Teatrino di Palazzo Grassi, Ph. Matteo De Fina
Close Teatrino di Palazzo Grassi, Ph. Matteo De Fina
Friday 17 May

Redefining Narratives: Cultural Institutions and Migration

How can a Western institution help change the narrative on migration? What artistic practices would benefit from this?

Starting with these radical questions, Palazzo Grassi – Punta della Dogana, in collaboration with Suha Nabhan (Migration Jam), invites professionals, activists and artists to take part in the debate about the role of cultural institutions as agents of social change.


To register, please fill in the form.

Programme of the event:

Teatrino di Palazzo Grassi

10 am – 10.30 am: Introduction 
by Palazzo Grassi – Punta della Dogana with Suha Nabhan (Migration Jam) 

10.30 am – 12.30 pm Workshop 
by Annelie Wambeek and Suha Nabhan 

3 pm – 5 pm
Moderator: Peggy Brandon (MOCCA Amsterdam)

● Bridget and Justin Fonkeu (Silent University)
● Justin Randolph Thompson (Florence Black History Month)
● Mackda Ghebremariam Tesfau (Researcher and activist)
● Marta Foresti (LAGO Collective) 

7 pm – 8.30 pm
Screening open to the public
“The Story Won’t Die” (USA, 83’) by David Henry Gerson

The film, from Award-winning filmmaker David Henry Gerson and Academy Award-winning producer Odessa Rae (“NAVALNY”, 2022), is an inspiring, timely look at a young generation of Syrian artists who use their work to protest and process what is currently the world’s largest and longest ongoing displacement of people since World War II. 

Rapper Abu Hajar, together with other celebrated creative personalities of the Syrian uprising, a Post-Rock musician (Anas Maghrebi), members of the first all female Syrian rock band (Bahila Hijazi and Lynn Mayya), breakdancer (Bboy Shadow), choreographer (Medhat Aldaabal), and visual artists (Tammam Azzam, Omar Imam and Diala Brisly), use their art to rise in revolution and endure in exile in this new documentary reflecting on a battle for peace, justice and freedom of expression. It is an uplifting and humanizing look at what it means to be a refugee in today’s world, and offers inspiring and hopeful vantages on a creative response to the chaos of war.

Workshop curated by Annelie Wambeek and Suha Nabhan

Annelie Wambeek 

Annelie Wambeek has been raised and educated across continents. She is part Sri Lankan, part English, born in Sweden, lived in Spain and has Dutch ancestors - so interculturalism is both her life and work. Today Annelie has the privilege of working independently with global clients, at the intersection between the DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) and intercultural fields, with a focus on enhancing inclusion and belonging.  

Suha Nabhan is a strategic communications specialist, impact producer, and entrepreneur. Worked on raising awareness for migrants from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East through strategic campaigns with international organizations. She founded creative storytelling projects in Syria, co-founded the Migration Jam project in Turkey, promoting positive migration narratives through storytelling. Passionate about arts and culture, Suha organizes events, particularly movie screenings, to further engage and question the narratives on migration. Her work, collaborating with diverse creatives, aims to drive social impact, justice, and equality, striving to foster a more inclusive world.


Panel participants:

Peggy Brandon

Peggy Brandon, born in Surinam, South America, is the Chief Curator for the new National Slavery Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Brandon worked for local and international companies. After this, she ventured into a more cultural working environment in 1996. She was part of the team that realized the renovation and fundraising of the Dutch National Museum of Ethnology, and was the founding director of the Siebold House, a Japanese museum in Leiden. In 2011, Brandon started researching the effect of policies for arts culture in schools, and in 2019 she wrote an acclaimed Children’s picture book on culture. To date in 2023, Brandon continues to lead Mocca.

Bridget Fonkeu

Dr. Mrs. Fonkeu has been the Head of the Silent University Ruhr (SUR) since 2020. Her research focuses on socio-cultural, multilingual language acquisition, socio-cultural diversity, and integration in migrant communities.

Justin Nkwadi Fonkeu

Justin Nkwadi Fonkeu, migrated to Germany as a political refugee from Cameroon some years ago. As a former refugee, she uses her expertise and intercultural experiences to counsel, direct and guide refugees and Migrants in their day-to-day socio-economic and socio-political integration in the city of Mulheim in Germany.

Marta Foresti

Marta is the founder of the social enterprise LAGO Collective, a network of designers, researchers and public actors engaged in international cooperation and development issues. Marta Foresti spent most of her career leading research and policy organisations. She was Managing and Executive Director at ODI, global affairs think tank where she worked on migration, global governance and sustainability. She advised the ministerial team at the Italian Treasury and led Save the Children UK Evaluation and Research Unit. She is currently Senior Adviser at the Moleskine Foundation and Senior Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and ODI. 

Mackda Ghebremariam Tesfau'

Mackda Ghebremariam Tesfau' is a research fellow at UniPr and adjunct professor at UniPd, Iuav Venice, Stanford Florence and NYU Florence. His studies deal with racialisation and colonisation from an anti-racist perspective. He has co-translated Memoirs of the Plantation, by Grada Kilomba, and Undrowned by Alexis Pauline Gumbs.

Justin Randolph Thompson

Justin Randolph Thompson is an artist, cultural facilitator and educator born in Peekskill, NY in ’79. His life and work seek to deepen the discussions around socio-cultural stratification and the arrogance of permanence by employing fleeting temporary communities as monuments and fostering projects that connect academic discourse, social activism and DIY networking strategies in annual and biennial gathering, sharing and gestures of collectivity.