Tag Archives: migration

On Ideas: The Cambridge Ideas Festival

Was great to receive an email from the Cambridge Ideas Festival – the event returning for its ninth year – tackling the theme of movement.

It tackles some of the most pressing global challenges we face, from migration to human trafficking to Brexit and more.

This year the Festival, which runs from 17 – 30 October, features a number of leading thinkers and innovators, including Fiona Hill, Joint Downing Street Chief of Staff, lead author of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and author of A Modern Response to Modern Slavery Report; Professor of International History David Reynolds; Developer and Founder of Skype, and co-founder of The Future of Life Institute and the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, Jaan Tallin; Europol Director Rob Wainwright; Director of the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime Tuesday Reitano; Director of the UK Intersex Association Dr Jay Hayes-Light; and award-winning Guardian correspondent Luke Harding.

Bookings open at the end of this month, details are on the Facebook page here.

At the heart of this year’s Festival is the theme of ‘movement’, which encompasses some of the great movements in history, technology, art, politics, music and people. The movement of people and in particular migration has been a major topic over the last year, making the headlines of every major newspaper on a daily basis.

“The role of the Festival of Ideas is to challenge people’s thinking and the status quo. With movement and changes across the globe now happening at a dramatic rate, we want to ensure that areas which affect our lives are being properly questioned and explored. A core aim of the Festival is to share with the public, in a two-way process, some of the incredible research and thinking that is happening in Cambridge and beyond across disciplines and institutions. We very much encourage audience participation and their questions. Every year, we welcome thousands of people to hundreds of events, including talks, debates, performances, films and exhibitions. This year, we look forward to doing the same.” ~  this year’s Festival, Coordinator, Malavika Anderson

The Festival sponsors and partners are Cambridge University Press, St John’s College, Anglia Ruskin University, RAND Europe, Microsoft Research, Cambridge Assessment, University of Cambridge Language Centre, Arts Council England, University of Cambridge Museums and Botanic Garden, Cambridge Junction, Arts and Humanities Research Council, and the Festival media partner is BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

More information is available here.


On Data: Dress For Our Time explores global migration

Dress For Our Time, by award-winning artist is a unique installation that brings statistics and fashion together to explore one of the world’s most pressing issues – migration.

The installation has been created by designer Helen Storey MBE RDI (London College of Fashion, UAL Centre for Sustainable Fashion). By using innovative technology, the latest data and Helen’s unique voice in fashion, Dress For Our Time delves into the complex matter of human displacement in a pioneering endeavour to change the social narrative of this complex topic. A really impressive idea.

image c/o Holition
image c/o Holition

The dress itself is a decommissioned refugee tent which once housed a refugee family in Jordan and was gifted to the project by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). In giving the tent a meaningful reincarnation as a public installation, Dress For Our Time transcends both data and fashion by humanising the numbers to tell a bigger story.

“Worldwide, one in every 113 people on the planet is now either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking shelter – but numbers means nothing, if they don’t affect your own heart. This project uses the power of fashion to help us connect to the previously unimaginable and asks how each and every one of us can remain a humanitarian in such a time of colossal and irreversible change”. ~ Helen Storey, Professor of Fashion and Science at London College of Fashion, UAL

The UNHCR has logged a record 65.3 million people currently displaced worldwide and 21.3 million refugees.  Dress For Our Time uses the very latest data, representing one year’s worth of UNHCR statistics collected by its Field Information and Coordination Section. This information will be used to visualise the refugee crisis and demonstrate its true human element, through a striking animation that will be projected onto the dress itself using data visualisation developed by Holition. The animation is formed of points of light, each representing one hundred human lives and creatively illustrates the journey each one takes in search of a better life. The lights flow from six points, depicting the continents where the refugees have moved from, before populating the countries in which they find shelter. The image that emerges is not a world map of countries but a map of human migration.


The piece opened to the public earlier this month, and will be on show at The Science Museum until September 4th. For more information click here and follow the hashtag #Dress4OurTime. A powerful, timely and beautifully produced idea.

On Storytelling: London Stories project is looking for participants

Have you had the experience of coming to live in London from another part of the UK or Europe, or another part of the world? Or do you have a story to tell about a friend or family member who came to live in London – whether recently or in the distant past – and how that has had an impact on your life?

The Battersea Arts Centre team is looking for people from all backgrounds and of all ages to participate in a new project on the theme of migration to London. It will culminate in a festival in November in which members of the public will tell their personal stories to small audiences, in different rooms across it’s beautiful South London building.

No experience of performance is necessary, this opportunity is open to everyone. Whether you’ve moved to London for work, to study, or seek refuge from war – if you have a story to tell, then they want to hear it.  More details and an application form are online here.