Highlands & Islands

Event to examine issues affecting Scotland's Polish community

Woman holding a Polish flag Image copyright Reuters

The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) hopes to shed light on the issues affecting Scotland's Polish community.

Called Unheard Voices, the event in Inverness on 23 June is the first of its kind in the Highlands.

It will bring together academics, politicians, social workers and community activists.

Topics to be discussed include Brexit, integration, portrayal of Poles in TV dramas and mental health.

Historical links between Scotland and Poland will also be explored, such as the migration of Poles to Scotland after World War Two and the thousands of Scottish emigrants who went to Poland in the 16th and 17th centuries.

'Complex experience'

Organiser Dr David Worthington, who is head of the UHI's Centre for History, said it was hoped to bring some difficult issues into the open.

He said: "Migration is a complex experience. The Polish case emphasises both positive and negative sides of that.

"There are very difficult issues for host communities and for migrants themselves. I don't want to shy away from that I think it is important to bring people together to talk about these things at the moment."

He added: "I think to do it in the Highlands makes sense, because I would like to think that within this region people are sensitive to issues around migration and are very aware of the historical background in terms of the experience of people from the Highland in relation to this mass movement of people we associate with the Clearances."

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