Nelli joined the Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development as a Post Doctoral Research
Assistant, supporting the European Commission-funded project NEW ABC – Networking the educational world:
Across boundaries for community-building. The NEW ABC involves 9 pilot actions focused on improving the
educational lives of children and young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. Adopting co-creation andparticipatory action research approaches as a conceptual and methodological framework, the project is investedin enhancing children and young people’s learning experiences, well-being, and sense of belonging.
The UK Team (Oxford Brookes University and the Open University) are collaborating on two pilot actions:
1) The ‘Empowering young translators’ pilot action engaged young people who speak multiple languages
and who regularly translate for their family, peers, and communities. The UK team set up an arts-based
after-school called the ‘Young Translators Club’, which explored the social and emotional aspects of
language brokering as a caring practice.
2) The ‘Exploring narratives of migration through storytelling: The adventures of the Little Prince’ pilot
action, employed the historical book ‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry as a starting point to
nurture important dialogues about migration, belonging, and community. Working with schools, children,
and young people from both migrant and non-migrant backgrounds, it explored the role of storytelling as
a powerful medium to invite young learners to share personal experiences and build relations of trust
with their peers and teachers.
Nelli is a participatory arts-based researcher and a creative facilitator with a background in sociology, creative methods, and migration studies. Her work explores and re-visits the intersections of storytelling, imagination, and creativity.
Through her engagement with the NEW ABC project, Nelli has been able to expand her methodological interests in participatory creative methods and critically reflect on the complexities, ethical considerations, and transformative possibilities such conceptual and methodological approaches can support.
Nelli is a proud trustee of Durham City of Sanctuary and a supporter of City of Sanctuary UK and Refugee Week.