Strangers in a Strange Land
Maeve Higgins with Sorcha Pollak, Dr Ebun Joseph and Daniel Trilling
New To The Parish is an inspiring chronological timeline of personal stories of migration, taking us on a journey across the globe – from Cameroon to Myanmar, Poland to New York, Nigeria to Venezuela, Iraq to Syria – and back home again. The Irish Times journalist Sorcha Pollak, whose own grandfather was a Czech Jewish political refugee who arrived in Ireland in 1948, provides a deeper understanding of what makes a person leave their native land, often in extreme difficulty, in order to start a new life abroad.
Alongside Sorcha will be Daniel Trilling, whose Lights in the Distance, sees this Observer journalist draw on years of reporting to build a portrait of the refugee crisis, seen through the eyes of the people who experienced it first-hand. Visiting camps and hostels, sneaking into detention centres and delving into his own family’s history of displacement.
Joining the panel is Dr Ebun Joseph who is coordinator in UCD of the first Black Studies module in Ireland. She lectures on race, migration, social policy and equality. She is a career-development specialist, author and chairperson of the African Scholars Association Ireland. She is a citizen of both Nigeria and Ireland, and has lived in Ireland for more than 17 years.
Chairing the event is Maeve Higgins, author of Maeve in America, comedian and podcaster extraordinaire. The panel will consider how world events over the past decade have played a role in the migration crisis; from the 2004 enlargement of the European Union to the economic recession, the outbreak of the Syrian conflict in 2011 to Angela Merkel’s welcoming of over a million people into Germany, and from Brexit to the election of Donald Trump as US president.