Public lecture: The Well in Welcome

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Presented by Professor Alison Phipps, UNESCO Chair in Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts, Professor of Languages and Intercultural Studies, Glasgow University

Lectures, talks and seminars

5 Dec 2019 5:30 pm to 5 Dec 2019 7:00 pm

Government Building LT1 (GB LT1)

How is wellness related to how societies welcome former refugees? And how do different intercultural understandings of wellbeing support societal flourishing?

This lecture, bought to you by Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Otago, examines the international Refugees Welcome movement in the context of creating a flourishing, inclusive society founded on principles of wellbeing.

From the wellbeing budgeting in ANZ to the recent TEDx talk on Wellbeing and GDP by the First Minister of Scotland, it is clear that the question of what it means to live well, be well and to measure wellness are now hot political topics, at least in certain countries. The concept of wellbeing, placed within the context of medical humanities allows us to consider questions of societal flourishing and political expediency from an entire different standpoint to those of economic growth. That the roots for the word for wellbeing, in English, come from the same old etymological root as that of welcome provides us with a place to pause, and consider what wellness might be, what it means to be well-come and to return to older sources of knowledge and wisdom, together.

Using poetry, image, and music, this lecture considers how wellness is made within the precarious contexts of flight, the fraught spaces of arrival and integration, and in the philosophies of societies. In particular it will look at intercultural understandings of wellness and wellbeing through work undertaken in Zimbabwe, Ghana, Uganda, Scotland and the Gaza Strip, to open out our understandings and measures to a greater diversity.

For more information contact: Sara Kindon

Speaker Bios

Alison Phipps is a world-renowned commentator and activist-scholar, award winning teacher and recipient of an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2012 for Services to Education and intercultural and inter religious Relations. She is in New Zealand as the 2019 De Carle Distinguished Lecturer at the University of Otago.