Coming soon: the UCL Urban Migration Film Festival

The UCL Urban Migration Film Festival (and symposium) will explore the impact migrants have on their physical, social, cultural and economic environment as well as how cultural, spatial, legal and ideological forces affect rights, mobility and settlement.

By showing a wide variety of film clips from various periods and settings, we aim to create an opportunity for an interdisciplinary dialogue raised by the selected films and film-making practices.

These questions relate to: Journeys – how do migrants negotiate their environment whilst on the move? Transition – how do migrants adapt to new systems, shape their communities and create temporary environments? The festival will end with a session on Negotiation and Accommodation: with films on establishing roots, acculturation and myths of return. Migrant experience in the built environment relates to settlement patterns, modes of acculturation, contextual legal and immigration systems, the divergence of different generations’ experiences. It may even lead to return to the place of origin, a move onwards, or – for the children of migrants – a visit through memories to places from the past.

An interdisciplinary panel of experts from architecture, anthropology, film studies, planning, psychiatry and art will be joined by several of the film-makers, who will introduce their own films and participate in discussions at the end of each session. The tentative programme includes sections from: Encounters at the End of the World by Werner Herzog, The Statue of Liberty by Ken Burns, The Invisibles: by
Gael García Bernal and Handsworth Songs by John Akomfrah. Films by Zelimir Zilnik, Marc Isaacs and Sérgio Tréfaut are among the many others planned for the day. See sample film here.

The UCL Urban Migration Film Festival will take place in the Archaeology Lecture Theatre, Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY on 15th February 2012 between 9:30 and 17:00

Sign up for the free event at


About (sub)urbanite

Professor of Urban Form and Society and Director of the Space Syntax Lab, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. Online in a personal capacity.
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