Bringing together researchers, practitioners and policy makers working with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland
Organising any event can feel like an out of body experience. You’re there but not there. Wondering more about what others think of the papers than your own responses. With the inaugural GRAMnet Postgraduate Colloquium over it’s only now that I can reflect upon the day. What strikes me from the papers presented is both the breadth and the nuance of the papers. In our first session, Nina Miller and Ewan McIntosh provided insights into the role of law and policy. Whilst our keynote address by Colin Yeo was able to make clear how law and policy impacts upon his own practice as a barrister. Elizabeth G.Kennedy raised important questions around the status of children reminding us that children make up half of the global refugee population. While Nina Perkowski provided valuable information on the formation and role of ‘Frontex’ and highlighted the methodological challenges such research poses. In the second session the papers presented by David Bates, Amadu Khan and Steve Kirkwood all illuminated various aspects of the lived experience of refugees and asylum seekers. In the final session both Gillian McFadyen and Teresa Piacentini problematised the concept of ‘refugee’ and its use. Teresa’s paper in particular highlighted the changing experiences of migrants in Glasgow and the value of research which is able to engage with these changes. Whilst all the papers presented posed important challenges, for me one of the most important questions came from the audience who asked about what we, as researchers, were doing with our research. Such questions are always a challenge and always a struggle however, events such as this really do show how GRAMnet is attempting to make those connections.