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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Contribution Paper

Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 3.136

Post-Brexit Anxieties in Minority Ethnic Communities.


  • Michael THOMPSON

Primary authors


This PhD project focuses on anxieties within minority ethnic communities rooted in the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. While there is a long-established link between government agencies and austerity, we are witnessing a rise in immigration-related tensions in minority ethnic restaurants, and even religious establishments. Specific consideration will be given to German and Polish EU-national minorities, as their immigration status is directly affected by Brexit. Here, these groups represent the dualistic paradigms of power and employment, with Germany’s stature and political power within the EU heavily criticised in the Brexit referendum campaign, and much of the anti-immigrant, anti-freedom of movement sentiment directed at Polish communities due to a perceived loss of British jobs. The extraordinary circumstances faced by these groups are exemplified through the normalisation of ‘everyday bordering’ imposed by the 2014 Immigration Act and the concomitant ‘hostile environment’ policy regime. As ordinary citizens become responsible for immigration enforcement, we may see a rise in anxieties associated with public space. Participatory action research in the form of walking interviews and the Lego ® Serious Play methodologies will produce a counter-topography of anxiety-inducing experiences in collaboration with network partners embedded within the community. Grounding this methodology in a re-imagining of Lefebvre’s work, we can draw new conclusions from this intersection of migration, belonging and public space. By identifying anxieties experienced by minority ethnic communities in urban public space, we can design policy frameworks aimed at mitigating the potentially damaging effects of Brexit on community cohesion and minority integration strategies.