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About the event

On 14 December 2013, the second edition of the Visible Award was awarded to The Silent University, a knowledge exchange platform initiated by the artist Ahmet Öğüt and led by a group of asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants. In recognition of the award, the London branch of The Silent University will produce a two-day event, with the first day organised in collaboration with the Oxford Migration Studies Society and the Refugee Studies Centre.

The event will focus on drawing together members of The Silent University in dialogue with artists, curators, and theoreticians who are working on projects that deal with migration issues in the legal framework of Western democracies. The Visible Award, which in its mission is looking for art that 'leaves its own field and becomes visible as part of something else,' is proud to accompany The Silent University in its encounter with the academic realm outside of the space of art.

Oxford Programme

3 – 4pm Visible Award Ceremony
Professor Dawn Chatty (Director, Refugee Studies Centre)
Matteo Luchetti and Judith Wielander (Visible)
Paolo Naldini (Pistoletto Foundation)
Andrea Zegna (Fondazione Zegna)
Ahmet Öğüt
4 – 4.15pm Ten types of Arabic calligraphy
Behnam al-Agzeer, Lecturer, The Silent University (in Arabic)
4.15 – 4.30pm Sexually transmitted diseases and the history of HIV
Mulugeta Fikadu, Lecturer, The Silent University
4.30 – 5.15pm Panel I: Migrant communities and networks, and social exclusion in the UK and Europe
Moderated by Professor Bridget Anderson (Deputy Director, COMPAS
Carlos Cruz (Consultant, The Silent University)
Uvindu Kurukulasuriya (Consultant, The Silent University)
Geraldine Takundwa (Lecturer, The Silent University)
Miriam Binsztok (Contributor, The Silent University)
Karin Waringo (Consultant, The Silent University Paris)
5.15 – 5.30pm Coffee break
QEH Main Hall
5.30 – 6.30pm Panel II (Open Discussion): The role of artists and institutions in challenging popular narratives about migrants
Moderated by Ahmet Öğüt
Aaron Cezar (Director, Delfina Foundation)
Emily Fahlen (Coordinator, The Silent University Stockholm)
Jonas Staal (New World Academy)
6.30 – 7.30pm Visible Award Ceremony Reception
QEH Main Hall


Both days of the event are open to the public but seating is limited, so please RSVP here:


For press enquiries, please write to:
Adam Fine:
Erica Kaounides:

For general enquiries, please write to:
Catherine L Crooke:

More details about the two-day event can be found on Facebook:

About The Silent University

The Silent University is an autonomous knowledge exchange platform led by refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. Silent University members have had a professional life and academic training in their home countries, but are unable to use their skills or professional training due to a variety of reasons related to their status.

Acting as a group of lecturers, consultants and research fellows, each group is contributing to the programme in different ways, which include developing courses connected to their qualifications, specific research on key themes as well as personal reflections on what it means to be a refugee and asylum seeker. The Silent University wants to address and reactivate the knowledge of the participants and make the exchange process mutually beneficial.

The Silent University’s aim is to challenge the idea of silence as a passive state, and explore its powerful potential through group reflection to make apparent the systematic failure and the loss of skills and knowledge experienced through the silencing process of people seeking asylum.The Silent University started in London in 2012 in collaboration with Delfina Foundation and Tate and was later hosted by The Showroom. It is currently being established in Sweden in collaboration with Tensta Konsthall and ABF Stockholm, and in France, at Le 116 in Montreuil, Greater Paris region.

Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture

The Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture is held in Trinity term. It is named after Professor Elizabeth Colson, a renowned anthropologist.

Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture

The Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture is named in honour of Dr Barbara Harrell-Bond, the founding Director of the Refugee Studies Centre. It is held each year in Michaelmas term.

Public Seminar Series

Each term the RSC holds a series of public seminars, held on Wednesday evenings at Queen Elizabeth House. Click here for details of forthcoming seminars.

Connect with us

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Forthcoming events

A celebration of the life of David Turton

Saturday, 20 July 2024, 2pm to 3pm @ The Crypt Cafe, St Peters Church, Northchurch Terrace, London N1 4DA