The Centre for Civil Society based within the School of Built Environment and Development Studies invites you to the seminar Influencing Society’s Views of Refugees by Jorim Gerrard and Paul Steffen.

Date: Wednesday 9 December 2015
Time: 12h30 – 14h00
Venue: CCS Seminar Room 602, 6th Floor, MTB Tower, Howard College, University of KwaZulu-Natal

The SA Human Rights Commission last week judged the xenophobic utterances of King Goodwill Zwelithini as ‘harmful’ yet not hate speech, by controversially delinking his March 15 Pongola speech from the March 30 attacks on Congolese immigrants in Isipingo that heralded yet another wave of xenophobia. A better understanding of how such sparks inflame society requires more naunced understanding of public opinion towards refugees and ‘Others’. With the Syrian crisis worsening, it is useful to compare Germany with South Africa. In both countries, the choice looms: becoming more open-minded and seeing developmental and solidarisitic opportunities that benefit everyone, or facing more xenophobia, prejudice and segregation in the near future. In addition to the presentation and discussion, two documentaries will be screened: “Where Do I Stand?” (by Molly Blank) about Xenophobia 2008 in South Africa and “The Land Between” (by David Fedele) about the situation at the European border in Melilla.

Jorim Gerrard is a CCS Visiting Scholar and a student of Refugee Studies in the Department of Socio-Economics, University of Hamburg. Paul Steffen is leader of the Youth Academy for Future Issues in Hamburg.

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