Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Performance and Cultural Industries


Social Choreography Network

Do the arts to some extent utilize, expropriate, reify, objectify the actual body and plight of people who are for various reasons labelled “refugee”, in order to produce works of art or culture? What is the social role and impact of the movement arts? Does the label “refugee” not hamper the plight of people who experience forced displacement, and to what extent is this category a box to tick for major arts organisations, a trendy topic, a source for funding?
Social Choreography network encourages the sharing of practice, methods, provocations, and critical dialogue among practitioners and theorists working at an international level on issues of forced displacement (in Africa, Middle East, South America).

The Social Choreography Network brings together artists, academics, charities and refugees to discuss the ethics of refugee art, and develop opportunities for further collaborative research and practice.


Taigue Ahmed is Artistic Director of Ndamsena, an arts company based in Chad that launched a major training and mentoring project involving more than 400 refugees fleeing conflict in Darfur, to allow victims to build a culture of peace through traditional dance.

Christian Cherene and JJ Deveraux are Barcelona and Belfast-based interdisciplinary artists and activists, founding members of BeAnotherLab. Using VR technology, BaL generates transbodily experience linking local and refugee communities at a physical and embodied level.

Tom Green is Project Manager at Platforma Arts, a leading arts and refugee network in the UK, whose aim is to bring together groups and artists to encourage new audiences to relate more closely and empathetically to the experiences of refugees.

Sara Houston is an award-winning researcher and choreographer focused on community dance, especially among marginalized groups. Her funded research has focused on dance among Parkinson disease victims, and applied dance within migrant communities.

Michaelina Jakala is a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (Coventry University), and she specializes in lived experience within global issues of displacement and peacekeeping.
Sandra Noeth is a German researcher, dramaturg and curator who specializes in cultures in conflict, border-crossing arts, and dance politics, particularly in the Middle East and Congo.

Nicolas Salazar Sutil (Primary Investigator), is a Chilean movement arts practitioner (Laban technique), author and interdisciplinary researcher, currently Academic Fellow in Digital Performance (University of Leeds).

Jonathan Skinner is Reader in Anthropology at the University of Roehampton, specializing in social dance in the UK/US, having also undertaken fieldwork in the Eastern Caribbean on trauma, colonial relations and migration.

Tom Tlalim is a Dutch sound artist focused on interactions between sound and political conflict. He is currently Senior Lecturer in Technology in Journalism at the University of Winchester (UK).

Sarah Whatley (Co-Investigator) is the Director of the Centre for Dance Research (CDaRE), Coventry University. Her research focuses on the interface between dance and new technologies, dance analysis, somatic dance practice and pedagogy, and inclusive dance.

Further information can be found on the Social Choreography Network website

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