The Displacement Studies Research Network is a global multidisciplinary community of scholars, practitioners and organisations working at the intersection between displacement, heritage, and creativity to research, share, and enhance the impact and power of the creative agencies of displaced peoples, their culture, identity, heritage, health and well-being.
The Network is dedicated to collaborative partnerships with displaced communities, and to tracing, responding to, and informing relevant policy and practice.
We have a breadth of research expertise including resilient community building through entrepreneurial activity, urban mapping, disaster risk management, heritage and peace building, creativity and psychology of the displaced, refugee law, identity, tangible and intangible cultural heritage, literature, poetry, art, media and performance.
We also welcome new members with complementary areas of expertise and who share our mission.
Dr Sana Murrani
Associate Professor (Spatial Practice)
Founder of Displacement Studies Research Network
Professor Waleed Al-Murrani
Professor Iain Stewart
Director of the Sustainable Earth Institute
Associate Professor of Law
Professor Michael Punt
Professor of Art and Technology
Professor Robert Brown
Professor of Architecture
Professor Anthony Caleshu
Associate Head of School - English and Creative Writing
Dr Hannah Drayson
Lecturer in Digital Art & Technology/Immersive Media Design
Mr Christopher Cook
Associate Professor (Reader) in Painting
Dr Kayla Parker
Lecturer in Media Arts
Dr John Martin
Head of Research Strategy and Governance
Dr Paul Hardman
Manager of the Sustainable Earth Institute (SEI)
Dr Helen Lloyd
Associate Professor of Psychology
Ms Debra Westlake
Research Fellow - Researcher in Residence (RiR) - Social Prescribing
Ms Claudia Blandon
Doctoral Teaching Assistant
- Dr Haya Al-Dajani (Co-founder of the Displacement Studies Research Network)
- Professor Mick Dumper (Professor in Middle East Politics, University of Exeter)
- Dr Diana Walters (International Heritage Consultant, UK)
- Saif Ali (Founder and director of www.integr8uk.org charity/programme)
- Dr Nasser Yassin (Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, American University of Beirut, Lebanon)
- Dr Aida Essaid (Information Research Centre, King Hussein Foundation, Jordan)
- Said Ebbini (Research Section Head, Information and Research Centre, King Hussein Foundation, Jordan)
- Dr Ahmed Masoud (Writer and Director of Al Zaytouna Dance Theatre, UK)
- Professor Ghada Siliq (Authority on Iraq's architectural heritage and worked extensively on urban conservation)
- Tim Slade (Award winning and international writer, director and producer)
- Diego Maranan (Interaction Design and Embodied Technologies, University of the Philippines)
- Carey Marks (Photojournalist and Director of Scarlet Design, and the Sustainable Earth Institute Creative Associate 2019 for Creative Recovery)
- Tam Martin Fowles (Founding Director Hope in the Heart CIC and UK Ambassador for the Charter for Compassion)
- Pamela Cajilig (Design & Business Anthropologist, Communication Strategist, and Human Rights Advocate)
- David Feindouno (Devon Area Manager, British Red Cross)
- Isaac Kelly (Students and Refugees Together charity START management team)
- Lucy Durneen (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)
- Hoayda Darkal (PhD researcher, Human Geography and Resilience)
- Rupert Allan (Humanitarian Community Mapping Coordinator; Research Associate: Transtechnology - AHRC)
- Dr Rachael Kiddey (Contemporary Archaeologist, University of Oxford)
- Eugenia Stamboliev (PhD researcher with Trans-Technology and CogNovo, Media Archaeology)
- Francis Cetti (expert on Refugees Studies, previously affiliated with the University of East London, The Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging (CMRB))
- Dr Aisling O’Loghlen (Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow in Global Challenges, Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences, Northumbria University)
- Jo Pickering (Open Doors International Language School Project Team, MA International Relations: Global Security and Development and Cert TESOL).
- Dawn Tucker (Open Doors International Language School Project Team, student of MA Refugee Protection and Forced Migration and Cert TESOL).
- Deborah Warne (Creative writing, memories and trauma)
- Avril Bellinger (Honorary Professor of Social Work and Founder of Students and Refugees Together Charity – START)
- Jayne Buchanan (PhD Researcher, Art History)
- Mjed Kouri (Humanitarian Architect – Oxford Brookes University)
PUSH. Why can't we afford to live in our cities?
PUSH is a new documentary from award-winning director Fredrik Gertten, investigating why we can't afford to live in our own cities anymore.
Housing is a fundamental human right, a precondition to a safe and healthy life. But in cities all around the world, having a place to live is becoming more and more difficult. Who are the players and what are the factors that make housing one of today's most pressing world issues?
Privately view PUSH followed by a Q&A session with the director Fredrik Gertten, chaired by Dr Sana Murrani.
Re-thinking Post Recovery Space: Strategies around Post-conflict Space and Displacement (5 June 2019)
A symposium framing participatory and creative paradigms for recovery, healing and belonging after conflict, trauma and displacement.
Dr Sana Murrani has been interviewed by BBC Radio Devon in September 2018 to talk about Creative Recovery, a project funded by the European Cultural Foundation (ECF) to work with 15 refugees and asylum seekers from Plymouth to represent their memories of home through drawings, maps and architectural models.
Dr Sana Murrani, Founder of the Displacement Studies Research Network at the University of Plymouth explains the Creative Recovery project.
Image credit: Carey Marks
Dr Sana Murrani celebrates the outcome of her research project with an exhibition of refugees’ maps and photographs.
The Shroud Maker
The Shroud Maker is an evocative black comedy that delves deep into the troubles of Palestinians as they respond creatively to their challenging everyday lives under siege and occupation.
The play took place in June 2018
The Destruction of Memory
A documentary film on the destruction of world heritage sites
The Displacement Studies Research Network and Cornerstone Heritage based at the Arts Institute, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business hosted the film screening of The Destruction of Memory which was followed by Q&A session with the writer, director and producer of the film, Tim Slade.
Reconstructed mausoleum, Timbuktu, Mali. Image credit: Francois Rihouay. © 2016 Vast Productions USA
Human and Urban Displacement: From Crises to Creativity
Launch event of the Displacement Studies Research Network
This event brings together for the first time the Arts, Sciences and Social Sciences for an international dialogue to explore the intersection between displacement, disaster risk reduction and creativity.
Joining leading experts at the University of Plymouth, some of the biggest international names involved in policy-making, funding and disaster risk reduction such as Professor Nasser Yassin and Professor Virginia Murray as well as other reputable researchers in the fields of contested arts practice and heritage, and migration geographies such as Dr Diana Walters, Dr Ahmed Masoud and Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh who will be debating, informing and uncovering collectively with established researchers and charity personals critical areas of research in displacement.