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Year of Mygration

Migrants and migration matter to The Open University and to all of us.

The Open University's Year of Mygration stands as a remarkable introduction to diverse perspectives of migrants and migration. The Open University is ‘open to people, places, methods and ideas’ so has always welcomed migrants as students and staff, and has encouraged pioneering methods of learning, teaching, research and engagement around the themes of migration, refugees, mobility and belonging. 250 separate contributions have been gathered under the heading of a Year of ‘My-gration’ to emphasise that we are all affected by migration, whether or not we ourselves or immediate families are migrants. The issues of migration are vital to understanding not just current UK politics but also the world’s economies and communities.

The origins of this Year of Mygration are in a collaboration between the Citizenship & Governance and the International Development & Inclusive Innovation Strategic Research Areas of the OU. The idea was to share a reflection every day, Monday to Friday, for 50 weeks of a year, on the broad theme of migration which showcased the work of the OU academics and our partners, be it a short blog, podcast or archive clip, a tweet or a link to a longer article. We numbered the posts from 1 to 250 partly so that anyone can start their own Year of Mygration in any year and at any point in any year. We appreciate that migrants and the whole world live with migration 7 days a week for the whole 52 weeks of the year but we believe that there is a value in this exercise and we would welcome anyone creating their own sequels. As the OU enters our 50th anniversary year, 2019, we remain committed to being ‘open to people, places, methods and ideas’.

Credit: MPI-MMG

Day 30, Year of #Mygration: Call for Papers

Anecdotal evidence suggests that racialised researchers and public figures find themselves in an ambivalent position when the issue of migration suddenly becomes topical. Everyone wants to hear their views and attributes the perspectives they offer to their racialised bodies and experiential knowledge rather than to their professional expertise.

9th February 2018

Day 29, Year of #Mygration: Border Crossing Monuments

Lesvos Island, May 2017.  From where I am standing I can see the Turkish coast.  During the night one can also see the lights on the other side of the Greek-Turkish border.  The other side.

7th February 2018

Day 28, Year of #Mygration: Asylum seekers in detention in Greece

Between 2008 and 2015, I was working as a human rights lawyer in various refugee detention centres in Greece. Due to the fact that the Greek state was not providing any legal aid for detained asylum seekers the burden of the provision of free legal aid was on very few NGOs.

7th February 2018
Gendered Harm and Structural Violence in the British Asylum System book cover

Day 27, Year of #Mygration: Violence and harm in the British asylum system

OU academic Victoria Canning’s recently published book Gendered Harm and Structural Violence in the British Asylum System draws together analyses of policy with domestic and international legislation relating to refugee status and torture, alongside the lived experience of women seeking asylum.

6th February 2018
Photo by Joanne Vincett: The Visitors Centre at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre, Milton Ernest, Bedfordshire, UK

Day 26, Year of #Mygration: Volunteering inside a British immigration detention centre

In February’s theme, “Open To Places”, I would like to highlight a hidden place that most people do not tend to see or speak about in their everyday lives: A British immigration detention centre.

5th February 2018
John Birdsall / John Birdsall EMR / John Birdsall Social Issues Photo Library / Press Association Images / Universal Images Group

Day 25, Year of #Mygration: Supporting those who support

In the encounter between legal professionals and asylum claimants, the latter are the most vulnerable, requiring our help and support as a priority

2nd February 2018

Day 24, Year of #Mygration: Migrants' creative place making

The OU is just starting its ‘Year of Mygration’ 2018, highlighting the ways in which the university is open not only to places, people and methods, but also the ways in which these are all implicated in mobility and migration.

1st February 2018

Day 23, Year of #Mygration: Ludwig Guttmann

The leading neurological surgeon in Germany, Dr (later Sir) Ludwig Guttmann came to Oxford in March 1939 as a Jewish refugee from the Nazis.

31st January 2018
So Kongosi and Ben Mussanai wa Mussangu

Day 22, Year of #Mygration: What happened next

As we come towards the end of our month of contributions on being ‘Open to People’, it is time to reflect on the Open University’s consistent highlighting of migration’s underlying issues.

30th January 2018
Somalis in Kenya

Day 21, Year of #Mygration: Statelessness, Space, Security: Somalis in Kenya

Oscar Gakuo Mwangi, University of Lesotho, argues in Understanding Statelessness, edited by Tendayi Bloom, Katherine Tonkiss and Phillip Cole (Routledge 2017), that statelessness in the Kenyan context needs to be seen as simultaneously a psychological and a physical condition determined by spatial-political boundaries rather than legal ones.

29th January 2018