The theme of belonging draws together a range of SCMR projects, from exploring the inclusion and integration experiences of new migrants to analysing long-established diasporas. SCMR research in this area often uses creative methods to investigate community relationships and representations of similarity and difference.

Pebbles on Brighton beach, one pebble has 'be here now' written on itPebbles on Brighton beach (Photo: Kulkarni, 2021)


Read more below about selected current and past projects on migration and belonging.

  • Hopeful Solidarities

    Hopeful SolidaritiesExploring spaces and possibilities for hope and solidarity in Brighton and Hove, is a project that through sociable work with groups in Brighton and Hove aims to better understand where, when, how and with whom hopeful solidarity is fostered, where its limits lie, and how to overcome those limitations.

    Recent years have seen increasing levels of inequality, division and racial nationalism around the globe. In the UK, long-standing class, ethnic and racial hierarchies have been cemented and augmented during the pandemic and in debates around Brexit. Yet even in these times of division and uncertainty, hope and solidarity exist at the local level. 

    Funder: University of Brighton, Necessity

    SCMR people: Amy Clarke (SCMR alumna), Ben Rogaly, Cath Senker

    Partners: University of Brighton

    Project dates: 2021 -

  • Challenging the Us and Them

    Challenging the us and them: Rethinking Experiences of Outward Migration and Public Attitudes Towards Immigration in Europe, is a project analysing discourse relating to immigration, and builds on SCMR member Charlotte Taylor's work on the representation of migration and people who migrate with a particular focus on the role of memory in discursive representations of migration.

    Funder: British Academy

    SCMR people: Charlotte Taylor

    Partners: University of Bayreuth; University of Bristol; University of Lincoln; University of Leicester

    Project dates: 2022-2023

  • Displacement, placemaking and wellbeing in the city

    This project contributes to our growing understanding of the structures, dynamics and processes through which people who are enduringly displaced succeed or fail to become part of European and Indian cities.

    Read a project policy brief on newcomer wellbeing and placemaking in south-east England.

    Read more at the project website

    Funder: ESRC

    SCMR people: Charles Watters

    Partners: Institute of Development Studies; Ambedkar University; Migration Institute of Finland; Oslo School of Architecture and Design; University of Brighton

    Project dates: 2019-2022

  • Making African Connections

    This interdisciplinary project worked with historic African collections held in Sussex and Kent Museums with the aim of furthering both conceptual and applied debates over ‘decolonizing’ public institutions. It focused on specific collections of international significance assembled between 1890 and 1940, whose journeys to the South coast of the UK began in military, missionary and ethnographic encounters in Botswana, Sudan and the Namibia/Angola borderlands.

    The project extends debates in cultural geography, art history, museum studies and digital humanities, by adopting a critical, participatory, practice-based mode of research that builds new African connections through innovative digital and co-curation strategies.

    Read more about the project and see the digital archive on the project website.

    Funder: AHRC

    SCMR people: JoAnn McGregor

    Partners: Botswana National Museum; Brighton and Hove Black History; Brighton Museum & Art Gallery; Diverse Community Empowerment Services; El Mahdiyya Restoration NGO; Khama III Memorial Museum, Botswana; Powell-Cotton Museum; Royal Engineers Museum Library and Archive; University of Namibia; University of Southampton.

    Project dates: 2019-2021

  • Creative Interruptions

    Creative Interruptions examines the role of the arts, media and creativity in challenging forms of exclusion, including racism. The project worked with a range of collaborators to understand the lived experiences of communities that have been disenfranchised, and how they are affected by institutional racisms, faith-based conflicts and/or nationalisms.

    See the edited book that emerged from the project.

    Read more about the project on the AHRC's Heritage-Research website.

    Funder: AHRC

    SCMR people: Ben Rogaly 

    Partners: Brunel University London; CRCI; Filmlab: Palestine; Green Shoot Productions; Greenwich Inclusion Project; Preet Nagar; Queen’s University Belfast; Runnymede Trust; Sheffield Hallam University; University of Strathclyde; Voices that Shake 

    Project dates: 2016-2020

  • Negotiating the Nation

    The research project NATION (Negotiating the Nation: implications of ethnic and religious diversity for national identity) looked at what it means to be Norwegian, French or British, and what roles are played by ethnicity and religion in contemporary European nation-building.

    Read the project report.

    Read more about the project on the PRIO website.

    Funder: Norwegian Research Council

    SCMR people: Michael Collyer 

    Partners: Peace Research Insitute Oslo (PRIO)

    Project dates: 2013-2017

  • Integration and International Migration Training Network (INTEGRIM)

    Integration and International Migration: Pathways and Integration Policies (INTEGRIM) is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network.

    A work package on ‘social and labour integration’ is coordinated by SCMR member Michael Collyer and SCMR Research Associate Reinhard Schweitzer completed his PhD under this programme.

    Read about the INTEGRIM network.

    Read Reinhard's thesis.

    Funder: European Commission

    SCMR people: Michael Collyer, Reinhard Schweitzer 

    Partners: Universidad de Deusto; Université de Liège; Universidade de Lisboa; Universiteit van Amsterdam; Koç Üniversitesi; Central European University; Université de Poitiers. 

    Project dates: 2013-2017

  • Finding a Place for Islam in Europe (EURISLAM)

    Finding a Place for Islam in Europe: Cultural Interactions between Muslim immigrants and Receiving Societies (EURISLAM) was an international comparative research project that analysed how the incorporation of Islam in European Member States is influenced by national traditions of identity, citizenship and church-state relations. EURISLAM studied how these traditions have affected interactions between Muslim immigrants and their children, and the receiving society.

    The project examined how Muslims are portrayed in the mass media and related this to migrant groups’ own perceptions, identities and cultural behavior. This approach allowed the research team to explore the extent to which mass-media representations of ‘culture clashes’ and Muslims’ cultural demands are similar to, or different from, the experiences of ordinary people.

    Read the project summary report.

    Funder: European Union

    SCMR people: Paul Statham 

    Partners: University of Amsterdam; WZB Berlin; University of Geneva; Université Libre de Bruxelles; Fondation Nationale de Sciences Politiques.

    Project dates: 2009-2013

  • Places for All?

    The Places for All project explored Peterborough residents' stories through words, photographs, film and theatre. The project investigated the multiple and diverse place attachments and work and migration histories of people of all ethnic backgrounds, from people born in the city to those who arrived very recently.

    Oral history and residential fieldwork were at the heart of the research, which drew on the stories of over one hundred people. 

    Read more about the project at the Places for All? website.

    Read SCMR member Ben Rogaly's journal article reflecting on the research.

    Funder: AHRC

    SCMR people: Ben Rogaly, Raminder Kaur

    Partners: Citizen Power Peterborough, Kaveri Qureshi, Mukul Ahmed, Keely Mills, Jabeen Shafee, Liz Hingley, Donna Hetherington, Teresa Cairns and Dennis Doran. 

    Project dates: 2011-2013