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Wartime Child Displacement: Comparing Historical and Contemporary Cases

: UWE, Bristol, UK
Period: Thursday 8 September 2016


Registration: 9.30 - 9.45

Welcome: 9.45 - 9.55

Panel 1 (10.00 - 11.30): Frameworks of Displacement: the Intimate and the Legal
Professor Alice Bloch (Manchester), ‘Narratives of exile and persecution: Inter-generational stories and silences’
Noelle Quenivet (UWE), ‘The legal protection of children as refugees and internally displaced persons’
Emina Hadziosmanovic (Portsmouth), ‘Early Displacement and Traumatic Experience: The Children of Yugoslavia in the 1990s’

Break: Refreshments (11.30 - 11.40)

Panel 2 (11.45-13.15): Historical cases from Europe
Elizabeth White (UWE), ‘Child Refugees from Russia in the 1920s’
Mike Richards (UWE), ‘Basque Child Evacuees in Britain’
Andrea Hammel (Aberystwyth), ‘Kindertransport Children in Britain’

Lunch Break (13.15 - 13.50)

Panel 3 (13.50 - 15.20): Post-War Polish children in Bristol and Gloucestershire (Chair: Tillie Curran, UWE)
A discussion led by members of the Bristol Anglo-Polish Society:
Chris Ottewell, Stefan Cembrowicz, Alicja Swiatek Cristofides, and Grazynka Kowalewska

Refreshments: 15.20 - 15.50

Concluding discussion (15.50-16.20)

The aim of this one-day workshop is to assess how examples from the historic past help us to address some of the questions about the current migrant and displacement “crisis” (frequently described as “unprecedented”).

The event brings historians, sociologists, psychologists, and lawyers together with members of public associations in order to:

  • exchange ideas emerging from on-going research about the past and the present;
  • gauge the ways in which questions and methods overlap and vary; 
  • assess how these ways of working respond to public expectations

How to participate to the Event

The objective is to see what can be learned by academic specialists from several disciplines by listening to a range of witnesses, as well as to each other.

The questions relate inevitably to state structures, ideology, language, and the issue of rights, but also to the intimate sphere of personal experience, memory and the trauma of those who lived through displacement as children. A key element of the day’s activities will be the contribution in the afternoon by members of the Bristol Anglo-Polish society. Throughout the day, we will be able to listen to stories of affected individuals – either as personal recollection, as testimony relayed to researchers, or as traces of experience left in historical archives.

An event organised at UWE by members of the Department of Arts and Cultural Industries (History) and Health and Social Sciences (Social Work), with the support of the Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education and the Social Science Research Group, and in association with UWE’s Childhood Studies Research Group.

£15 (with limited free places for unwaged). Pre-registration essential.


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