I am actively involved in a range of initiatives raising awareness about the value and importance of multilingualism for multilingual individuals, diasporic communities and society as a whole.
In 2023, together with Rexhina Ndoci, we hosted “Speak Alb!” as part of the Difference Festival of the University of Westminster. This was a panel where Albanian voices deconstruct the powerful xenophobic narratives that demonise, homogenise, and dehumanise Albanian-speaking migrants in the UK, and which are widely reproduced in British society including in the media and even by the UK government drawning on research findings, evidence-based argumentation, engagement with civil society, community contribution, cultural creativity, and the sharing of migrants’ own lived experiences of migration.
In the same year, together with the project team of the “Migrant food, languages, and identities in the dawn of the post-Brexit and COVID-19 era” project, we organised the interactive event “Greek and Italian migrant foodways in London: a sensory experience” as part of the Labour Migration Research Group showcase event at Regent Cinema. We transformed the cinema bar into a Greek taverna and an Italian trattoria, where attendees had the opportunity to immerse themselves into diverse dining experiences shaped by stimuli for all the senses of the human body. Attendeed tasted both familiar and more adventurous Greek and Italian dishes, while members of the team guided the audience through negotiations and contestations of authenticity and food entrepreneurship.
In 2019, Dr Anna Charalambidou (Middlesex University) and I launched the Grenglish Project, a public engagement initiative that brought together members of the UK’s Greek Cypriot diaspora in a crowdsourcing effort to collect linguistic material that reflects the community’s linguistic history.
In 2018, I was awarded a small grant with Athena Mandis (QMUL) to organise a tour of Greek Cypriot London as part of the AHRC/British Academy-funded Being Human festival. The tour traced the contribution of the Greek Cypriot diaspora to London’s multiculturalism following the route of the 29 bus, a path that is emblematic of the diaspora’s historic northward expansion.
Albanians in Greece: Migration, Memory and ArtPanel / 17 Feb 2024 - 17 Feb 2024
Greek and Italian migrant foodways in London: a sensory experiencePerformance, Workshop and Talk/presentation / 04 May 2023
Speak Alb! A counter platform to Albanophobic narrativesScreening, Performance and Panel / 02 Mar 2023