InZone Takes Part in Oxford Refugee Voices Conference

InZone is taking part in International Refugee Voices. Organised by the University of Oxford Refugee Studies Centre, the conference explores refugee representation and how refugees and other forced migrants express their experiences and aspirations, including through art, music and new media.

Speaking on the first day of the conference, InZone Director Barbara Moser-Mercer and Applied Arts consultant Kerstin Mercer presented InZone’s work in “Whose Voice? Hearing the Refugee Interpreter”.

The presentation focused on the challenges of refugee interpreters giving a voice to the concerns of applicants for refugee status to ensure that applicants’ voices are heard.

This involves the interpreters' staying true to the voices of the speakers, while at the same time remaining neutral and impartial, without injecting their own stories into the applicants’.

Prof. Moser-Mercer and Ms. Mercer suggested that refugee interpreters need to have their own voices heard outside the professional context in order to be able to identify role boundaries while training.

This can be done safely during role plays, where applied drama techniques can offer trainees the space to explore their own voices and to rehearse for professional life.

The conference, which finishes on 25 March, brings together scholars and experts in cultural studies, literature and humanities.

Among the issues being discussed by the panels are some of the most burning in forced migration today including Syrian refugees and the Rohingya community in Myanmar.

The conference will close with a special session where artists working on refugee issues will showcase their work.

To learn more about Refugee Voices, view the conference programme. You can also follow the conference on Twitter #refugeevoices.

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