Stepping proudly into its role as Ireland’s first University of Sanctuary, Dublin City University has hosted its first colloquium, hailed as “inspiring”, “enlightening”, “astonishing”, “wonderful” by the academics, students and NGOs attending, with future universities and colleges of sanctuary already emerging north and south of the border.
Participants explored issues relating to the lives of asylum seekers through a diversity of narrative lens, including story-telling, film, radio, drama, photography and poetry. The keynote lecture, delivered by Prof Alison Phipps, OBE, UNESCO Chair in Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts, University of Glasgow. Her talk, entitled Broken World, Broken Word: Resilience in the Arts of Languaging Border Distress, was introduced by DCU’s President, Prof Brian MacCraith. Prof Phipps delivered her speech through a variety of media, including poetry and video, and was received to huge critical acclaim. The colloquium, which included workshops and a panel including refugees and other universities and colleges of sanctuary, concluded with the critically-acclaimed play Éire: Land of a Hundred Thousand Welcomes, performed by Mount Temple Comprehensive School.
An exhibition of work by Vukasin Nedeljkovic’s Asylum Archive was hosted to coincide with the colloquium. It is housed in the Cregan library gallery space on the ground floor and is available to view for the month of October.