TUE—January 25—1 PM ET
On Tuesday, January 25th, ASF invites you to a discussion on refugee support and community creation in Scandinavia. In this panel highlighting the work of local people supporting incoming refugees in Norway and Sweden, we’ll hear from a Norwegian asylum center director, a Swedish community organizer, and two resettled refugees to Norway who have made it their life’s work to advocate for their communities and build bridges between refugees and native-born Scandinavians.
Panelists include: Bente Nygård, Director at the Solbakken residential asylum center in Florø, Norway; Mårthen Mirza, community organizer in Malmö, and cultural minister for nearby Lund County, Sweden; Adam Dean, language teacher and former Syrian asylum seeker to Norway; and Kerrion Joseph Murhesa, cultural facilitator at the International Organization for Migration—Norway and former D.R. Congolese asylum seeker to Norway.
The discussion will be moderated by Folklorist & ASF Fellow Dr. Sallie Anna Steiner.
This event will take place as a Zoom webinar; please ask questions in the chat or send them in advance to email@example.com. Registration is required; please sign up at the link above. This conversation will be recorded and available later to stream on our Virtual Programming page and on our YouTube channel.
About the Speakers
Bente Nygård has a masters degree in ethnology with a focus on religion-history, social anthropology and pedagogy. Since graduation, she has worked with asylum seekers, refugees and resettlement of refugees on different levels/organizations. She is currently Director of the Solbakken Asylum Center in Florø, Norway, which is owned and operated by the municipality on behalf of the state.
Kerrion J. Murhesa is the co-founder and CEO of Protégé International and a cultural facilitator at the International Organization for Migration in Norway. He is former D.R Congolese asylum seeker to Norway.
Mårthen Mirza was site manager at the welcome center for refugees in Malmö, Sweden, 2015. He is a former journalist, activist and volunteer, with experience from Palestine. He now works as head of culture in Lund, Sweden.
Adam Dean is 33 and arrived in Norway in 2015 as a refugee. Prior he worked as a teacher and fled Syria due to the war. He currently is studying Chinese and Arabic at the University of Bergen.
About the Moderator
Sallie Anna Steiner, Ph.D., is a folklorist whose research has focused on material culture and grassroots organizing traditions among refugee communities in Norway and the United States. Dr. Steiner graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2019 with a doctoral dissertation entitled “Stitched Together: Craft and Community at a Refugee Sewing Group.” This dissertation drew on two years of fieldwork Dr. Steiner did with the craft traditions and practices of refugee women — particularly women from East Africa — living in a small city in rural Western Norway.
Since returning to the United States, Dr. Steiner has been working in the non-profit sector and continuing her involvement in refugee issues through her independent academic research and her involvement with the volunteer group Open Doors for Refugees in Madison, Wisconsin. Dr. Steiner currently works at the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters.