Universiteit Leiden

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One million euros for research on migrant cultures in European Cities

Dr. Sara Brandellero, expert in Lusophone literatures and cultures and member of the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society, will lead a research project about urban night life and migration, culture and integration in eight European cities. The project aims to support community well-being and better integration. Funded by the Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA).

Inclusive cities through dialogue

The project 'Night spaces: migration, culture and integraTion in Europe (NITE)' will entail an ambitious programme of community co-designed cultural events and activities, and close engagement with policy-makers, with the aim to contribute to policy approaches to night-time economies, releasing the potential night spaces offer in creating more inclusive cities. Activities and outputs that will include three international conferences, round-tables and workshops, documentary production and the project’s website will open up new spaces for dialogue and exchange of ideas and best practices between migrant communities, local authorities, and the broader public. With migration a defining characteristic of contemporary urban life, key and often polarizing in current policy, political and public debates in Europe, NITE aims to support community wellbeing and better integration at local, national and transnational levels.

Sara Brandellero

Night-time urban economies and migration

Authorities have historically wrestled with the issue of night-time control, and the hours after dark are often still perceived as harbouring threats to public order and potential criminality. However, current policy attention to night-time urban economies, exemplified by the creation of the office of Night Mayor (Amsterdam, 2014) and Night Czar (London, 2016), illustrates the increasing interest in the potentialities of the urban night. Harnessing this growing interest, this humanities-led research will contribute with otherwise overlooked evidence on how public spaces after dark (city squares, nightclubs, hotels etc.)  are created and experienced by migrant communities and what stories we learn from them.  The project will look at material, symbolic and also virtual spaces.

Five parallel subprojects

This three-year transdisciplinary project brings together five parallel subprojects mapping night spaces in eight cities in the Netherlands, Ireland, UK, Germany, Denmark and Portugal, considered intersectionally within the context of migration with questions of race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, class, and age.

  1. The UCL team, led by Prof. Ben Campkin, will focus on LGBT+ migrant communities and night spaces in London.
  2. The Leuphana University team (in conjunction with Humboldt), led by Prof. Manuela Bojadzijev,  will study migrant bike couriers at night within Berlin’s smart economy.
  3. At Aarhus University , Dr. Derek Pardue will lead comparative research on migrant youth and questions of belonging, surveillance and policing with Lisbon.
  4. At the University of Limerick, the team led by Dr Ailbhe Kenny will study African migrants’ community music making in Cork and Galway.
  5. At Leiden University, Project Leader Dr. Brandellero will collaborate with  Dr Kamila Krakowska (LUCAS) and Prof. Frans-Willem Korsten (LUCAS) to research migrant night cultures in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

Kick-off meeting

The NITE team looks forward to the 20-22 May 2019 kick-off meeting, generously supported by the renowned Institute for Advanced Study Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg (HWK) in Delmenhorst, one of NITE’s Associate Partners.

Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) is a network of 26 national funding agencies committed to leading and developing funding opportunities for humanities researchers in Europe.

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