World Refugee Day: restorative integration through languages and arts 

Join the Royal Society of Edinburgh on World Refugee Day for a talk from the UNESCO Chair in Refugee Integration through Languages and Arts, Professor Alison Phipps FRSE.

For World Refugee Day, the UNESCO Chair in Refugee Integration through Languages and Arts, Professor Alison Phipps FRSE, will consider the work of the New Scots Research Project (with Dan Fisher and Esa Aldegheri) towards the third New Scots Integration Policy. She will focus on intercultural dialogue and restorative integration processes.

In addition, she will add perspectives on the changing situation between devolved and reserved competence and the welcome of those seeking asylum in the context of the UK Government’s 2023 Immigration Bill.

Joining her will be Dr Hyab Yohannes, together with Artist Hannah Rose Thomas to present the work in arts and human rights which finds its home in the UNESCO Chair for Refugee Integration through Languages and Arts.


Across Refugee Festival Scotland, the RSE is hosting several events, including a week-long exhibition showcasing artwork from Hannah Rose Thomas. The RSE will also host a lecture in partnership with UNESCO on World Refugee Day alongside group discussions and the opportunity to experience an Eritrean coffee ceremony.
Learn more here


A person posing for the camera
Professor Dee Heddon


Professor Dee Heddon

James Arnott Chair in Drama, University of Glasgow

Awarded her PhD from the University of Glasgow in 1999, Professor Heddon began her Higher Education career at the University of Exeter, returning to Glasgow in 2005. In 2015, she was appointed James Arnott Chair in Drama. Her research engages with contemporary performance, including autobiographical, experimental, and environmental. She is also a Co-Investigator on a large Natural Environment Research Council project, ‘Treescapes’, investigating uncertainty and adaptation in trees and forests. From 2014-2020, she was the founding Dean/Director of Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities. She has held other senior roles held at the University of Glasgow include Dean of Graduate Studies, Deputy Head of College of Arts and member of Senate. She sits on the Boards of Scottish Youth Theatre and conFAB.

Allison Phipps smiling at the camera sitting down outside
Allison Phipps


Professor Alison Phipps FRSE

UNESCO Chair Refugee Integration through Languages and Arts

Alison Phipps UNESCO Chair in Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts at the University of Glasgow and Professor of Languages and Intercultural Studies. She was De Carle Distinguished Visiting Professor at Otago University, Aotearoa New Zealand 2019-2020, Thinker in Residence at the EU Hawke Centre, University of South Australia in 2016, Visiting Professor at Auckland University of Technology, and Principal Investigator for AHRC Large Grant ‘Researching Multilingually at the Borders of Language, the body, law and the state’; for Cultures of Sustainable Peace, and is now co-Director of the Global Challenge Research Fund South-South Migration Hub. She is Ambassador for the Scottish Refugee Council. She is an academic, activist, educator and published poet.

A person posing for the camera
Hannah Rose Thomas


Hannah Rose Thomas

Artist and UNESCO RILA PhD Scholar

Hannah Rose Thomas is a British artist and a UNESCO PhD Scholar at the University of Glasgow. She has previously organised art projects for Syrian refugees in Jordan; Yazidi women who escaped ISIS captivity in Iraqi Kurdistan; Rohingya refugees in Bangladeshi camps and Nigerian women survivors of Boko Haram. Her paintings of displaced women are a testament to their strength and dignity. These have been exhibited at places including the UK Houses of Parliament, European Parliament, Scottish Parliament, Buckingham Palace, GCHQ, FCO, Lambeth Palace, Westminster Abbey and The Saatchi Gallery. Her exhibition ‘Tears of Gold’ was featured in the virtual exhibition for the UN’s Official 75th Anniversary, ‘The Future is Unwritten: Artists for Tomorrow.’ Hannah was selected for the Forbes 30 Under 30 2019 Art & Culture; shortlisted for the Women of the Future Award 2020 and selected for Vogue Future Visionaries 2022.

A man looking at the camera
Dr Hyab Yohannes


Dr Hyab Yohannes

Research Associate, University of Glasgow

Hyab is currently a PhD researcher and graduate teaching assistant at the University of Glasgow and holder of the UNESCO RILA PhD Scholarship. He formerly worked for local charities and international organisations in Egypt, including UNHCR, IOM, Africa and Middle East Refugee Assistance (AMERA) and Saint Andrew’s Refugee Services (StARS). Hyab has research interest in refugee trafficking (which he wrote his MA dissertation on) and a life-long researching interest in the ambivalent position of ‘the refugee’ as an ‘unprotected’ figure (his PhD project).

In partnership with
Scottish Refugee Week cartoon of people in a circle holding hands


Tuesday June 20th, 2023 18:00-19:00


The Royal Society of Edinburgh




Hannah Rose Thomas
Dr Hyab Yohannes