Songs of Celebration and Suffering: Music and Refugees in Australia

Room 920
Melbourne Law School
185 Pelham Street


More Information

Presented by Dr Samantha Dieckmann, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions

Music is frequently used to foster public understanding of refugees and asylum seekers, and to promote feelings of belonging.  Samantha Dieckmann’s recent research examines how engaging with others musically impacts identity and community development, as well as attitudes towards multiculturalism and integration.

This seminar will report on the experiences of musicians who happen to be refugees or former refugees, the use of music in community development and service provision for communities who have experienced forced migration, and musician-activists who use their work to draw attention to refugee and asylum seeker social justice issues. Refugee and asylum seeker narratives are performed differently in these diverse musical arenas, and by exploring each we will consider the relationship between whose voices are being represented, and whose voices are being heard.

About the Refugees and Forced Migration Seminar Series

Across semester two, the Melbourne Social Equity Institute and Researchers for Asylum Seekers (RAS) are partnering to present a fortnightly seminar series on a range of topics related to forced migration, refugees and people seeking asylum.

Events are held between 1pm and 2pm on Tuesdays at Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham Street, Carlton.

All events are free and open to all. Bookings are not required. For further information email

Semester 2 Program

Download a PDF flyer of the program

1 August

Room 224

Behind “Behind the Wire”: Sharing New Perspectives
on Mandatory Detention

Michael Green and André Dao

15 August

Room 224

Nowhere People Have a Right to Somewhere:
Statelessness and the Law

Michelle Foster

29 August

Room 920

“Boat People” and Borders: Changing Political Debate
on Asylum Seekers

John Van Kooy

12 September

Room 920

Songs of Celebration and Suffering: Music and Refugees
in Australia

Samantha Dieckmann

3 October

Room 223

From Human Trafficking To “Smuggled” Refugees:
A Case from North Korea

Jiyoung Song

17 October

Room 920

Rising Seas: Climate change, Displacement and

Celia McMichael

31 October

Room 920

Closing the Chapter on Child Detention: Developments
in Normative and Legal Frameworks

Robyn Sampson