(Im)Mobilities – Art, Agency and Migration. Followed by a staged reading of Suicidal Dog & Laika

Gisbert Kapp N334
Wednesday 11 December 2019 (14:00-19:00)

If you have questions about the event please contact: Prof. Sara Jones at s.jones.1@bham.ac.uk.  

The event is free and open to all. Please register by 5th December 2019 for either the workshop, or the reading, or both 



  • Workshop: 2-5pm, Gisbert Kapp N334 [G8 on campus map]
  • Staged Reading: 5-7, Bramall Music Building, Dome Theatre [R12 on campus map]

This workshop seeks to explore the contributions the Arts can make to contemporary debates around migration. How do the Arts enable us to represent and better understand the multi-facetted nature of migration experiences? How do they allow us to think through the intersections of mobility and immobility in migration processes? What can they tell us about the relationship between agency and coercion? And how might the Arts help us imagine alternative regimes of mobility?

This workshop is the first in a series of thematic events that intend to address “glocal” challenges, such as migration, climate change and wellbeing, through projects that bring Arts and Humanities research into dialogue with other disciplines and with practitioners from diverse sectors. The goal of this event is to foster discussion between researchers from across the University and regional non-academic partners who share an interest in questions of mobility and immobility, borders and border-crossings, inclusion and exclusion.

The event will comprise of a 3-hour workshop that is open to academics from all disciplines and career stages as well as non-academic contributors. The workshop will focus on major questions driving current migration debates and try to find answers through the collaborative development of project ideas.

The workshop will be followed by a staged reading of Catalina Florescu’s Suicidal Dog & LaikaSuicidal Dog & Laika blends the absurd with reality, the political with the historical; it uses fiction to investigate immigration, belonging, citizenship and communism. Through the characters of Laika - the first creature in space - and Dog - a fictional immigrant from the Middle East - the play takes us through the history of Soviet Communism peppered recollections of the violent fall of communism in Romania, and the drama of migrants and refugees crossing the Mediterranean Sea in inflatable boats -- all against the backdrop of the caustic anti-immigration rhetoric surrounding the latest U.S. Presidential elections. Revisiting dehumanizing moments in history via a play helps the audience to deal with the experienced or inherited trauma while at the same time making them more vocal in their own lives. 


2.00-2.30: Welcome coffee and Networking

2.30-3.00: Introduction to Collaborative Grants

3.00-3.45: World Café I: Asking the Big Questions…

3.45-4.45: World Café II: …and Trying to Find Answers

5.00-7.00: Staged Reading: Suicidal Dog & Laika

7.00: End

The event is generously funded by The Graduate Centre for Europe (GCfE), the School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music, University of Birmingham and the Leverhulme Trust.

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