SOAS University of London

SOAS Festival of Ideas

Refugees and Migrants - Panel Discussion


Date: 19 October 2020Time: 1:00 PM

Finishes: 19 October 2020Time: 3:00 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Panel Discussion

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Migration and Displacement in the Horn of Africa: Reflections from the Research and Evidence Facility

Globally, many more people move or are displaced within their region of origin than those who move further. This is strikingly demonstrated in the Horn of Africa, where an estimated 14 million people are displaced and many millions more are on the move looking for economic, educational, or social opportunities. This presentation will discuss research conducted by the Research and Evidence Facility, a team that I lead at SOAS which is concerned with migration and displacement within and from the Horn of Africa. Funded by the European Union's International Development Directorate, our research has considered rural to urban migration, environmentally-induced movement, refugee displacement and return, and cross border mobility. Most of our research has been done in partnership with a network of researchers from the region - so far we have worked with over 50 researchers from the countries we work in. I will discuss some of the highlights of this work and will look across the different projects to propose an approach to development planning and programming that takes people's mobility as a given, an essential strategy that people engage with throughout their lives. By decentring our development policy to be more reflective of how people actually live their lives, it can be more effective and supportive.

In the first twenty years of the 21st century, more people migrate or are forcibly displaced than at any other time in history. Migration, both within the bounds of nation states and beyond, are closely examined by SOAS academics and research students. This panel discussion includes:

  • Dr Laura Hammond, SOAS University of London
  • Dr Ruba Salih, SOAS University of London
  • Dr Caspar Melville, SOAS University of London
  • Dr Maya Goodfellow, SOAS University of London - Moderator

Caspar Melville

Dr Caspar Melville convenes the MA Global Creative & Cultural Industries. He is a former music journalist, magazine editor and radio and club DJ. His most recent book It's a London Thing: How rare groove, acid house and jungle remapped the city is published by Manchester University Press (2020).

Laura Hammond

Laura has degrees in Anthropology from the University Wisconsin-Madison and did her undergraduate degree at Sarah Lawrence College. She has taught at Clark University, the University of Reading, and was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Sussex.

Maya Goodfellow

Maya Goodfellow is a writer and academic. She is the author of Hostile Environment: How Immigrants Became Scapegoats, which was long-listed for the Jhalak Prize. The new edition of the book was released this September. She has written for the New York Times and the Guardian among others. Maya recently completed a PhD at SOAS, University of London and is currently a Leverhulme Early Career Researcher at SPERI, Sheffield University, where she works on issues related to race, capitalism and abolition.


This event is part of the Virtual SOAS Festival of Ideas which will kick off a week-long series of virtual events. The festival includes: panel discussions, student led installations, masterclasses, keynote lectures, a public debate for/against on Decolonising Knowledge and a Verbatim performance by Bhuchar Boulevard on ‘Decolonising Not Just a Buzzword’ capturing SOAS conversations about the need to decolonise its imperial mission.

Keep updated on the upcoming Virtual Festival of Ideas events and watch recordings of previous events on the SOAS website. Please contact with any questions regarding this event and/or the Virtual SOAS Festival of Ideas.

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