Applied Theatre

CONTAINED Project connects experience, research and creative learning to contribute to dialogues and greater understanding about migration. See the website of CONTAINED Project for an overview of past and future events!

Exploring Migration: Research and Drama in Schools
Assisted in this project that takes monologues based on interviews with undocumented migrants to schools, and develops them with the students into a theatrical performance.
A primary school in Birmingham, in cooperation with COMPAS, June 2015

In or out? An extraordinary queuing experience
Theatrical experience-performance centred around migration, exclusion and discrimination.
Ashmolean Museum’s LiveFriday: Social Animals, 15 May 2015

Jonge Helden (Young heroes)
‘Joker’ (facilitator) in participatory theatre play, performed at Dutch high schools, about young caregivers.
See the short promotional film (in Dutch)

Mind Mix, May-November 2014

Improvisation theatre
Actor in over 75 improv theater shows; Trainer / workshop leader in over 25 improv workshops, used for team building, presentation skills, and for outings and parties.


Articles and blogs

Afghan Returns Built on False Policy Narrative.
The idea that returning refugees will drive development in Afghanistan ignores reality. I argue that the mass return of Afghans will further destabilize the country and drive a new exodus.
Op-Ed on News Deeply, 21 February 2017.

Deporting ‘illegal’ migrants: an open letter to President-elect Trump.
How will President-elect Trump follow through on his well-publicised plans for undocumented migrants?Blogpost on, 11 November 2016.

The Extraordinary Queuing Experience.
The Extraordinary Queuing Experience let visitors feel – instead of be told – what arriving in a new place feels like. Our aim in doing so was to provoke thoughts, spark discussion and create more empathy for migrants.
Blogpost on, 10 October 2016.

EU–Afghanistan deportation–aid deal: Classic strategy or classic mistake?
I argue that the deal to link compliance with deportation to aid is both short-sighted and counterproductive, and represents a classic mistake in the conceptualising of the link between migration, development and peace-building. I urge leaders to reconsider what a real ‘win-win’ development scenario looks like for Afghanistan.
Blogpost on, 7 October 2016.

A new generation of thinkers: on ways forward for migration and development policy and research.
(With students of the MSc Migration Studies at the University of Oxford).
At the end of their course on Migration, Development and Conflict, in which they studied related theories, empirical evidence and policies, I asked my students to come up with constructive recommendations on how to apply their learning to take research and policy on migration and development forward.

Blogpost on, 23 May 2016.

Vluchtelingenwerk en terugkeer: Welke rol te spelen?
(The Refugee Council and Return: Which role to play? In Dutch).
Column for final conference of BLIK op de Toekomst 3.0 project, Utrecht 23 June 2015.

Maak het makkelijker voor migranten om hier te komen
(Make it easier for migrants to come. In Dutch. With Leonhard den Hertog)
A plan by the Dutch minister for Development cooperation to invest in migrant sending developing countries to prevent migration is based on old misconceptions about the link between migration and development. In a real development perspective on migration, mobility should be promoted rather than constrained.
Opinion piece in de Volkskrant, a Dutch leading quality newspaper, 29 May 2015.

The Waiting Game: An experience with a point (with Ida Persson)
Different types of theatre can be used to send different messages about social issues. The Extraordinary Queuing Experience used very simple theatrical methods to let people relate to migration with the heart and the senses, and experience feelings of exclusion and inequality.
Blog on, May 2015

Terugkeer als vooruitgang? (Return as progress? In Dutch)
It is too optimistic to think that rejected asylum seekers will contribute to development and peace building after return. My recommendation is: Don’t call de facto involuntary return development, and no longer pay return assistance out of development budgets.
Article on, April 2015

Refugees, Returnees & Transnational Families
Five encounters in Iraqi Kurdistan illustrate the contradictions and complexities of migration.
Blogpost on United Nations University, June 2014

Afghan returnees as actors of change?
Afghan returnees from industrialised countries are expected to contribute to development and peace building in Afghanistan. However, which category of returnee is expected to bring what kind of change often remains under-defined.
Article in Forced Migration Review 46: Afghanistan’s displaced people: 2014 and beyond. May 2014

Studeren in Bosnië (Studying in Bosnia, in Dutch)
Students from abroad see in the complicated history and the process of reconstruction a fascinating study object. Once in Bosnia, they notice that the country has more to offer than the history of war.
Article in TKMST Magazine, 2006

Een Wereld van Verschil (A World of Difference, in Dutch)
Biweekly column about daily life in Sri Lanka.
Column in Roosendaalse Bode, 2001-2002


Ik vertrek (I am leaving), Een brief van Muis (A letter from Mouse), Kom, we gaan! (Let’s take a trip!)
(With Remco Heijmans)
Children’s books for young children about leaving and saying goodbye, about staying connected on a distance and desires to leave, and on the adventures and risks of a journey. We’d love to find a publisher for these books!

Illustration book, private publication for nephews and friends, December 2014, 2015 & 2016.