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2020

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Brookes University are monitoring Covid-19 on a daily basis.  Please check on our events page and social media for updates on events that have been cancelled.

2020 THEME is RESILIENCE
NOUN:  the capacity to recover from difficulties.

Background to our 2020 theme
​Through film, art and talks the 18th Oxford Human Rights Festival shares the voices and stories of resilient individuals. We will celebrate cultures, encourage debates and discussions and have opportunities to develop pathways to strengthen our resilience and thrive.

There has been growing interest in resilience in the academic, humanitarian and environmental sectors. Looking through a resilience lens presents us with an opportunity to observe, measure and assess the ability of individuals and communities to mobilise their own recovery from an exposure to physical or mental setbacks.[1]  Resilience is about what action an individual or community is able to take during and after a disaster. In addition, it also asks us to consider the notion of being prepared for setbacks which involves us taking time to understand potential disruptions and then carefully map out how to manage these - many organisations call this 'preparedness' and it can be a helpful tool that we can use in our everyday lives.   It is important to remember that resilience is not all about individuals and communities, it is also about the planning and actions that organisations and governments can take to support individuals and communities to be resilient.
 
The world is going through extraordinary changes. From mass migrations of people, civil society uprisings, environmental changes to the rising mental health challenges of individuals – setbacks and disasters are affecting all of us. 
 
According to UNHCR there are 70.9 million people worldwide that have been forcibly displaced - the numbers account for 43.1 million being internally displaced, 25.9 million refugees (half under the age of 18 years old) and 3.5 million asylum seekers. It is not only the forcibly displaced that suffer stress, research has found that we are all susceptible to mental and physical adversities in our own lives. In the 2013 Global Burden of Disease study stated that “the predominant mental health problem worldwide is depression, followed by anxiety, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.”[2]   In the UK “in an average classroom, ten children will have witnessed their parents separate, eight will have experienced severe physical violence, sexual abuse or neglect, one will have experienced the death of a parent and seven will have been bullied”.[3]   How about disability? “There are 13.9 million disabled people in the UK and life costs you £583 more on average a month if you're disabled.”[4] 
 
As a Festival based in Oxford we acknowledge the poverty stresses in Oxford.  10 of Oxford's 83 neighbourhood areas are among the 20% most deprived areas in England experiencing multiple levels of deprivation, 25% of children in Oxford live below the poverty line[5] and according to Oxford City Councils September 2019 ‘Street counts’ it reported 51 people were sleeping rough on the streets at the time.[6]  

All these statistics reflect some of the mental and physical stresses that individuals are facing in the world today but they also lead us to question the structures and policies of organisations, companies, NGOs and governments on their role in the challenges and obstructions that individuals and communities are having to grapple with on a daily basis and in disaster and conflict scenarios.

We are proud to be in the city of Oxford - a City of Sanctuary.  We as a city, are part of a movement that has a vision of welcome and promise to be a place of safety for all including people fleeing from violence and persecution.   The City of Sanctuary movement in Oxford also celebrates the skills refugees and asylum seekers bring with them and work with partners to provide a platform to help them engage with the city.[7]  In 2018 Oxford City and partnering organisations settled 27 refugee families in Oxford under the Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Scheme (SVPRS) and the Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme (VCRS).[8]  
 
This Festival invites people to learn about the lives of individuals and communities through listening, reading, observing, questioning and discussing stories of resilience as they visit the exhibition and take part in the festival.
 
The theme for the 2020 Festival came out of suggestions from the 2019 Oxford Human Rights Festival student committee, CENDEP staff, students and alumni.

[1] Manyena, Machingura, O’Keefe (2019). Disaster Resilience Integrated Framework for Transformation (DRIFT): A new approach to theorising and operationalising resilience. World Development Journal,  Elsivier, UK
[2] https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/fundamental-facts-about-mental-health-2016
[3] https://mhfaengland.org/mhfa-centre/research-and-evaluation/mental-health-statistics/
[4] https://www.scope.org.uk/media/disability-facts-figures/
[5] https://www.oxford.gov.uk/info/20131/population/497/poverty_and_deprivation
[6] https://www.oxford.gov.uk/info/20019/homelessness/1294/street_counts_-_how_many_people_are_sleeping_rough
[7] https://oxford.cityofsanctuary.org/
[8] https://www.oxford.gov.uk/news/article/796/city_council_successfully_resettles_27_refugee_families_in_oxford

 

2020 Events

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Festival Opening by The Lord Mayor of Oxford and The Young Women's Music Project
Friday 13 March
​Time: 5pm - 7.30pm/8pm
Venue: Glass Tank Brookes University, Oxford
Join us for an evening of music, art, and stories of resilience from Oxford and beyond as the Lord Mayor of Oxford launches the 18th Oxford Human Rights Festival.  The evening speakers will be Zahra, Director of the Young Women’s Music Project; an introduction to resilience and beyond by Dr Sana Murrani, an Associate Professor in Spatial Practice and Deputy Director of the Doctoral College for the Arts and Humanities at the University of Plymouth, UK; the role of music and resilience the Afghan Womens Orchestra by Lauren Braithwaite; Mr Fazil Hussain from Quetta Pakistan founder of  Sketch Club and the story of Rohingya women and a unique project called Testimony Tailors by Shafiur Rahman a documentary maker and photographer from the UK.   There is music in The Glass Tank at 5pm by Bruno Guastalla from Oxford Violins and a performance by the Young Women's Music Project.   For more info and to book click on the picture

Workshops: Weaving a New Story – Exploring Liberation and Resilience through crafts​.  
Saturday 14 March 
​Time: 1.30pm - 4.30pm
Venue: Glass Tank, Brookes University Headington Campus, Oxford 
Come and enjoy a creative afternoon celebrating the role of arts and crafts in resilience.  Family friendly.   Enjoy making and getting creative up-cycling, weaving and much more. Click on the photo for more info and to register so we have enough materials!

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Guided tour of exhibition: ​Mr. Fazil Mousavi founder of Sketch Club (Exhibiting artist)
Monday 16 March
​Time: 12.30pm - 1.30pm
Venue: Glass Tank, Brookes University Headington Campus, Oxford 
The Sketch Club has received a lot of attention through their international exhibitions in Sydney, Melbourne and Los Angeles. Founded in 2009 in Quetta Pakistan the purpose was to for Fazil to give back to society by transferring skills and knowledge to the youth of the Hazara community.  Fazil shares how the Hazara community responds to the different forms of stigmatisation through creativity.  Click on the picture to find out more and register your interest.

Screening: For Sama and Q & A  with Edward Watts who directed the film with Waad. There will be a music performance before film by Delnavaz 
NB Due to extraordinary circumstances this event is cancelled. ​
​Monday 16 March 
​Time: 6.30pm - 9.00pm
Where: JHB Lecture Theatre Oxford Brookes University Headington Campus
Oscar and Bafta nominated documentary. For Sama is a love letter from a young mother to her daughter and tells the story of Waade a Kateab's life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to Sama.  Co Director Edward Watts (Director)  will be joining us for a Q & A after the screening.  Edward Watts is an Emmy award-winning, BAFTA nominated filmmaker who has directed over twenty narrative and documentary films, telling true stories from far flung corners of the world. His previous films include ‘Escape from ISIS’, which told the story of the brutal ISIS abduction of thousands of Yazidi women and the efforts of a few brave members of their community to save them, and his first narrative short film ‘Oksijan’, which told the incredible true story of a 7-year-old Afghan boy’s fight to survive as he is smuggled to the UK in a refrigerated lorry. ‘For Sama’ is his first feature documentary.

Music performance by local band Delnavaz who play Persian tunes and Hindustani rhythms fusing traditions in a fresh and magical way.  18 certificate. Click on photo for more info and to reserve tickets.

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Music:  Local band Delnavaz will perform before the screening of For Sama on the 16 March.  The traditional Persian tunes and Hindustani rhythms bring together ancient traditions in a fresh and magical way.  Listen to their unique sound here.  Facebook and their latest release. ​

Hackathon: Human Rights Lab 
​NB Due to extraordinary circumstances this event is cancelled. 
Monday 16 March 
Time: 12.30pm to 2.00pm
Where: Room JBH 305, Brookes University, Headington Campus, Oxford.
Can you come up with a innovation that would improve the lives of refugees and migrant workers across the globe, addressing one of our three thematic areas?  The Oxford Human Rights Lab challenges participants to place human rights at the forefront of innovation and entrepreneurial thinking.  Participants will have 1 week to formulate a plan and then pitch a tech-based innovation to a contemporary human rights issue on Monday 23 March with a mission of placing resilience at the forefront of the product.  Click on the picture for more info and to register.

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Pioneering workshop: Developing a university module on wellbeing and mental health support in emergency settings 
NB Due to extraordinary circumstances this event is cancelled. ​
Tuesday 17 March, Time: 2.30pm - 5pm
Where: Garden room, Buckley building, Headington Campus, Oxford Brookes University
The nature of humanitarian work is physically, mentally and emotionally demanding. Humanitarian workers are often required to work in challenging conditions with no privacy, personal space or psychosocial support. Recent research has revealed that aid workers often suffer from stress, anxiety and depression, and are fearful of talking about their mental health issues. It is believed that there is a mental health crisis amongst aid workers but no clear system has been set up to provide mental health and wellbeing support.  The workshop will engage participants in a brainstorming process on innovative and practical approaches that could be introduced to enhance wellbeing and build resilience of humanitarian workers.   Click on picture for more info and to register your interest.

Pub Quiz: The Big Society Pub Quiz on Human Rights!  Fundraiser (Over 18 only)
​NB Due to extraordinary circumstances this event is cancelled. ​
Tuesday 17 March
Time: 7.30pm to 10.00pm
​Where: The Big Society, Cowley Road, Oxford
How good is your knowledge on human rights and global politics?  Our committee of students take over the renowned Big Society pub quiz to bring you an evening of brain teasing questions and music around the themes of human rights, disasters and human resilience!  Get practising.... no consulting with your text book, journal or Google... however, academics welcome so pin down a lecturer and bring them along!  No booking needed - just turn up and grab a spot.   Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

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Live performance by Mark Austin
NB Due to extraordinary circumstances this event is cancelled.
Wednesday 18 March
Time: 12.30pm - 1.30pm
Where: The Glass Tank, Oxford Brookes University
Mark Austin of Creaky Knee and formerly lead singer with the rock band Uncle Aviator.  Mark formed Creaky Knee in order to have fun playing at the numerous charity festivals that take place in the summer in and around Oxfordshire.  Influenced by artists such as Joni Mitchell, John Martyn, John Mellencamp, Nick Drake, and Seasick Steve, his solo work is best described as Americana.  A regular player on the Oxfordshire circuit catch him at local pub sessions and the occasional open mic.  Currently Mark just finished his first solo album 'Tales of a Black Rat' which is due out Easter 2020.  ​Register so you don't forget to turn up!  Click on picture.

Lecture: Celebrating a rich culture: enhancing resilience among Syrian refugees
NB Due to extraordinary circumstances this event is cancelled.
Wednesday 18 March 
Time: 6pm - 7pm
Where: JHB Lecture Theatre Oxford Brookes University Headington
In this lecture Dr Mustafa Alachkar will explore the role of culture and cultural identity in enhancing the resilience of Syrian refugees – the things that help them rebuild their lives in the UK despite the traumas they have experienced in Syria, during their journey to the UK, and in the UK itself.  Click on the picture for more info and to register.

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Short film: In Vitro with Q & A with writer/director Soren Lind  with Drinks and nibbles
NB Due to extraordinary circumstances this event is cancelled.
Wednesday 18th March
Time: 7.30pm to 9.00pm     
Where: The Glass Tank, Oxford Brookes University
'In Vitro' is an otherworldly rumination on memory, history, place and identity. Set in Bethlehem decades after an ecological-disaster, the dying founder of a subterranean orchard is engaged in a dialogue with her young successor, who was born underground and has never seen the town she's destined to replant and repopulate. Inherited trauma, exile and collective memory are central themes.  Click on picture this picture for more info and to register. 

Short films and discussion:  Resilient Kashmir 
NB Due to extraordinary circumstances this event is cancelled. ​
Thursday 19 March
Time: 5.30pm - 6.30pm   
Where: Clerici Learning Studio, Brookes University, Headington Campus 
What are the stories of the people protesting in Kashmir?  What civil movements are happening around the world that we know little about?  Why are human rights being violated?  Join us as we explore the story of Kashmir.
Presenter: Harishnana Premprakash Click on the picture for more info and to register.

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Screening: Epicly Palestine'd with Q & A with Director and Other Shorts
NB Due to extraordinary circumstances this event is cancelled. ​
Thursday 19 March
Time: 7pm - 9.30pm
​Where: JHB Lecture Theatre Oxford Brookes University Headington 
Documenting the birth of skateboarding in the West Bank, this is the story of how a small group of teenagers created a skate scene from scratch against all odds.  From Qalqilya to Bethlehem via Ramallah, the film follows six skateboarders as they pursue their passion for skating despite limited infrastructure, equipment, and travel, as well as facing the challenges of living under military occupation.  Click on picture for more info and to register.

NGO and community group platform in the Oxford Brookes Forum
NB Due to extraordinary circumstances this event is cancelled. ​
Friday 20 March from
11am - 3pm
​JHB Forum, Brookes Headington Campus, Oxford
Come and find out about organisations in Oxford and beyond that are working with vulnerable and marginalised communities.  This will be an opportunities to find out about their creative projects and will give you an opportunity to ask questions, listen to stories and consider volunteering.  See the organisations coming to share their work below. Organisations include Headington Fairtrade, www.ajyalfoundation.org,  www.lgsmigrants.com, oxfordgatehouse.org and Oxford Against Cutting. 
Not need to book - just come along.  Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

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Dance workshop:  Come and learn how to Dabke 
NB Due to extraordinary circumstances this event is cancelled. ​
Friday 20 March
Time: 3pm- 4pm/4.30pm
Where: Clerici Building Room G.07, Brookes University Headington Campus, Oxford
Hawiyya Dance Company was founded in 2017 as an all-women’s collective, who explore identity, culture and resistance through dance.  The members of Hawiyya are from diverse backgrounds and nationalities, and have experience in different forms and styles of dance training. The dancers unite in their commitment to anti-racism and anti-imperialism in all they do. The aims of the company is to empower people especially women, to build community, to raise awareness of human rights and to demonstrate solidarity to the causes they support through dance and culture.Hawiyya draws upon Dabke (Levantine Traditional Folk Dance) with Contemporary Dance to create narrative works that tell stories of identity and the lived resistance, whilst celebrating the rich Palestinian cultural heritage.  The symbol of Dabke.  Dabke has been a constant in Levantine Arab culture and identity. It is born from the deep rooted connection with our land and is an indication of pride and identity. Dabke is powerful; danced to celebrate the joys of life, danced to continue traditions and connect generations, danced to tell our history and sentiment.  In this time we are experiencing a massive revival in Dabke, particularly in our younger generations. A hopeful and potent assurance that we stand in solidarity against oppressive regimes in the Middle East and for all indigenous peoples world wide.  What to wear?  No heals and comfortable clothing. 

Panel Discussion: Step into My power - Narratives and politics of hope and resilience
NB Due to extraordinary circumstances this event is cancelled. ​
Friday 20th March
Time: 5pm-6.30pm
Where: JHB Lecture Theatre Brookes University Headington
We can connect and build bridges with each other as humans, when we overcome our stereotypes, assumptions and judgements. We will explore ideas, projects and lessons learnt about resilience through the lens of media, culture including food, development and humanitarian aid sector, academia and culture including food.  Lead by Basma El Doukhi. Speakers TBC.  Click on picture for info and registration.   Picture by Photo by Ron Smith on Unsplash.

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Meal: A delicious veggie meal prepared by the women cooking group of Refugee Resource Oxford. Only 50 meals!
NB Due to extraordinary circumstances this event is cancelled. ​
Friday 20th March
Tme: 6.00pm - 7.00pm     
Serving area: The Glass Tank area Brookes Headington Campus
Refugee Resource Women’s Project has proved a very effective means of achieving collective benefits enabling members to overcome difficulties, to support and learn from each other, to develop skills and improve their confidence, and generally to fulfil their potential to become more fully integrated members of their communities.  A simple veggie meal will be served.  Click on the picture for more info and to buy a ticket for food.  Booking essential for food.  

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 Performances: A night of music and song to celebrate the role of music in resilience
NB Due to extraordinary circumstances this event is cancelled. ​
Friday 20 March
Time: 7pm - live performances from the Lani Singers, Confluence Collect and Rumi Society and Olly Wills from The Epstein.
9pm - 10pm - DJ Zarah Young Women's Music Project (Photo by Stu Allsopp!)
Where: The Glass Tank, Brookes University Headington Campus

Lani Singers from West Papua will perform tradition songs. The Lani Singers are husband and wife, Benny and Maria Wenda. They come from the Baliem Valley in the remote central highland region of West Papua in the south-west Pacific, and play songs that are rooted in the sacred rituals of the Lani tribe. 

A musical Celebration of Nawrooz (Spring Equinox) by Confluence Collective .
This is a musical take on the ancient celebration of the arrival of Spring. The performance is a poetic and musical collaboration between the Confluence Collective and Oxford Rumi Study Group. The performers include Trish Elphinstone, John Ruston, Elisabeth Spight, Bruno, Guastalla, Malcolm Atkins and founder of the Oxford Rumi group Jay Rumi. 

Olly Wills from The Epstein an indie/folk/Americana band based in Oxford. (See image below)
"The Epstein play in another league: a vast, desert-like land of the soul.” Rolling Stone (Editor’s Choice)

Finale with DJ dispicable Zee (who is the Director of Young Women's Music Project) playing music written, composed and sung by women. Zahra is a musician, composer, and performer who has been creating music for over 15 years. She is currently based in Oxford where she was born and raised as a second-generation immigrant, her father emigrated to the UK from Iran and her mother is Irish. Thoughts on identity run as an undercurrent through her work as she seeks to connect the different cultures she embodies through her creative process.
zhfatehrani.com   

​Picture: Olly Wills

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The Personal Journey of a Young Female stateless refugee Basma Eldoukhi
​NB Due to extraordinary circumstances this event is cancelled. ​
Thursday 26 March 
When: 5.30pm - 6.30pm
Where: The Glass Tank, Abercrombie Building, Brookes University, Headington Campus, Oxford.
It really matters.  The personal Journey of a young female stateless refugee that maker her way to the UK to study and live after getting a prestigious Chevening scholarship.  Basma will reflect on her life and work in supporting refugees and how this had changed her perspectives.  She will accompany us through her story of resilience.  Please click on the picture for more info and to book.

Listening Party in collaboration with Oxford Contemporary Music (OCM) - Theme Resilience ONLINE
When: Thursday 9 April 
Time: 8pm - 9pm (Booking essential link below)
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/listening-parties-6-music-of-resilience-tickets-99687514038
Oxford Human Right Festival collaborates with the Oxford Contemporary Music Society to bring you and evening of sharing music and listening centred around resilience.  Listening Parties are a space to share the music you’re passionate about.  This sessions theme is resilience. This session will be online so keep sign up to get up to date info.   

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