Plain Language Report HERA ‘Refugee Youth and Public Space’

HERA Public Space plain language report on ‘refugee youth and public space’ is out! The report contains many insightful findings and examples of how young refugees and asylum seekers navigate new and unfamiliar spaces across the cities of Brussels, Leipzig, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, and Amsterdam.

“Initiatives that provide solidarity, support and care, such as charity, community, arts and volunteer groups, are of particular importance for young refugees. They provide practical support, helping with the navigation of a new city and the complexities of asylum systems. They also provide a space for participation and creativity, where young refugees enact belonging through volunteering and the setting up of artistic and social activities.”

(Report “Young refugees and public space”, 2022)

Access to public space is important to people’s wellbeing, providing social interaction, daily routines, creative and educational opportunities, fresh air and green spaces. Across the four cities in the research, public space plays an important role in the everyday lives of young refugees and asylum seekers, but it is also a space of uncertainty, where both positive and negative experiences occur. Cultural and arts initiatives provide important spaces of solidarity and engagement for young refugees. Art and creative practices have a range of personal and therapeutic benefits for them, providing an opportunity for recognition and to make themselves feel less invisible and marginalised.

The full report can be downloaded here.

Photo of an event organised by the association Interaction e.V. in the context of the municipal campaign "Who owns the city"?

Photo of an event organised by the association Interaction e.V. in the context of the municipal campaign "Who owns the city"?

Laura Kröner

26 European research sponsors for humanities projects and the EU Commission are combined in the "HERA - Humanities in the European Research Area" network. Their common objective is to promote the humanities in the European Research Area and in the EU Research Framework Programmes.

Since May 2019, twenty European joint projects, including 14 sub-projects from Germany, have been dedicated to the exciting topic of "Public Spaces: Culture and Integration in Europe (2019-2022)". The research focuses on the core question of how societies create public spaces and how these affect the coexistence of individuals and groups.

Authors: Robin Finlay, Peter Hopkins, Elisabeth Kirndörfer, Mieke Kox, Rik Huizinga, Mattias De Backer, Matthew C. Benwell, Ilse van Liempt, Kathrin Hörschelmann, Pascale Felten, Johanna Marie Bastian and Hassan Bousetta