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Early Start Arts to Counter Radicalisation

Room 420 Muirhead Tower
Research, Social Sciences
Tuesday 18th July 2017 (17:00-19:00)
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Outreach and intervention work associated with PREVENT has traditionally focused on adolescents and adults. Although work examining the role of the family in processes of radicalisation is increasing, very little work has been undertaken in relation to creating interfaith understanding in early childhood. Early childhood education is directly linked to good health, while poor education, and associated lack of development, is now commonly considered a risk factor for child ill-health. The biosocial implications of learning in the early years are significant. In today’s presentation, we will examine empirical qualitative data that shows behavioural change and possibilities for neuroplastic development through art practice. We will also offer an overview of the project design and methods for the “Early Start Arts to Counter Radicalisation” research project, and explain some of the ways in which we hope the project will lead to stronger interfaith relationships from an early age. Desired outcomes include an increase in the sense of wellbeing and social cohesion experienced by Muslim and non-Muslim youth in the UK and Australia. As Heckman has shown, this is likely to have flow-on effects for education and health in children’s later years, as well as for developing a capacity to engage with others and to understand cultural differences.

About the speakers

Professor Anna Hickey-Moody is a Research Fellow at the BioSocial Lab at Manchester Metropolitan University, and Professor of Media and Communications in the Digital Ethnography Research Centre at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. Between 2017 and 2021, Anna is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow.

Kate Lonie is a final-year PhD candidate in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney, Australia. She is also a Research Associate on the “Interfaith Childhoods” project.

Birmingham's Muslims: in the city, of the city

This public talk is hosted as part of the University's three year research project, Birmingham's Muslims: in the city, of the city. This project is more than academic research. Bold and unique, this three year programme will consider the story of the city’s Muslim communities – their past, present and future – to better understand their contribution to the success of the city. Recent events across the city and country have significantly impacted cohesion. Often misrepresented or misunderstood, Muslim communities deserve a safe space where they have the opportunity to have open and honest conversations with leaders, institutions and policymakers about the issues that matter to them and impact their everyday lives. As a leading Russell Group institution, the University of Birmingham occupies a singular niche to facilitate this. Building on our links across the political sphere, state apparatus and the city, we aim to bring together diverse groups for a range of engaging, relevant and pertinent activities. Birmingham – as a city and as a university – has a strong commitment to fairness, tolerance and co-operation. This project aspires to generate new ideas to support and encourage others to understand Birmingham’s Muslim communities as both ‘in’ and ‘of’ the city. More information about the project is available from Dr Chris Allen (Project Lead).

Preceding the public talk will be a roundtable workshop (beginning at 2:00pm) with Anna and Kate during which key issues relating to counter-terror and counter radicalisation in educational and early years settings will be discussed in more detail. The roundtable is ‘invite only’ and so if you would like to participate, please get in touch with Dr Chris Allen at

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