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Sanctuary in a Hostile Environment, with Maya Goodfellow, Aidan Mosselson and Victor Mujakachi

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In partnership with ASSIST Sheffield

This event will explore the history and current impact of 'hostile environment' policies on migrants and people seeking sanctuary in Sheffield and the UK as a whole.

Maya Goodfellow will explore the UK's history of anti-immigration politics, looking at how both Labour and Conservative governments have implemented regressive policies. She will unpick the myths that surround immigration to argue against contemporary anti-immigration politics.

Aidan Mosselson will highlight the ways in which the government’s hostility towards migrants affects people as they try to go about their daily lives. His research also analyses the ways in which the hostile environment intrudes into and disrupts spaces and interactions designed to provide support to forced migrants, creating divisions between those providing care and those being cared for.

Victor Mujakachi is ASSIST's Emergency Accommodation Coordinator, and will speak about current campaigns that people can get involved with to oppose the hostile environment

This event will also discuss some of the work being done in Sheffield to actively challenge and contest the hostile environment - and create a city that is welcoming to, and hospitable for, forced migrants.

Maya Goodfellow is a writer, academic and broadcast commentator. She is a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at SPERI at the University of Sheffield and a Visiting Fellow at the UCL Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Race and Racialisation. She is the author of Hostile Environment: How Immigrants Become Scapegoats (2020) and has written for a range of publications, including the New York Times, the Guardian and the Washington Post.


Aidan Mosselson is a Chancellor’s Fellow in the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of Edinburgh. His research interests focus on urban development in the Global South, migration, infrastructures, the politics of the everyday and relationships between space and social identities. Prior to joining ESALA, he was a Newton International Fellow based in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the University of Sheffield.

Victor Mujakachi is an active campaigner for refugee rights, and won his own campaign for Leave to Remain in the UK after 11 years as a refused asylum seeker. He now works as ASSIST's Emergency Accommodation Coordinator.

Part of our 2021 festival strand

Progressing Social Justice

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