The lecture at the Royal Geographical Society, headed by Jonathon Darling from Manchester University, was on the topic of migration and asylum. It covered the changing nature of borders, Europe & the refugee crisis, responses to crisis and the ways in which a geographical perspective can help us deal with these issues. The categories and reasons for migration are blurred and people may move between categories over time. Darling addressed the push back policies occurring in Europe at the moment- Hungary creating a huge policed fence at the border with Serbia and increased border checks across the continent- and how countries in the EU have turned to blaming each other. However, he also showed the everyday solidarity that many are showing to the refugees and migrants, such as the ‘City of Sanctuary’ scheme and ‘Have a Cup of Tea with a Refugee’.
The lecture was hugely engaging and interesting. Darling spoke in a way which emphasised the importance of having context to the situation in order to feel empathy for those seeking asylum. It has increased my understanding of the refugee/migrant crisis and I feel it was a great lecture.