Category Archives: Media

CUCR podcast: Identity, belonging and citizenship in urban Britain

From the CUCR blog:

In this CUCR podcast, Les Back talks to Steve Hanson and Ben Gidley about their new report with Sundas Ali Identity, Belonging & Citizenship in Urban Britain (CUCR, 2018).  This study of UK cities was conducted before the Brexit vote but in many respects it anticipated its outcome.  In this report they argue that urban spaces  can be characterised on a continuum with ‘English cities’ at one end and British cities at the other.  They also talk about the politics of Englishness and urban multicultural conviviality and what makes a good city.
The full report can be downloaded for Free here and copies are available from directly from CUCR.
Steve Hanson’s book Small Towns, Austere Times: The Dialectics of Deracinated Localism is available from Zero Books.
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MONITOR Event Report: UK Houses of Parliament – Islamophobia & Antisemitism

From Monitor:

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.

[READ THE REST]

Podcast:


Video: On my Monitor parliamentary event report on Islamophobia and antisemitism

This is a trailer for my article in the new website Monitor:

Follow the Monitor YouTube channel.


VIDEO: James Renton on antisemitism and Islamophobia

Details:  Continue reading


VIDEO: Is Marine Le Pen a fascist?

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

From politics.co.uk:

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


France and England on the verge of a nervous breakdown

From Kenan Malik’s Pandaemonium:

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:

https://www.franceculture.fr/player/export-reecouter?content=b93feec0-b60a-4b38-9070-8287ec083796


Sharia Councils: a user’s guide

From France Culture:
Réécouter La France et l’Angleterre au bord de la crise de nerfs (2/4):
Sharia Councils, mode d’emploi
55min | 17.01.2017

Exporter https://www.franceculture.fr/player/export-reecouter?content=eea81f3a-f459-47a8-8d47-5934677510da


Religion, Social Action & Urban Policy: London Paris face to face

From the GSRL blog:

Religion, Social Action & Urban Policy: London Paris face to face / Religions, action sociale et politique urbaine: Paris et Londres en face à face

On 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.
My bit:
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:

 


Redefining Integration

I spoke recently at a Runnymede Trust event “Redefining Integration“.

 

Here is a blogpost about it by Lester Holloway:

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.

Photogallery on Facebook


Placeless People: What can History tell us about today’s Refugee Crises?

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.


VIDEO: The Flexible City – Everyday Urban Life

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.


Michael Keith presentations and interviews

Here are some presentations by and interviews with the director of COMPAS, Michael Keith:

Neighbourhood Governance: government, community cohesion and integration The World in our Neighbourhoods (London Borough of Haringey), 2007 [ppt]

Migration and Integration: Myths and Realities (British Library), June 2009. [ppt/mp3]

Cohesion, Integration and 21st Century Migration (Demos Helsinki Sauna Academy), August 2009 [ppt]

The Future of Migration: EurAsylum interview with Michael Keith and Howard Duncan, March 2010 [html]

Migration and transnationalism: opportunities and challenges.International (Organisation for Migration, Geneva), March 2010 [ppt]

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]

The Human City (New Cities Forum plenary), June 2013


From Ben’s archive: The First War on Terror

I just saw this at Hari Kunzru’s website:

Bande a Bonnot

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.

Here’s the BBC’s page on it:

b00dp1phNovelist 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.


Gefilte fish and syndicalism

From the website of Donnacha DeLong’s The Circled A show on Resonance FM:

Commemorating the strikes of 1912 meeting On 23 May, the Jewish Socialists’ Group held a meeting in the library of the Bishopsgate Institute to discuss the history and continuing relevance of the 1912 tailor’s strike, inspired by Rudolf Rocker. The meeting covered the history of unionism in the East End, including the Docks, the history of the rag trade and sweatshops, the strike in 1912 and what it can teach the contemporary trade union movement. The meeting was chaired by David Rosenberg of the Jewish Socialists and included talks by Ben Gidley, senior researcher at Compas at Oxford University working on East End Jewish radical history, and Donnacha DeLong, President of the National Union of Journalists.

File 1: David Rosenberg opens the meeting

Part 01 rocker event intro

File 2: Ben Gidley talks about the history of the unions in East London and the history of the rag trade

Part 02 rocker event ben gidley

File 3: Donnacha DeLong talks about the broader context of the strike and its relevance for contemporary trade unionism

03 rocker event donnacha delong

File 4: Audience Q&A

Part 04 rocker event Q and A

UPDATE: Versions of mine and Donnacha’s talks have since been published in Jewish Socialist magazine.


Secularism, Racism and the Politics of Belonging

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.

Read the Conference Report by Mary Sutton. Listen to an embarrassing mp3 of my oral presentation. And even more embarrassing  youtube of my paper, part 1 and 2.


Everyday Multiculturalism

 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.

26 April 2012 Land of Strangers: From a Politics of Social Ties to a Politics of the Commons        Ash Amin, University of Cambridge Oxford University podcast iTunesU

03 May 2012 Homophily is not an explanation           Talja Blokland, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin Oxford University podcast iTunesU

10 May 2012 Nostalgia and everyday multiculturalism: Anglo-Indian and Chinese Calcuttans in London and Toronto        Jayani Bonnerjee, Queen Mary, University of London Oxford University podcast iTunesU

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

31 May 2012 Negotiating urban citizenship: British Muslim encounters with new migrants Deborah Phillips, University of Oxford 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

14 June 2012 Whiteness, Class and the Legacies of Empire: On Home Ground Katharine Tyler, University of Surrey Oxford University podcast iTunesU


Photography and The Practice of Walking

At OpenVizor, a nice video with me talking about photography and the practice of walking, in connection with an Urban Encounters event last year.


Religion and diaspora in East London

My video for the Oxford Diasporas Programme. Not my finest moment:

Ben Gidley on the Diasporas of East London from Ann Cowie on Vimeo.

Read about the project here.


Migrants in London: Policy Challenges

At the Migration Observatory:

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.

Read the briefing.