2020-2021 Final event
Being in the COVID-19 pandemic meant that we could not meet the aid workers in person but we were still able to chat with them over Zoom. The visitors this year were:
- Denise McDowell, Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit
- Amy Croome, Oxfam
- Georgia Alexiou, British Red Cross
- Emma Richardson, University of Manchester’s Student Development & Community Engagement
The visitors read the students’ blog entries and gave wonderful comments. They also discussed their work, career paths, and how COVID-19 has been affecting their activities. As always, it was inspiring to hear from practitioners, after having spent a semester reading academic analyses. At the same time, there were many echoes with the readings we had done over the semester.
Denise from GMIAU commented at the end of her session that what’s important for aid workers is to understand the everyday lives of the people they support. What does it feel like to be a climate refugee? What is the day-to-day experience of being an asylum seeker in the UK?
Aren’t these exactly the kinds of questions that anthropologists also care about? It was a revelation to see such a connection between academic and practitioner concerns.