Gemma Bird

Dr. Gemma Bird is a Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Liverpool. She is part of the IR_Aesthetics research project and works on migration along the Balkan route(s).

Voices at the Border

Samos has, for many years, been viewed as an ‘emergency’ situation. As the number of people ‘housed’ in the Reception and Identification Centre (RIC) on the island, built to shelter 648 residents, rose dramatically in 2019 and 2020 the conditions…

Refugee Day. The one thing you can never get back: time

When we tell stories about displacement, asylum processes and claiming refuge we often focus on the process itself, the violence of borders, the conditions in camps, the numbers of people who find themselves stuck waiting for a decision. The reason…

Samos marches for peace and solidarity

Over the last 5 years the Greek island of Samos has become synonymous with the struggles faced by displaced people. With the fight against encampment, against limited access to food, to healthcare and to education. It is an island with…

Winter at the borders of Europe: fears for refugees

Europe is thought of by many refugees escaping persecution, war, poverty, and violence as a place of safety, of Human Rights, of protection, security, and kindness. These narratives are further supported by the rhetoric of the European Commission that presents…

Fire destroys Moria refugee camp: another tragic wake-up call for the EU’s asylum policy

Fires at a reception centre for asylum seekers on the Greek island of Lesbos have left thousands of people without shelter. Around 13,000 people – including those from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and west Africa – lived at the Moria Reception and…

Bringing communities together through film: community cinema responses to COVID-19

Community cinemas across the UK play a valuable role in bringing communities together to engage with film, build relationships, combat loneliness, to educate. In times of physical distancing they, and their representative body Cinema For All have found new ways…

Not everyone can travel home for Christmas

At this time of year often people talk of going home for the holidays, of travelling to see family and friends, and of spending time in places where they grew up, reminiscing about the past and discussing, or even arguing,…

Children alone amongst 6.000 refugees on Samos

On the 6th of November the Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs welcomed the Minister of Citizen Protection in Greece to the European Parliament to discuss the Dublin Agreement and the conditions faced by refugees in Greece. As…

Fire in Samos Refugee Camp

Last night there was a fire on the island of Samos, a fire that ripped through the temporary homes of human beings living in ‘the jungle’, the overfill space relied upon to house men, women and children in a Reception…

More refugees arrive on Greek islands amid overcrowding and water shortages

The hotspots on the Greek islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros are struggling to manage an increase in the number of refugees and migrants crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey in recent months. Between January and August 2019,…

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