PODCASTS | United Kingdom

What migrants think about Brexit, Europe and Eurovision

Nando Sigona and Michaela Benson / May 2023

Researchers from the University of Birmingham and Lancaster University launch new season of the popular podcast Who do we think we are? dedicated to ‘Global Britain’. The series is co-hosted by Michaela Benson, professor of Public Sociology at Lancaster University, and Nando Sigona, professor of International Migration and Forced Displacement at University of Birmingham.

The series foregrounds a timely understanding of Britain’s migration story focussed on the making of ‘Global Britain’. Considering Brexit as a pivotal moment, it explores what the UK’s exit from the European Union has meant for mobile citizens, migrants, migration flows and governance.

In this way, it reveals an ongoing process of redrawing the boundaries of the imagined community and the role of the migration-citizenship regime within this.  But it also looks beyond the borders to consider how immigration controls, policies and legislation articulate with the British state’s present-day struggle for legitimacy and leadership on the world stage after Brexit.

Professor Nando Sigona explains the main focus of the season:
‘What does it mean to be British today? Who is allowed to be part of Britain in the post-Brexit era? Who is excluded? We will explore these questions with people who are more ordinarily absent in these conversations.’  
The first episode released at the beginning of May covers the often-unheard views on migrants in the UK and British citizens living abroad on the coronation of King Charles III, Eurovision and much more. Drawing on the contributions of those taking part in the ESRC-funded “Rebordering Britain and Britons after Brexit” research, in the first episode of season researchers examine how British citizens living in Europe and EU citizens and other migrants in the UK experience major public events such as the coronation, Commonwealth Games, the Festival of Brexit and even Eurovision.
Professor Michaela Benson explains:
‘We explore what the views of these communities about the monarchy, commonwealth and Eurovision makes visible about the symbolic boundaries and borders of the imagined community emerging in the wake of Brexit.’ 
In the episode a UK-based Finnish woman explains how her attitudes to public celebrations has changed since Brexit:
‘If the festivities had taken place before Brexit, I may have felt more of a connection to the Jubilee but Brexit has created a rift between me and Britain that didn’t exist before and has highlighted the perception of me as ‘other’ by those in power and many of those living in Britain’.
____________ The first episode of Season 3 of the popular podcast Who do we think we are? which, so far, has attracted thousands of listeners went live on Friday 5th May.
____________ Follow the podcast on all major podcasting platforms or through our RSS Feed.

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