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Tom Western

Marie Curie Fellow, Faculty of Humanities, University of Olso

Tom Western is a Marie Curie Fellow in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Oslo. His research centres on sound, borders, and citizenships – combining approaches from forced migration studies, anthropology, ethnomusicology and sound studies. He has worked in Athens, Greece, since 2016, focussing on creative citizenships and activist methods. His research listens to the ways in which people use sound to assert belonging in the face of asylum regimes, racialised persecution, and European border politics that play out in urban space. This sonic ethnography forms the basis of a book project, provisionally titled Sonopolis: Sound, Citizenship, and Migrant Activisms in Athens.

Tom is also a core team member of the Syrian and Greek Youth Forum, based in Athens, with whom he has founded the Active Citizens Sound Archive ( This is a multilingual archive of solidarities and collaborations, of diversities and possibilities. It aims to disrupt the kinds of narratives normally told about refugees, and instead open a collective space for new understandings and representations. With the Syrian and Greek Youth Forum, Tom is preparing a sound installation at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, to be launched in spring 2020. He was previously an Early Career Fellow in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at the RSC, where he designed and taught a course called ‘Writing and Representing Refugee Lives’.

Further information, including publications: