organise a seminar series (in Swedish) in connection to the exhibition Refugee across the Sea.

The first seminar takes place on Sunday, February 25. Anja Franck, senior lecturer in Peace and Development research at the School of Global Studies, will explore what lies behind the decision to leave your home. It is increasingly difficult to cross border controls for those without resources and legal documents, and for many the journey equals danger to their lives. Despite this, many believe it is better than the alternative – to stay. Who are these people, what drives them to leave their country and home, and where are they going?

People in all times have migrated across the seas. Today these journeys are commercialised, involving many different parties. On March 25, Lisa Åkesson, senior lecturer in Social Anthropology at the School of Global Studies, will look closer at the “migration industry”, which feeds of both people’s hope for a better life, and of nations’ attempts to stop them coming.

The seminar on April 22, will focus on what happens once you arrive. Today’s multi-cultural societies are characterised by alienation and inequalities. Many people with foreign backgrounds do not have the same opportunities as those born within Europe. They have lower employment rates and higher unemployment, lower incomes and pensions, unstable working conditions, poorer health, lower voter participation, lower trust in authorities and so on. How are these inequalities produced and reproduced? Andrea Spehar, senior lecturer in Political Science at the Department of Political Science, and director of the Centre on Global Migration, will share her knowledge on this.

The programme also includes a seminar with journalist Shora Esmailian about climate refugees, people who are forced to leave their homes due to the effects of climate change. Mikael Mangold from Doctors Without Borders tells of his meetings with migrants, Mikael Hinnerson from the Swedish Sea Rescue Society shares his experiences from the missions at the Aegean Sea in 2015-2016, and Martin Ratcovich, Faculty of Law at Stockholm University, gives insight into how international law affects the journey across the sea.

The seminar series ends with Matilda Brinck-Larson, from the volunteer organisation Agape, who will talk about the consequences of a reduced refugee reception of children and young people, and about not giving up on compassion.

See the whole programme here (in Swedish).
Read more about the exhibition Refugee across the Sea at the Maritime Museum and Aquarium’s website.