On Friday afternoon a Panel discussion was held as ad academic event in the programme of the Voice4Thought “People in Motion” Festival, with the title “Can immigration policies contribute to creativity and progress for People in Motion?”

Organized by Amélie van den Brink, this panel discussion with migrants, refugees & travelers tried to answer to some crucial questions on the experience of refugees in the countries that grant them refugee status: Are refugees, migrants, and travelers welcome here in The Netherlands? In this Voice4Thought panel discussion, ‘people in motion’ will be at the centre of the discussion and will speak for themselves. Questions such as: How can they contribute to the world? how does being forced to move affect them? and why is there so much misunderstanding will be highlighted. Their individual stories will give us a beautiful, if sometimes sad, outlook on alternative explanations of being in motion and their will to contribute to the world.

The panel started with the screening of the latest V4T Pamphlet by Sjoerd Sijsma (Eyeses) introducing Jomard, a Syrian painter living in the Netherlands as a refugee. Jomard’s paintings are exhibited in the V4T exhibition “in movement” at Scheltema.

Dr. Irial Glynn, Migration Historian at Leiden University, gave an introductory speech on “Perpetual motion” suggesting a central question in the debate on #Peopleinmotion: “how can we create a new ‘we’?”

Afterwards, the moderator Marina Diboma introduced the panelists in two blocks:

First block:
Rana Noman (Opinion Writer, Activist & Refugee, Yemen), Kone Abdoul “Aziz Siten’k” Bambara Dioula (Artist & Event Organizer, Ivory Coast-Mali), Abe “Valsero” Gaston Philippe (Artist, Political Activist & Actor, France-Cameroon), Isaac Bacirongo (Writer, Activist & Entrepreneur, DR Congo-Australia).

Second block:
Aminata “Amee” Bamba (Business Lawyer, Human Rights Specialist & Artist, Ivory Coast), Drs. Chudi V. Ukpabi (Senior Advisor, International Cooperation Governance, Public Policy, Strategic Communication, Nigeria-The Netherlands & World Citizen), Dorine van Norren (PhD student at Universities of Tilburg and Amsterdam & Advisory Council on International Relations, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands) & Samira Rafaela (Entrepreneur & Democrats 66 Board Advisor on Migration & Asylum, Curacao-The Netherlands-Ghana)

A discussion with the public followed and the panel discussion was followed by closing remarks by Irial Glynn.


The panel discussion was also followed by the Chadian caricaturists Augustin Tabo, Adjim Danngar and Samy Daina, invited to share their pens with the V4T Festival. See their interpretation of the panel discussion here!


Read the full report of the Panel discussion by Emma Cailleau (French)