From the poetry of the everyday to life as a refugee in Calais

Four Gates Cambridge Scholars tell their stories at an event on Wednesday.

Four Gates Cambridge Scholars will be talking about everything from how poetry illuminates everyday life to their experiences working with refugees and in war zones as part of a Scholars Stories event on Wednesday.

The four scholars taking part are:

- Nicolas Paez [2015], whose talk is entitled How to fall from a horse. He will talk about the impact a riding accident had on him. Nicolas, who is doing a PhD in Economics, says: “Everything could have gone wrong, yet everything ended well. This isn’t a story of riding skills. This is a story about bad decisions and about how our family and friends are our backbone.”

- Afrodita Nikolova’s talk is entitled Life through the eyes of a poet and will seek to explore how  poetry can unlock the importance of certain events in our lives. Afrodita [2014] is doing a PhD in Education.

- Jennifer Jia’s talk What does it mean to be a refugee in Calais? will recount her experiences in Calais as a volunteer with Cambridge Convoy Refugee Action Group. Jennifer [2017], who is doing a PhD in Clinical Neurosciences, says: “Driving down the highway in Calais, I could see, across the barbed-wire fence, young men kicking a football back and forth. Around them were small heaps of litter - some bits of a leftover tent, water bottles, wrappers. These men were the remains of the dismantled Calais Jungle, and they were depending on charitable organizations for their next meal and soon-to-be-seized blankets. I couldn't help but wonder how these perfectly able young men embraced their identities as refugees and how they coped with the daily brutal treatment of the police.“

- Erica Gaston’s talk is entitled War zone shenanigans and the kindness of strangers. Erica [2017] , who is doing a PhD in Politics and International Studies,  will recount her personal experience trying to promote human rights and peacebuilding in war zones.

*Scholar Stories takes place on 31st January  from 7.30–9.30pm in the GSCR. Scholars and invited guests are welcome.

**Picture credit: Afrodita performing Slamming Street 01100110 at an international conference on coding courtesy of Youtube.