Why has the word ‘immigrant’ become such a slur in the US? When did Australia roll up the welcome mat for refugees? Our panel gets to grips with changing community attitudes around the world. Data Editor of The Guardian US, Mona Chalabi, author Roanna Gonsalves, Palestinian-born Australian playwright Samah Sabawi and Boston-born Canadian playwright Stephen Orlov join Claudia Tazreiter for a frank and fearless conversation on the political and personal consequences of border control policies. 

Mona Chalabi (International)

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Mona Chalabi is a data journalist. She is the data editor of The Guardian US and a columnist at New York Magazine. In 2016, Mona’s data sketches were commended by the Royal Statistical Society. The drawings, which are designed to make numbers more relatable, can be viewed on her Instagram account. Before getting into journalism, Mona worked in the nonprofit sector, first at the Bank of England, then Transparency International and the International Organization for Migration. As well as co-producing a four-part documentary series about vaginas, Mona has written for TV shows on National Geographic, the BBC and VICE

Samah Sabawi (Australian)

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Award winning poet and playwright Samah Sabawi’s work includes Tales Of A City By The Sea (winner of Drama Victoria awards for Best New Australian Publication and Best Performance). Samah edited (along with Steven Orlov) Double Exposure: Plays of the Jewish and Palestinian Diasporas, a groundbreaking anthology about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict penned by Diaspora playwrights of Jewish and Palestinian descent. Samah is a cultural ambassador for Melbourne Theatre Company and Multicultural Arts Victoria and a PhD candidate at Victoria University.

Roanna Gonsalves (Australian)

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Roanna Gonsalves is the author of The Permanent Resident, a collection of short fiction about Indians in Australia. Her series of radio documentaries, On the Tip of a Billion Tongues, is an acerbic socio-political portrayal of contemporary India through its multilingual writers and was commissioned and broadcast by Earshot on ABC RN. Roanna is a recipient of the Prime Minister's Australia Asia Endeavour Award, and is co-founder co-editor of Southern Crossings. She has a PhD from the University of New South Wales.

Stephen Orlov (International)

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Stephen Orlov is an American-Canadian award-winning dramatist, whose plays have been showcased in Chicago, London and Montreal.  He co-edited with Samah Sabawi, Double Exposure, the first English-language anthology in any genre by Jewish and Palestinian writers worldwide. His plays include Freeze, Isolated Incident, and his dual-diaspora trilogy of Salaam-Shalom, Sperm Count and Birthmark

Claudia Tazreiter (Australian)

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Claudia Tazreiter is associate professor of sociology at UNSW, Sydney and an associate of the Australian Human Rights Centre. Her research focuses on the social and affective impacts of forced and irregular migration, on human rights culture, the role of civil society in social change and gender in migration. She is the author of numerous books and more than 60 journal articles and book chapters, and is the managing editor of The Australian Journal of Human Rights. Claudia has had visiting appointments at the Center for Place, Culture and Politics, City University New Work CUNY and the Centre for International Studies (CERI) Science Po, and is a fellow at the Institute for Migration and Intercultural Studies.