Category Archives: Media
In 2017, antisemitism and Islamophobia were, along with other racisms, on the rise around the world. In Charlottesville in the United States, far-right militants marched chanting against the world Jewish conspiracy. In Myanmar, Muslims fled for their lives to Bangladesh. In the UK and Europe, these racisms also continue to flourish. But are they connected? In the aftermath of 9/11, controversy has raged about whether Islamophobia is the new antisemitism.
MONITOR chose this pressing issue for its first public event. The location: the UK’s Houses of Parliament, hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism.
The magazine aims to bring cutting-edge research into global public debate, and this collaboration was the ideal place to start. The Editor, Monica Gonzalez Correa, flew in especially from Florence.
— Ian Dunt (@IanDunt) May 6, 2017
Tomorrow France goes to the polls in an unprecedented election between Marine” Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron. But is the National Front candidate really an old school fascist? We talk to Ben Gidley, senior lecturer at Birkbeck, about the far-right’s attempt to rebrand itself and secure electoral success. You can follow him on Twitter here.
VIDEO LINK HERE
Interview by Ian Dunt
Filming & production by Alex Frois
The French journalist Ilana Navaro has made a superb four-part radio documentary series for France Culture on social policies towards immigration and integration in France and Britain. Entitled La France et L’Angleterre au bord de la crise de nerfs (‘France and England on the edge of a nervous breakdown’), the documentary visits a ‘theological cafe’ in Paris and the Cambridge Muslim College, a sharia council in Birmingham, Goutte d’Or, an area in the 18th arrondissement in Paris with a large North African and sub-Saharan population, Brick Lane in East London, and Walsall, in the English Midlands. Among those interviewed are the anthropologist Sam Everett, the sociologists Ben Gidley, Amine El Yousfi and Benoit Coquard, the historian Nazneen Ahmed, Amra Bone of the Sharia Council of Birmingham, Pragna Patel from Southall Black Sisters, Shaista Gohir of the Muslim Women’s Network, the Parisian imam Mohamed Bajrafil, the religious historian and trainer, Samia Hathroubi, and myself. (My interviews are in episodes 3 & 4.)
Kenan posts the audio too, illustrated by some beautiful Arabic calligraphy.
Here’s episode 3:
Religion, Social Action & Urban Policy: London Paris face to face / Religions, action sociale et politique urbaine: Paris et Londres en face à faceOn 17 March 2016, a conference took place in Paris at the GSRL. It was organised within the exchanges between PSL Research University and the University of Cambridge by Samuel Everett (postdoctoral researcher at the GSRL/Woolf Institute). Read the conference program.
Secularism Faith & Community
While in London civil society is often openly infused with religious values, social initiative in Paris and its periphery is structured by laïcité. This panel explores these conceptions of state secularism and questions the realities of these ‘models’ within local urban contexts as ideas of class, race and religious identity increasingly intersect.
Ben Gidely [sic!] discussed three historical-social science research projects on which he has worked focusing on his historical and ethnographic work in East and North East London.
He argued that national-level policy can mould how people live together and in the UK.
He discussed the theory attributed to this idea: “conservative pluralism” in which the Church of England maintained overall religious supremacy by mediating for minority faiths.
Space and place nevertheless impact on interreligious relations such as those on Brick lane which fosters neighbourhood narratives of cosmopolitanism.
Finally, somewhat paradoxically, his research has shown that how people interact with one another does not necessarily concur with how they talk about each other i.e. racist speak can belie good relations.
The post includes videos. Here’s mine:
I spoke recently at a Runnymede Trust event “Redefining Integration“.
As Dame Louise Casey’s report throws the definition of integration into sharp relief, to a mixed chorus of unbridled gleeful and concerned criticism, Runnymede Communications Coordinator Lester Holloway looks back at our timely Redefining Integration conference last week.
With Donald Trump the president-elect of America, Brexit in Britain and the threat of the far right National Front winning the French presidency, what is the role of integration today? That was one of the questions debated by an experienced panel of academics and thought leaders at Redefining Integration.
The central focus for debate was how we define integration and its role in bringing communities together. You can watch a video (15 mins) here.
This wonderful event, organised by Lyndsey Stonebridge and Becky Taylor for the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism in association with the University of East Anglia, as part of the , is now available as a series of podcasts via Backdoor Publishing. The event is part of the Refugee History project based at UEA.
Via The World Bank:
The Flexible City – Everyday Urban Life Session: Ben Gidley (Oxford University)
Talks by Ben Gidley (University of Oxford), Ahmed Soliman (Alexandria University) and Colin McFarlane (Durham University). Ben Gidley presents findings from studies on urban migration and recommendations for municipal responses to challenges.
This is based on the Global Migration and the Future of the Cities project at COMPAS, part of the Oxford Future of Cities programme led by Steve Raynor and Michael Keith.
Here are some presentations by and interviews with the director of COMPAS, Michael Keith:
Migration and the journey to integration and community development (Inclusion, the key to prosperity. The dynamics of migration, poverty and social exclusion, European Commission, Praxis and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation), November 2010 [ppt]
Doug Saunders with Michael Keith as respondent: Arrival City: How migration is reshaping our world (RSA), May 2011 [Listen to the audio full recording including audience Q&A; Watch the video edited highlights]
I just saw this at Hari Kunzru’s website:
Anyone interested in political history or theory should visit Christie Books, the publishing house and anarchist archive run by Stuart Christie, would-be assassin of General Franco and author of the entertaining memoir My Granny Made Me an Anarchist. The site contains a great deal of audio and video, including a documentary I made for BBC Radio 3 in 2008 called The First War on Terror. It’s about the anti-anarchist panic that gripped Europe in the late Victorian period, and the responses by writers (from pulp novelists to greats like Conrad and Chesterton) to the fears of a social order without gods or masters. Listen to the program here.
I feature (fairly briefly) in the programme, taking Hari on a walking tour of East London, including Freedom Books, which was firebombed this week, probably by fascists (and not for the first term), along with Clive Bettington of the Jewish East End Commemoration Society (far more radiogenic than me), talking about Joseph Conrad, Rudolf Rocker and more.
Novelist Hari Kunzru explores how pulp fiction writers and great novelists got to grips with the UK’s first major ‘war on terror’ – against the Anarchists of Victorian and Edwardian times. These ‘scare novels’ responded to the Anarchists’ wish to abolish the State by depicting outlandish scenarios such as political assassinations and large-scale bombings.
He also explores the world of the real anarchists in London’s immigrant communities – most of whom were peaceful and cultured East End Jewish activists, trying to improve conditions in the garment trade – in contrast to these terrorists the novelists imagined and the popular press feared.
Bringing the programme up to date, Hari and literary scholars Laurence Davies and Deaglan O’Donghaile also briefly consider the modern response to 9/11, asking whether novels on terrorism ever get it right.
My paper “Faith Communities and Racism: Some Reflections from the Anglo-Jewish Experience” has been included in the newly publication by the Runnymede Trust, “Runnymede Perspectives: Secularism, Racism and the Politics of Belonging”.
This publication is a collection of papers that were presented at conferences in 2010 and 2011 co-organized by the Runnymede Trust and CMRB – the Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging at the University of East London. The contributors address issues of migration, racism and religion. The publication is edited by Professor Nira Yuval-Davis and Professor Philip Marfleet, University of East London.
COMPAS seminar series: Thursdays 14.00 – 15.30 Seminar Room, Pauling Centre, 58a Banbury Road, Oxford
Convened by the COMPAS Urban Change and Settlement cluster [update: podcast links added below]
Whereas multiculturalism has been steadily ‘downgraded’ on the policy agenda both in the UK and other parts of Europe during the 2000s, social life at neighbourhood level is increasingly characterised by an everyday negotiation of categorical boundaries such as migration histories, religions, migrant statuses, and socio-economic disparities. This series will focus on emerging empirical research and methodologies that engage with such localised, intercultural processes. The presentations are based on findings from a range of different settings, including London, northern England, the Netherlands and Germany, and also focusing on new ‘zones of encounter’ that go beyond the traditional inner-city perspective.
17 May 2012 Faith and suburbia: secularisation, modernity and the changing geographies of religion in London’s suburbs David Gilbert, Royal Holloway, University of London Oxford University podcast iTunesU
24 May 2012 New Geographies of Migration and Multiculture: Degrees of Intimacy between English Villagers and Eastern European Migrants in Rural Worcestershire Helen Moore, University of Surrey Oxford University podcast iTunesU
07 June 2012 Crossing the Threshold: Identity, Integration and Multiculturalism in British and German Muslim Ethnic Minority Neighbourhoods Sarah Hackett, University of Sunderland Oxford University podcast iTunesU
My video for the Oxford Diasporas Programme. Not my finest moment:
Read about the project here.
Nearly half of the UK’s migrants live in London and a third of London’s residents were born abroad. This primer discusses the policy challenges arising from the diversity and scale of immigration in London.