Assemble Dialogues – speakers and organisations

Friday 22 March, 10:00-17:00, Goethe-Institut Cyprus, Nicosia

The Assemble Dialogues create space for knowledge exchange, spanning the professional development of artists, ethics and care to the role of culture in supporting people with lived experience of forced displacement. We are very grateful to our guest speakers for taking part.

Find out more about the programme here and you can register here.

Speakers and organisations

Cyprus Refugee Council

The Cyprus Refugee Council is the first NGO in Cyprus to focus primarily on refugees. During its 11 years of operation, the Unit has grown significantly to become the expert in Cyprus on refugee related issues, making it one of the main actors in Cyprus in the area. Besides implementing a UNHCR funded project from 2006 to 2017 the Unit had implemented a considerable number of related projects under various funds.

Speaker from Cyprus Refugee Council:

Manos Mathioudakis, Senior Integration Officer

Scottish Refugee Council – Cross Borders and Refugee Festival Scotland

The Scottish Refugee Council lead Cross Borders, an arts & cultural activism programme of mentoring, commissions and collaborations with artists, activists and cultural practitioners from refugee and migrant backgrounds in Scotland. SRC advocates for the rights, care and protection of artists and activists whilst facilitating connections, support, exchange and artistic activity. SRC established Refugee Festival Scotland in 2000, an annual and nation-wide community and arts festival.

Speakers from Scottish Refugee Council:

Soizig Carey, Scottish Refugee Council – Cross Borders

Mónica Laiseca, Refugee Festival Scotland

Soizig is Arts and Cultural Development Officer for Scottish Refugee Council, an independent charity dedicated to supporting people in need of refugee protection. Here, she initiated and leads Cross Borders – a programme of arts and cultural activism projects, advocating for the rights, care and protection of artists and activists while facilitating connections, support, exchange and artistic activity. 

Soizig graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 2009 and has been working in the creative and cultural sector in Scotland as a curator, producer and facilitator for over a decade, motivated by care, compassion, collaboration and (actual) social equity. Soizig is also an artist and designer-maker specialising in contemporary jewellery. Her practice is rooted in slow design and making, feminism and anti-capitalist consumer culture.

Mónica is Manager at Refugee Festival Scotland, an annual celebration of the art, languages, customs and ideas that people bring with them when they settle in Scotland that is co-ordinated by Scottish Refugee Council, Scotland’s national refugee charity.

Prior to this, Mónica oversaw a European programme of Studios of Sanctuary residencies at Edinburgh Printmakers (2021-23) and co-convened the MLitt Curatorial Practice (Contemporary Art) programme at Glasgow School of Art (2014-2021). She has held curatorial roles in the UK and Spain, for example: Everyday Hopesolo exhibition by Najma Abukar, co-curated with Soizig Carey (Refugee Festival Scotland, 2023); and Uprooted visions, group exhibition co-curated with Tiffany Boyle (Edinburgh Printmaker, 2023).

Moving Artists

Moving Artists is an independent, artist-run, non-profit organisation based in Bilbao (Spain). Working at the intersection of human rights and the arts, MA is dedicated to facilitating Mobility and cultural exchange between countries that have restricted access to one another. In particular, MA seeks to enable movement and transnational exchange for cultural workers whose practice is threatened by situations of conflict, isolation, instability, censorship and cultural crisis.

Speaker from Moving Artists:

Ixone Sádaba

Ixone is an artist and researcher born in Bilbao, Spain. With over 20 years of experience in the art world, she has developed her work in the United States, London and Iraq, and has exhibited internationally. She is a co-founder of the Moving Artists (MA) association, an independent, artist-lawyer run, non-profit organisation based in Bilbao. MA seeks to enable movement and transnational exchange for cultural workers whose practice is threatened by situations of conflict, isolation, instability, censorship and cultural crisis.

Ixone holds a degree in Fine Arts and has furthered her education at Antonio de Nebrija University in Madrid and at the Postgraduate Program of the International Center of Photography in New York. Currently, she is a doctoral candidate at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao.


MedeArts (Jordan) was established as an initiative from the heart of Irbid city from northern Jordan in early 2015, through a group of active young men and women in the cultural, artistic and architectural fields with the aim of creating a decentralised cultural system that includes applying culture and arts to advocate for societal and human rights issues and to promote freedom of expression.

Speaker from MedeArts:

Safi Adnan, MedeArts

Safi is the founder of the City Artists Network initiative (MedeArts) in Jordan since 2015. He is a cultural specialist with a focus on curating cultural and artistic projects, especially those that rely on alternative arts for social change or contribute to creating a decentralised cultural system.

His professional journey began when he joined the Karama Human Rights Film Festival in 2011, where he served as the Director of External Shows and Community Engagement Program for over 10 years. He is active in the Arab region as an ally and advocate for minority rights and marginalised groups, and is recognised as one of the feminist mentors in the region and the world. He excels in utilising digital arts as a means of awareness and advocacy.

He received a fellowship from the Ambassadorial Lab program by the French Institute in Paris and the Arab Cultural Policies Award and Grant by the Cultural Resource Foundation after completing the Ekmel Program, which specialises in training Arab cultural leaders, in 2017.

Aseel Eisa, MedeArts

Aseel joined MedeArts in October 2020 as coordinator for a society programme, fostering community engagement in Irbid. Subsequently, she managed the cultural exchange programme, overseeing communication efforts with local, regional, and European partners. In February 2022, Asseel represented MedeArts in Lebanon for research on Middle Eastern handicrafts, followed by further research to understand the industry’s needs. She managed Artists Connecting in Transition (2022-23) – a programme supporting artists in exile and minority communities across the UK, France and Turkey.

Aseel is a graduate in Business Administration. In 2017, she began her journey with AIESEC Jordan, a non-profit organisation, where she spearheaded volunteer projects connecting Jordanian students with global opportunities. Leading a team of 30 members across Irbid and Amman, Asseel facilitated impactful initiatives.


D6:EU is a cultural NGO based in Cyprus, developing new opportunities for artists and cultural collaborations in Cyprus, Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. D6:EU aims to develop cultural capacity, working across three pillars: environmental justice; equity and social inclusion, and cultural heritage.

Speakers from D6:EU:

Clymene Christoforou, founding board member, D6:EU and Director, D6: Culture in Transit

Argyro Toumazou, Director D6:EU

​Clymene is a founding board member of D6:EU. She has a long history of international cultural development, working with artists, cultural organisations, communities and policy makers. She has led a number of international cultural programmes and advocates putting art and culture at the heart of public debate and decision-making.

Argyro is a founding board member of D6:EU. She works as an independent strategist, curator and producer of cultural activities. Over the last decade, she has cooperated closely with artists’ groups and Cypriot NGOs and has gained extensive experience in bi-communal programmes and art initiatives.

D6: Culture is Transit

D6: Culture in Transit is a visual arts producer based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Through research, commissioning, and leading major arts programmes D6 collaborates with extraordinary artists, local and international partners to create work that explores issues that concern and connect us all spanning human rights, social justice, migration and the climate crisis.

Speaker from D6: Culture in Transit:

Andrea Carter, Lead Producer, D6: Culture in Transit

Andrea is the Lead Producer at D6: Culture in Transit, where she manages the development and delivery of D6’s artistic programme and audience development strategy. Andrea has worked extensively in the fields of visual arts and heritage, with a long-standing focus on socially engaged practice and a greater representation of marginalised communities and networks. Prior to her current role, she has produced and coordinated activity for Pixel Palace, a Digital Arts programme at Tyneside Cinema; and CORNERS of Europe for D6.

Rapporteurs for the Dialogues

Amak Mahmoodian PhD

Amak is an award-winning multidisciplinary artist and educator from Iran. She began her career as a research-based photographer at the Art University of Tehran in Iran in 2003. Since 2007, she has been living in the UK where she practices as a visual artist and lecturer in Photography. In 2015, she completed a practice-based doctorate in photography at the University of South Wales.

Working with photography, text, video, drawing, and archives at the intersection of conceptual and documentary photography, Amak’s artistic practice explores the presentation of gender, identity, and displacement, bridging space between the personal and political.

Her work has been shown extensively and won numerous awards. She has published two books, Shenasnameh and Zanjir, which was the winner of The Best Photo Textbook award by Rencontres Arles. 

Paria Goodarzi

Paria is an Iranian-born artist and social art practitioner, a member of UNESCO RILA Affiliated Artist network, and The Young Academy of Scotland. A significant aspect of her work involves the creation of socially engaged art projects that respond to concepts of cultural belonging, representation, and displacement. These projects enhance the wellbeing and visibility of individuals from diverse cultural and social backgrounds.

“I use my art to explore cultural and political transfers and translocations, as well as reflecting the pull of the contemporary human condition, cultural identity, and displacement. I am a multidisciplinary artist, delving into the formation and representation of identity, often producing collaborative, participatory, and socially engaged artworks.”

Paria studied Textile Design, BA(Hons), from the University of Science and Culture in Tehran, Sculpture and Environmental Art at Glasgow School of Art, and has a Masters in Adult Education, Community Development and Youth Work at Glasgow University.