The idea for the event began when we had the pleasure of meeting South-American filmmaker José Maria Martinelli at the Alchemy Experiment.

He shared a work-in-progress film with us, in which he interviews Scottish activists Margaret Woods and Jock Morris about their experience working with refugees in Glasgow in the 1990s: At this time, people were arriving in Glasgow who had fled their homes due to poverty, war, or catastrophe - but who were being met with the closed doors of countries that did not want to receive them.

When faced with the obstacles imposed by Tony Blair's Westminster government in 1999, activists in Glasgow began to organise in defense of refugees with the slogan "Refugees Welcome in Glasgow”.

We felt that the stories and testimonies shared by Jock and Margaret were precious and inspiration for anti-racist action today, which needed to be shared with the community. The event starts with a screening of this work-in-progress piece.

Following the screening, we are delighted to be welcoming speaker Pinar Aksu, who is a global human rights activist and Human Rights and Advocacy Coordinator at Maryhill Integration Network. Having experienced detention many years ago as a child while in asylum process, Pinar is an avid campaigner against refugee detention and she became a Youth Advocate with the campaign to End Immigration Detention of Children in 2015. In 2021, Pinar led an emergency protest in Glasgow’s George Square to oppose dawn raids.

Finally, we welcome representatives from our two sponsored charities: Jock Morris, as the chair of Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees, and a representative from Stand Up To Racism.

José Maria Martinelli

was born in South America, Argentina, where he first studied audiovisual communication, and later taught video-making workshops. He has made over 70 experimental videos and documentaries, focusing on political and social issues, which are shown around Latin America. In the past decade, he has made a number of independent films, screening them in pubs across the city, with titles such as "Men Cry; a critique of traditional masculinity" and "2 hours work per day". His new title is "Is the UK innocent? Black lives Matter."

Pinar Aksu

is a graduate of University of Glasgow and an active and global campaigner. She works as project coordinator, facilitator and is involved with several campaigning groups supporting asylum and refugee rights, promoting integration and opposing racism and detention. Pinar is involved in using theatre, workshops, grassroots organisations and community campaigning as methods to raise awareness about asylum, refugee and immigration related issues.



The Alchemy Experiment
157 Byres Rd, Glasgow G12 8TS, UK


The screening of José's film-interview will continue Friday 19th and Saturday 20th at The Alchemy Experiment floor -1
9am to 5pm