Julia Rushchenko's work in human rights and social sciences has primarily revolved around the issues of transnational migration, citizenship and diaspora networks. Holding MA in Sociology, she did ethnographic study of communities of foreign students from Latin America and the Middle East in her home country (Ukraine) focusing on the questions of integration, language acquisition and social exclusion. While completing her master's degree in European Studies from Universidad de Deusto and Univerzita Palackého thanks to the scholarship granted by the European Commission, Julia worked as an intern at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (Committee on the Rights of Migrant Workers and Members of their Families) drafting reports, analyzing upcoming information from governments, NGOs and individuals, and serving CMW sessions. Her second MA thesis was dedicated to sociological analysis of gender-based violence and imaginations of honor among immigrant communities in the EU. Currently Julia is writing PhD in Global Criminology on bi-national couples in Germany and marriage migration from economically weaker countries. Her interest in this topic lies within the domain of victimization-agency discourse, stigmatization, and marriage migration control from the state.
Dom Sergi graduated in Communication Studies at La Sapienza University of Rome. After working for several years in social research, he undertook an MA in Social Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Dom has worked in a number of ethnographic museums around Europe in both curatorial and education capacities and is currently a doctoral researcher at the School of Art History and World Art Studies and Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at UEA investigating the role of museums in the resettlement of refugees in contemporary Britain. Initial results on Dom's current research can be found in a forthcoming publication of the MeLA Project, founded by the European Commission to explore the role of European Museums in an age of migrations.
Dom is part of Platforma - a UK Arts and Refugees Network - a trustee and volunteer at Norwich International Youth Project - an organization running activities for young refugees and asylum seekers - and a member of Norwich Asylum Seekers and Refugees Forum - a local body of individuals and organisations working with forcibly displaced migrants.
Since 2010, Dom has contributed to the organisation of Norwich Refugee Week, collaborating with the Sainsbury Centre to deliver film screenings, talks and events. Among the events organised, the two postgraduate research symposia 'Researching Refuge' have aimed to bring together early career scholars and practitioners to discuss challenges and opportunities presented by forced migration studies.
Ruth Sheldon graduated with a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (University of Oxford) in 2002 before studying for an MA in Continental Philosophy (University of Essex). She is currently completing her PhD thesis in Sociology at the University of Kent, entitled 'Palestine-Israel in British Universities: Ordinary Ethics and Democratic Life'. This ethnographic research seeks to develop, in a sociological register, questions of ethical relationality and political commitment, which she has grown up with philosophically and personally. Prior to this, Ruth worked as a social researcher for an activist comedian and for a policy think tank where she sought to introduce marginalised voices and experiences into the policy process. She is currently a co-organiser of the NYLON culture research network and is on a placement with the Royal Society for the Arts (RSA) contributing to their work on politics and spirituality.
Agnese Sile is studying for her PhD in Modern Thought at the University of Aberdeen. Agnese's research focus is on representation of illness and disability in contemporary photography and what action or moral demands do these images provoke. Her background is in classical music and graphic and media design. Agnese graduated from the College of Music in Latvia in 2000 where she studied music history, theory, composition, piano and organ. After this course she moved to the UK where she did a Foundation Course in Arts at the Kent Institute of Art and Design. Agnese received her undergraduate degree in Graphic and Media Design from the London College of Communication. During the course I practiced and explored image making, particularly photography and mixed media. Last year she graduated with MSc in Interdisciplinary Creative Practices from the University of Edinburgh, which was part theory, part practice-based course. During her undergraduate course, later at the Master's level and now through the PhD research, Agnese has been particularly drawn to issues concerning illness and disease, the ethics of diagnosis and how art can help to deal with changes within the body/mind. Her interest in these issues has originated from personal experience living with a family member who has a long time chronic illness, which has raised questions about the meaning of illness and disability in our society.
Alice Stefanelli is a PhD candidate in Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester. Her doctoral project is concerned with the exploration of cultural production and the interaction of artists and writers with the public space.
Rachel Tavernor is an AHRC doctoral researcher in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Sussex. Her current research project, From Spectatorship to Solidarity, is an empirical study that explores the visual communication of humanitarian campaigns that request protest action. In particular, the project focuses on how celebrities and children are ‘used' to articulate rights based campaigns. Previously, Rachel has been an activist for NGO campaigns and documented development projects in Ghana and Tajikistan.
Mark Tebboth completed an undergraduate degree in 2001 in Geography with Environmental and Development Studies at the University of Sussex. He worked for Cardiff Council focusing on sustainable development and low carbon urban design. In 2007 Mark spent a year working for a mental health and development charity in India and experienced first hand the stigmatization and exclusion that poor people with mental disabilities face in developing countries. Drawing on his experience in India and other developing countries he returned to further education and studied for an MSc in Climate Change and International Development in 2010. Mark is currently reading for a PhD examining the causes of rural to urban migration in China. Although focusing predominantly on the role of the environment in influencing migration my recently completed field research in Anhui Province, Mark is interested in ethical issues with regards to human rights. In China, rural migrants working in urban areas, and the family members of the rural migrants left-behind, face hardship and discrimination to a greater or lesser extent. Despite the poverty and hardship that they face, their own interpretation of their situation challenges many preconceived ideas about human rights and wellbeing.