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In December 2015, the Arts, Humanities & Society Working Group of the Young Academy of Scotland was awarded funding to deliver a project tackling one of the key global issues, not just of our time, but of all history – the movement of peoples fleeing war, persecution, famine and other dangers.

This is a huge global issue, with social, political, economic and cultural ramifications, but the group wanted to make whatever contribution it could, however small. Inspired by the recent arrival of a small group of Syrian refugees in Scotland, the group thought about how they, and other refugees, might best be supported into their new lives in this country. As arts, humanities and social science scholars we were aware of the long history of refugees in Scotland, and so the project developed video exploring the ‘Silent History’ of refugees in Scotland, with an accompanying pack of school resources, aimed at 8-11+ year olds.

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On 13th October 2016, the Scottish Prison Service celebrated the International Day of Prison Education with a series of learning activities at HMP Barlinnie. The Young Academy’s Working Group “Arts, Humanities & Society” sponsored Glasgow-based “Street Cones” to deliver a morning workshop for some of the men at HMP Barlinnie, culminating in a performance later in the day in front of an audience of peers, staff and representatives of partner organisations.

Street Cones performance.1

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CARNIVAL at the Fringe: A play by Catherine O'Shea MYAS

August 8 & 9, 7:30 pm @ Top floor boardroom, Evolution House (near Grassmarket). free, unticketed

78 West Port, Edinburgh EH1 2LE

British Playwright and YAS MemberCatherine O’ Shea’s newest play CARNIVAL will receive a series work in progress showcase in Edinburgh this  August.

“I want to tell her that I had to leave everything behind too. My home, my city.”

This one-woman play, CARNIVAL, follows a multi-generational group of students from across the globe who come together for an adult education class in Central London. The play follows the women from their first day of class to their final celebration. A lot can happen over the course of a year. They share a common struggle overcoming many barriers to their education, but one student must risk everything. An undeniable bond forms between this teacher and student.

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YAS member recognised for partnership with Scottish Prison Service and Fife College

A project set up by YAS member Anne Schwan has been honoured with the Partnership Award at the 2016 Herald Higher Education Awards.  The project, in which University student volunteers are paired with prisoners at HMP Edinburgh for one-on-one English language, literacy, and creative writing tuition, is the result of a partnership between Edinburgh Napier University, Scottish Prison Service, and Fife College.

The awards were hosted by Scottish broadcaster Sally Magnusson at an event at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow.

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