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Research undertaken at Bournemouth University is looking at ways in which leisure and forms of physical activity, such as dance and music-making, can have an important role in the lives of people seeking asylum.
Dr. Nicola De Martini Ugolotti is looking at the ways in which leisure activities can represent opportunities for asylum seekers and refugees for socialization, belonging and identity in everyday contexts. Rather than being seen as a group of people seeking sanctuary, asylum seekers and refugees in the UK are often portrayed negatively, which can make it difficult for them to feel part of their new societies.
Dr - Nicola - De - Martini - Ugolotti
Dr. Nicola De Martini Ugolotti is a lecturer in sport and physical activity at Bournemouth University, and a member of Associazione Frantz Fanon in Turin, Italy. He completed his Ph.D. in Physical Cultural Studies at the University of Bath, after an MSc in Medical Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam, and several years of professional activity as a clinical psychologist with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Italy.
His research aims to explore how seemingly mundane activities, such as art and physical activity, really matter in the life of someone who is seeking asylum in the UK or Europe and to see the relevance of these practices in helping to displace or change the narratives about forced migration in the UK.
Migrants - Problem - Objects - Interventions - Threat
"Forced migrants are often marginalized and considered to be a problem that needs to be solved or managed, or to be objects of charitable interventions at best," he says. "They can be viewed as a threat to the UK or as traumatized victims. One of the implications of this which has been highlighted by my research is that to be a refugee means to be stuck in this label where you are just a victim, or a 'bogus' refugee, and it's very hard...
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