Memory and Diverse Belongings NUBS 1.13
Jul 05, 2023 13:30 - 15:00(Europe/London)
20230705T1330 20230705T1500 Europe/London 4.2. Place and belonging NUBS 1.13 MSA Conference Newcastle 2023
31 attendees saved this session
Northeast England and the Holocaust: Sites of Jewish Refuge and Individual Recollections
Individual paperMovement, Migration and Refugees 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/05 13:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/05 14:30:00 UTC

Born and raised in Newcastle upon Tyne, I have long since been involved with memory and refugee activism in the city. In collaboration with my father Dennis Wilson, the education lead in the City of Sanctuary council group and coordinator of Schools and Sanctuary, I have worked closely with children whose families had sought legal asylum in the Northeast and helped to facilitate their assimilation into the UK educational system. Moreover, I have participated in the planning of yearly events for Holocaust Memorial Day in coordination with the council and local Jewish organisations, which invited local survivors of genocides to share their stories of escape and migration. 
During this time, however, I realised that there is still a substantial gap in the memory and knowledge of the role of the Northeast in providing refuge for Jews escaping the Nazi occupied territories during the second world war, the sites at which this occurred and, most importantly, the individual experiences of those who arrived in this region as a direct result of the events of the Holocaust. Certainly, this local history is not taught in schools and has not been widely explored in academic research. Although the Jewish presence in the northeast of England has never been exceptionally large and has, unfortunately, continued to decline since the 1990s, numbers grew following the rise of National Socialism in 1933. Between 1880 and 1905 that Newcastle's Jewish community experienced its most rapid growth as a new wave of migrants arrived, fleeing anti-Semitic persecution and economic hardships in Eastern Europe. By 1900, the Jewish community in Newcastle numbered 1800 and, as the second world war progressed, it became common for local Jewish voluntary organisations to guarantee refugees adequate means of support. In Newcastle, for instance, under the care of two refugee women from Vienna, the local Board of Guardians provided for a number of child refugees at a residence in Tynemouth and also took into its care around 50 Polish Jews from a ship - the SS Pilsudski - that had been stranded off the coast of Tynemouth when war broke out in September 1939. Similarly, 32 refugee industries had been established in the North-East by this time, providing work for those who managed to flee Nazi persecution. Yet, the experiences of these refugees remains primarily unknown, as does their contribution to British life.
Thus, my proposed paper seeks to fill this gap by investigating the history of Jewish refugees in Newcastle, Gateshead, and surrounding areas, with a focus on the familial narratives of those who were able to find safety in the region during this period, and the ways in which European Jews were able to assimilate into daily life in these places, even if they did not reside there long term. Similarly, I will outline the significant sites of memory associated with these movements, and their current heritage status. Accordingly, my research will also be conducted in collaboration with the Association of Jewish Refugees and the Newcastle Reform Synagogue to present individual case studies.

Presenters Hannah Wilson
Postdoctoral Researcher/Lecturer, Nottingham Trent University
Urban Forest Stories from Singapore: Exploring human-nature senses of belonging in the ‘City in Nature’
Individual paperMemory and Diverse Belongings 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/04 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/05 22:00:00 UTC
Picture a narrow path lined with leaves the size of your body. Imagine yourself walking this path through sweltering heat, sweat dripping down your back and cicadas chirping in your ear. You can smell the recent rain on the hip-high foliage surrounding you, and you are dwarfed by the ancient rain trees dotting this forested grove. You are in Clementi Forest: the last wild place in Singapore. This Southeast Asian city-state is famous for its 'City in Nature vision', but what does that phrase mean if this is the last wild place? Where do human communities and nature truly belong in this city, and how do they intersect? 

This paper presents four stories about the different ways nature and humans interconnect in Singapore. These stories emerged during immersive walking experiences in the summer of 2022, focussed on exploring the urban forests of the island state through storytelling in words, art and audiovisual recordings. The stories connect local occurrences with big themes like a top-down regime balancing bottom-up community expressed needs, intergenerational memory and the traces of colonial pasts, and the question of how nature can have its place in a dense modern city. 

The story of the last wild place of Singapore shows a trend of bottom-up efforts of local communities to ensure nature's right to belong. A tale of communal parks without community talks about the unique Singaporean Ethnic Integration Policy, resulting from both a violent post-colonial past and a desire for peace. The story of tree temporality describes the importance of trees to indicate the passing of time and how they are hallmarks of local histories. The final story talks about how monkeys know plastic bags contain food and how nature is as much subject to governing and zoning policies as human communities are. Each story illustrates the importance of urban forest places as signifiers for human-nature dynamics and the right to belong for both nature and human communities.
Presenters Lotte Dijkstra
PhD Researcher School Of Architecture, Planning And Landscape, Newcastle University
Voicing exile through memories of home, belonging and un-belonging: A study of Tibetan-English Writings
Individual paperMemory and Diverse Belongings 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/04 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/05 22:00:00 UTC
Exilic and diasporic locations become, more often than not, the driving force behind the voices of those who write their protest. Distance becomes at once, a source of authorial power and disempowerment. In this relationship between the home and exile, the paper will draw on the symbiosis of the Tibetan identity, its simultaneous assertion and problematization through Tenzin Tsundue's (1975- present) exiled refugee status- a predicament that Tsundue successfully uncovers and protests against. The Tibetan identity today is reinforced through the voices in exile and diaspora and draws its solidarity through a transnational status. 
Framing exilic Tibetan writings on a "world" scale through the English tongue asserts a sense of voicing to and accessing the world at large. But what it also does is challenge the idea of what it means to be "worlded". While poet-activist Tenzin Tsundue's Kora drives the paper with his will to protest with his pen, it also alerts us to the concept of voice in re-membering and its functionality in building an identity that is lost. Through the works of Tsundue, primarily, and selected pieces from Tenzin Dickyi's edited work Old Demons, New Deities, as well as Tsering Wangyal's Another Place, pertinently provocative questions are raised about the displaced voices of these literary figures in and outside of the home that is identified as Tibet.
In delving deep into understanding a ruptured identity and history different from those who have not suffered the burden of un-belonging, my ideas on the voices in exile and their consequent conditions of protest have developed over the course of my research.
There are also, in the writings that I explore, unresolved questions of what it means to write about borrowed memories, locating the home and the world, and ideas of a Tibetanness that simultaneously thrives on and rejects its own fetishisation. 
In the conference, I would like to put forth how contemporary Tibetan-English writers continue to actively participate in forms of writing that have become a necessity to voice and perform resistance- these forms of writing build identities that challenge homogeneity, thus providing an interesting lens with which to assert "the national," the memory and exercising of it through diaspora and exile. 
Presenters Thinley Chodon
PhD Candidate, University College Dublin
The town of Lindsborg – “Little Sweden USA”: Swedish-American identity in a small-town community
Individual paperMemory and Diverse Belongings 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/04 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/05 22:00:00 UTC
Lindsborg is a city in McPherson County, Kansas, United States, and the city had 3,776 residents as of 2020. The annual "Svensk Hyllningsfest" (Swedish Tribute Party) is held in Lindsborg, which has a sizable American population with Swedish heritage. The current population is made up of 30% people of Swedish heritage, and the town is referred to as "Little Sweden" since it has preserved much of its founders' tradition. There are, for example, gift shops in the city that specialize in Swedish trinkets, including different-sized Dala horses.

Pastor Olof Olsson led a party of Swedish immigrants from the Swedish province of Värmland who settled in the city of Lindsborg in the spring of 1869. They had in mind a place that was thriving in business, farming, education, religion, and culture. The city's website today underlines that these values are still present in the community today, as shown by the city's abundance in the performing and visual arts, the presence of the Smoky Valley School District and Bethany College, the success of the Baptist, Catholic, Covenant, Lutheran, and Methodist churches, and the continued importance of agriculture.

In my presentation, the city of Lindborg will be used as an illustration of how the Swedish-American community has changed over time and been impacted by history. To shed light on the ways in which historical heritage can influence contemporary communities' perceptions of themselves, I will provide an outline of the history of immigration to America and further details about the city of Lindborg. I will use this town as an illustration of how a community's sense of "belonging" can be anchored in two places at once – in this case, the United States and Sweden. I will elaborate on how the Swedish heritage of this town has led to a complex understanding of what it means to be American with a distinct heritage. 
Julia Sahlstrom
PhD Candidate , Department Of History, Stockholm University
PhD Researcher School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape
Newcastle University
PhD Candidate
University College Dublin
PhD Candidate
Department of History, Stockholm University
Postdoctoral Researcher/Lecturer
Nottingham Trent University
Dr Rehnuma Sazzad
Research Fellow and Associate Fellow
Institute of English Studies (IES) and Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICWS)
No attendee has checked-in to this session!
Upcoming Sessions
351 visits