Refugee testimonies and advocacy


PROOF: Media for Social Justice offers workshops for professionals and academics who work with refugees and other displaced people. Witnessing: Refugee Testimonies and Advocacy workshops are co-facilitated by
Dr. Anita Fabos, Associate Professor of International Development and Social Change at Clark University and Leora Kahn, Executive Director of PROOF: Media for Social Justice.

2018 workshop in Thessaloniki, Greece 21 - 24 July 2018

This year, PROOF will be partnering with the School of Journalism and Mass Communications of Aristotle University Thessaloniki (AUT) and Jean Monet Chair for European Integration Journalism's 2nd Thessaloniki International Media Summer Academy: New Trends in Media and Journalism: Disinformation, Verification of News and Constructive Journalism in a Changing World

The joint initiative brings together the expertise of respected and well-known institutions from Europe, Asia and USA.

Workshop Description

Testimonies have different purposes. They can be used for refugee status determination (RSD), in journalistic accounts, for testimony in an international court, for policy research and academic articles, to teach, or to preserve history. Testimonies have also helped stimulate and shape social change, and can be an effective tool for policy change and social transformation.

You will learn:

  • Methods and ethics of testimony-taking with forced migrants and refugees 
  • Uses of refugee testimonies for advocacy
  • Politics of testimony-taking
  •  Construct narratives through different techniques
  • Techniques of visual story telling for advocacy

These workshops bring together refugee service professionals, community leaders, and field practitioners in local and international agencies, representatives of government entities, and academics in a collaborative environment. These workshops may include field visits and presentations by activists, photographers, and practitioners–largely from refugee backgrounds themselves. Witnessing Workshops can also be tailored to the needs and wants of specific organizations given interest and availability.

About the Workshop Conveners

Dr. Anita Fábos, Associate Professor of International Development and Social Change, Clark University, is an anthropologist who has worked with refugees and other forced migrants in urban settings in the Middle East, Europe, and the United States.

Formerly the Director of the Forced Migration and Refugee Studies program at the American University in Cairo, and Programme Coordinator for the graduate program in Refugee Studies at the University of East London, Anita has developed integrated teaching, research, and praxis programs incorporating refugee and forced migrant perspectives in collaboration with refugee-led organizations, scholars, practitioners, policy makers, and international agencies.

Anita’s research with Muslim, Arabic- speaking Sudanese in the diaspora has resulted in numerous publications, including her book, ‘Brothers’ or Others? Propriety and Gender for Muslim Arab Sudanese in Egypt (Berghahn Books 2010).
Leora Kahn is  Executive Director of PROOF: Media for Social Justice. Leora was previously the director of photography at Workman Publishing and  Corbis. She has also worked for Time, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, and US News and World Report as well as for the Ford and Annie E. Casey Foundations. She has curated exhibitions for the Ford Foundation, United Nations, Amnesty International, Women’s Refugee Commission, and the Holocaust Museum in Houston, and has held visiting appointments at the Genocide Studies Center at Yale University, where she conducted research on rescuers and rescuing behavior, and at Clark University’s Holocaust and Genocide Center.


Witnessing Workshop: January 6-10, 2016


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JULY 2018 in Thessaloniki, Greece

Interested in participating in a Witnessing Workshop? 
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These non-credit workshops are open to practitioners, researchers, and students of refugee displacement, and forced migration. The workshops are limited to a maximum of 20 participants. The language of these workshops is English; we are unfortunately unable to offer translation services.


Workshops are offered annually at either Clark University or in New York City

Workshops can be offered off site at participating locations.


The fee for the three-and-a-half day workshop is $550, and includes breakfast, lunch, and materials. Participants who attend both the Witnessing Workshop and the Summer School pay a special price of $800. Refugee participation is encouraged; two full-tuition scholarships for refugees are available.


We offer two tuition-only scholarships for refugee participants per workshop.

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