MIR DARWISH is a British/Syrian poet of Kurdish origin. He was born in Aleppo in 1979 and came to the UK as an asylum seeker during the Second Gulf War. His poetry has been published in the USA, Pakistan, Finland, Morocco and Mexico and in the anthology Break-Out. His collection of poetry is Don’t Forget the Couscous (Smokestack, 2015). He has an MA in International Studies (Middle East) from the University of Durham and a BA (Hons) History, Teesside University.
CAROLINE MOOREHEAD is a human rights journalist and author. Among her published works is Human Cargo: a journey among refugees (2005, reprinted 2016) highly acclaimed as “urgent and terrifying” (The Guardian) and “a marvellous book” (The Independent). She has also written a history of the Red Cross (Dunant’s Dream) and a study of kidnapping (Hostages to Fortune), among several other non-fiction works.
GIDEON MENDEL is a leading contemporary photographer who specialises in long-term committed projects. His most recent work Dzhangal, exhibited in Shoreditch, portrayed objects he collected in the Calais ‘Jungle’ to provide an alternative portrait of its residents. He was awarded the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Award for Humanistic Photography for his in-depth study of HIV/AIDS in Africa, which spanned 20 years.
GULWALI PASSARLAY is an influential author and activist who arrived in the UK from Afghanistan as a political refugee in 2006. His bestselling autobiography The Lightless Sky narrates his twelve month odyssey across Europe, during which he suffered imprisonment, starvation, brutality, and near-death by drowning in the Mediterranean. Now a graduate of Manchester University, Gulwali is an accomplished public speaker and an advocate for marginalised people.
JULIA KATARINA is the founder of Music With Refugees, who organise concerts with and for refugees. She taught music to refugees in Palestine for four years and toured refugee camps and communities throughout Europe. She plays the oud and cello and specialises in singing and teaching Arabic songs.