Those Left Behind: Radical Dependency, Arts and Refuge

Click here to join LIVE. 29 June, 08.00 UTC:

*further languages in this session: German, te reo Māori, Tigrinya, Shona, French, and Arabic 

Live Panel facilitated by UNESCO Chair in Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts – UNESCO RILA

In many of the world’s cultures the idea of personhood extends to the realm of nature and to the spirit or ancestral realm. For western notions of statehood and scholarship such animation is at best troubling and at worst derided.

In this keynote panel discuss four scholar-artists will focus on four dimensions of what is ‘left behind’ and ‘who is left behind’. Together they call for a restorative frame which allows for the integration of forms of knowledge and understanding from those experiencing the loss and damage in eco-cultural life. It is here that the challenge of cultural justice can be more widely considered, and the beginnings of a theory of restorative integration might be developed.

To accomplish this Hyab Yohannes will present his concept and empirical stories from those who have been left behind, and from the carceral experience of Eritrean refugees. Piki Diamond will present her work in the bicultural space of Te Titiriti o Waitangi and the widening of perspective brought by acknowledgement, through Pepeha, of the radical dependency we have on the land, and ancestral knowledge. Tawona SItholé will speak of his work with the Little Amal refugee project at COP26

Alison Phipps will then develop the discussion through a focus on what arts and cultural justice work can bring to the need for both restorative and regenerative integration.


  • Alison Phipps, UNESCO Chair for Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts
  • Hyab Yohannes, Academic Coordinator FOR THE Culture for Sustainable and Inclusive Peace Network Plus project
  • Tawona Sitholé, Artist-in-residence with the UNESCO Chair at the University of Glasgow
  • Piki Diamond Māori indigenous academic developer and doctoral candidate at Auckland University of Technology