Our team includes partners from NGOs and civil society organisations, Co-Investigators, administrators; MADAR is co-directed by Mariangela Palladino (Principal Investigator) and Laura Jeffery.

Aadel Essaadani

Aadel Essaadani holds a diploma of in-depth studies in urban sociology "Spaces, societies and cities in the Arab world" (University of Tours, France) and a master's degree in urban and country planning (University of Perpignan, France). His doctoral thesis (not defended) was on "Behaviors and attitudes of individuals in the public space of Casablanca" and on self-presentation and the modalities of social interactions between individuals. Aadel is a cultural policy consultant, technical scenographer and educational director of training at the Institut des Métiers du Spectacle (France, Morocco). He led many training and consulting projects for cultural projects and policies in France and Morocco. In November 2014, 2016 and 2018, Aadel organized, with the Racines association, the "General States of Culture in Morocco". Currently, he is the senior researcher for a research project entitled “Arts and Power: Research on the instrumentalization of art and culture in Morocco" funded by The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) and the Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS). The research team members are Dounia Benslimane (cultural operator) and Mohamed Sammouni (political sociologist and journalist).

Anastasia Valassopoulos

Anastasia Valassopoulos is Senior Lecturer in World Literatures at the University of Manchester. Her research is on the postcolonial literature and culture of the Middle East. She is also very interested in the wider cultural production and reception of Arab film and music. Recent publications include work on the role of cinema in the Palestinian resistance movement, anti-colonial feminism in North Africa, as well as film, revolution and music in the Egyptian context (with Dalia Mostafa). She is currently working on a book-length project entitled 'Palestine in the Popular Imagination'.

Dounia Benslimane

Dounia Benslimane studied General Medicine and graduated in 2004 from the Faculty of Medicine of Casablanca. Then she worked eight years in the pharmaceutical industry until 2011. In 2010, she co-founded Racines, an association for cultural development in Morocco and Africa, with Aadel Essaadani. She worked as its executive director (2013-2019), after having occupied various positions in cultural and artistic structures. Dounia began her career in cultural management as a self-taught woman before obtaining the European Diploma in administration of cultural projects (Belgian Association Marcel Hicter, 2014). She has published articles on cultural policies, freedom of expression and creation, artistic education, live arts, etc. and has actively participated in the design and implementation of numerous cultural development projects. Currently, she is participating in a research project, entitled “Arts and Power: Research on the instrumentalization of art and culture in Morocco," with Aadel Essaadani (cultural policy expert) and Mohamed Sammouni (political sociologist and journalist). The research is funded by The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) and the Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS). Find out more about Dounia here.

Graziella Rapacioli

Graziella Rapacioli joined Caritas Algeria in 2017 and became Secretary General in July 2018. She is trained as an accountant and holds a master’s degree in economy from the University of Milan. She has been the director of human resources in big Italian companies, before setting out herself on an entrepreneurial adventure. From 1998 to 2016, Graziella co-directed ‘H&S Qualità nel Sofware,’ a company based in Italy that specialises in IT and that, today, employs around fifty people, with a turnover of 50 million euros.

Kay McEvoy

Kay McEvoy is the MADAR Administrator at Keele University. She was welcomed to Keele in March 2020. She holds an HND in Business and Finance from Manchester Metropolitan University and this led to a long career in Finance and Administration. Previously Kay worked for Manchester Metropolitan University as a Finance assistant, a role she held there for nearly 23 years.

Khaled B.jpg
Khaled Benmakrelouf

Khaled Benmakrelouf is an economist, he holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Lounici Ali (Algeria). He joined Research Center in Applied Economics for Development (CREAD) in 2018 as a researcher, he is a member of the macroeconomics division where he works on economic integration. His research work focuses on monetary and fiscal policy, macroeconomics issues, financial economics especially Islamic finance, public economics as well as on issues related to innovation where he took part in several national surveys. Previously he was an associate professor in the department of economics (2012-2017) at the University of Lounici Ali and a lecturer (2017-2018) at the University of Mouloud Mammeri (Algeria), where he teaches mainly public economics, macroeconomics, monetary economics, and financial economics. He also served as a budget inspector (Ministry of finance) from 2014 to 2017.

Khaled Menna

Khaled Menna is an economist and senior research fellow (HDR) at CREAD (Algeria). At the start of his career, Khaled was interested in economy financing issues (bank financing, foreign direct investment and fiscal policy) and its relation to economic growth. Economic policymaking, its interaction with a rentier, mostly budgetary, economy and the impact of institutions and inflation in rentier states have also made up part of his research activities. Other aspects of the economy, mostly relating to unregistered economy and employment, have formed a significant part of his publications. He has been called to lead projects on innovation in the energy sector, on the integration of university graduates and the job market and on questions relating to economic diversification and the public-private partnership. Recently, he has begun to investigate migration issues, in particular the perception of Europe amongst migrants and forced displacement in North Africa. He has published two works on monetary literature and private investment in Algeria, a chapter on unregistered employment and articles on the rentier State, inflation, FDI and attractiveness. Currently, he is the Deputy Director of CREAD.

Laura Jeffery

Laura Jeffery is Professor of Anthropology of Migration at the University of Edinburgh. Her previous research focused on intangible cultural heritage and human-environment relations in the context of protracted displacement. Her relevant publications include a recent coedited special issue of Crossings: Journal of Migration and Culture on Creative Engagement with Migration (2019). Since 2016 she has worked in Morocco with Mariangela Palladino and Sébastien Bachelet: firstly on an ESRC-AHRC Forced Displacement grant called Arts for Advocacy: Creative Engagement with Forced Displacement in Morocco, in collaboration with GADEM (Groupe antiraciste d'accompagnement et de défense des étrangers et migrants) in Rabat, and secondly on an AHRC Knowledge Exchange and Impact grant called MARAM: Mobilising Access to Rights for Artists in Morocco, in collaboration with The Minority Globe in Casablanca. Visit to view virtual exhibitions and to download a creative arts, migration, and advocacy toolkit.

Laure Astill

Laure joined MADAR as Senior Academic Network Coordinator in September 2021.

Prior to joining MADAR she was the coordinator of the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI) at the University of Sheffield. Laure has considerable experience in working with interdisciplinary projects that produce action and use-focused reports to feed into public sector policy and practice through her work in consultancies, think-tanks and academia in the UK and Europe.

She has a BA in European Studies from the London School of Economics and an MA in International Relations from Nottingham University.

Lianna Merner
Lianna Merner

Lianna joined MADAR as Senior Academic Network Coordinator in December 2020.  Lianna has ten years' experience working in the human rights sector, including at PEN International, a writer’s organisation that promotes literature and defends freedom of expression, where she coordinated the work of the Africa programme, carried out campaigning and case work to support writers at risk, and managed international projects.  She also worked for several years in the Africa division at Human Rights Watch, and has experience working with community organisations in Canada, the UK and Cameroon. Prior to MADAR, she was interim Project Manager with another Network+ project, Changing the Story, at the University of Leeds. 

She has a BA in International Development and History, and an MA in Human Rights from the University of Sussex.

Mairi O’Gorman

Mairi O’Gorman holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Edinburgh. Her doctoral research focused on creolization and intimacy in Seychelles and among the transnational Seychellois diaspora. During fieldwork, she consulted for Seychelles Heritage Foundation on their after-school programme, which introduced children to traditional Creole art forms and creative expressions. She has a long-standing interest in creative approaches to displacement and migration, and has worked as Research Assistant on the GCRF-funded research project Arts For Advocacy. In her spare time, she writes poetry and creative non-fiction, and co-organises Poetry and Place, a reading and writing group based at the University of Edinburgh.

Maria Flood
Maria Flood

Maria Flood is a Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at Keele University. She holds degrees from Trinity College Dublin and the University of Cambridge, and she taught in ENS Lyon before being awarded a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Cornell University. She has been Programme Director for Film Studies at Keele since January 2020. She is an established scholar of world cinema and political violence, and has published widely on French and Algerian cinemas of conflict, including her 2017 monograph, ‘France, Algeria, and the Moving Image: Screening Histories of Violence’. She has also published articles on cinema and torture, colonial and postcolonial cinema, terrorism and spectator affect, and gender and violence in Maghrebi film. Maria is currently working on a funded project entitled ‘Radical Screens’, that examines the role of emotion in documentary and fiction films that feature face-to-face encounters with extremists, as well as a student-facing monograph on the 2016 film ‘Moonlight’.

Mariangela Palladino

Mariangela Palladino is Professor in Postcolonial and Cultural Studies at the University of Keele. Her fields of expertise include migration and displacement, participatory methods and African literatures. She was Principal Investigator of the AHRC-funded project ‘Responding to Crisis: Forced Migration and the Humanities in the Twenty-First Century’; Co-Investigator on the AHRC-ESRC funded project Arts for Advocacy: Creative Engagement with Forced Displacement in Morocco and an AHRC Knowledge Exchange and Impact project MARAM: Mobilising Access to Rights for Artists in Morocco – both led by Laura Jeffery. These projects explored forced displacement, the role of the arts and the use of creative methods. Mariangela is also Principal Investigator for the AHRC-GCRF Development and Inception Awards to support the development and inception of the MADAR Network Plus. Mariangela has published on migration and mobility. Most recently, she co-edited a special issue of Crossings: Journal of Migration and Culture on Creative Engagement with Migration (2019) and her work is included in the EUP edited collection Refugee Imaginaries. Research Across the Humanities (2019).

Mehdi Lahlou

Mehdi Lahlou, PhD, is an economist with expertise in the analysis of irregular migration dynamics and in related policies in the Mediterranean and between Europe and Africa. He co-wrote the first report published in 2002 by the Migration Department of the International Labour Organization devoted to irregular migration from Africa. He coordinated the returnees programme, “Returning to New Opportunities”, in Morocco (2018-2020). He has formerly been a professor at INSEA and he is currently senior researcher at Mohamed V University, Rabat. He is a member of the Bureau of the International Association of Migration (AMI), Morocco. He is also a member of the Global Migration Group of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), Brussels.

Marwen Bounab

Marwen Bounab is the MADAR Adiministrator at the University of Sousse. He is a Cultural Studies Masters graduate from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities- University of Sousse. His dissertation entitled « Assessing the Legacy of Apartheid in South Africa : Critical Examination on the recent Student Protests » criticized the social, ethnic and economic inequalities and their repercussions on defining access to higher education.

He joined for 10 Months the Tunisian Refugee Council, partner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as a Field Assistant.
Prior to this, he took part in two research projects under the supervision of Professor Hassan Boubakri ; Chairman of the Tunisian Center for Migration and Asylum( CETUMA) namely « Migrants in Countries in Crisis » and « Power2Youth : Freedom, Dignity and Justice : A Comprehensive approach to the understanding of youth exclusion and the prospects for inclusion and overall change in the South and East Mediterranean.

Mohamed Benslama

Mohamed Benslama is an entrepreneur, musician, teacher of cinema in the School of Art in Tunisia, and founder of several networks in the cultural field. After studying cinema and psychology, he directed and participated in the production of several Tunisian and international films. Aware of the major challenges of cultural policies, he launched the Tunisian Cultural Observatory in 2015, a platform bringing together cultural actors, promoting a participative and inclusive cultural policy, under the association of Our Culture First. He conducted a study on cultural practices with a focus on the south of Tunisia. In June 2016, he cofounded La Fabrique Art Studio to promote young artists and artistic creations. La Fabrique is a collaborative space dedicated to artists and musicians for rehearsals, live recording and bookings. As executive director for Our Culture First, Mohamed is committed to structuring the cultural sector by mobilizing the key players and by participating in the various initiatives implemented by the government, private sector, and civil society in Tunisia and in the MENA region. Currently, he is contributing to the establishment of an African network on cultural policies and to the publication of the inventory of cultural policies in the MENA Region. He has received an award for cultural expertise from UNESCO Tunisia and he serves as mentor and consultant for EU funded projects.

Monia Zergane

Monia Zergane has a degree in humanities and social sciences from the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon. She is in expert in designing information systems. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in modern literature and a diploma in teaching French as a second language. Monia has worked as a journalist in both print and digital publications. She has worked in the field of economic intelligence and for communication agencies in Algeria and in France. She joined Caritas Algeria in September 2018, as Education/Youth project manager in Caritas Algiers. In September 2019, she joined the National Office of Caritas Algeria as support and project quality officer.

Olfa Arfaoui

Olfa Arfaoui is an award winner Tunisian film producer, and women’s initiatives expert with more than 10 years’ experience in designing, managing, implementing projects, and building multi-actor partnerships in the MENA region. She has in-depth knowledge of gender diversity in the economy and society; of impact-driven projects using art and culture for social change; and of managing agile and remote teams within complex frameworks. She worked as a country manager for the Women Economic Integration Programme of the German Development Corporation from 2014 to 2019. In 2018, she was nominated as a changemaker as part of the ‘Challenging Norms, Powering Economies’ initiative, organised by Ashoka, the Open Society Foundation, and UN Women, for her efforts in empowering women and girls. She serves as president for the International Human Development, which deals with women, peace, and security projects. Her passion for empowering girls and women, music, and arts led her to cofound La Fabrique Art Studio, based in Tunis, with a flagship programme for women and girls in the electronic music industry.

Rajaa Essaghyry

After completing a Masters in Marketing and Communication at the University of Hassan II in Casablanca, Rajaa aimed for a career in the cultural sector and therefore began a doctoral thesis which dealt with the following problematic: ‘the factors that influence the consumer’s behaviour in the artistic cultural sphere.’ In parallel, she obtained a European Diploma in the administration of cultural projects organised by the Belgian association Marcel Hicter in Northern Ireland, Iceland and Greece. Graduate of ACAM in Venice (Art Cinema = Action + Management)’s 16th training programme on the theme of ‘Re-think your Cinema’, organised by the CICAE (Confédération internationale des cinémas d'art et d'essai), she went on to be the general coordinator of the training programme (operation/distribution) within the Agence Digitale du Film Marocain (Digital Agency of Moroccan Cinema) in Rabat. It is worth noting her participation in the organisation of several cultural events in Morocco, each as impactful as the next. For example, the General States of Culture with the Racines association in 2018, which was a great success. During her free time, Rajaa is co-writing a hybrid web-series, which deals with the arts, human rights, civic education and the economy.

Sébastien Bachelet

Sébastien Bachelet is a Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester. He has been engaged in ethnographic research on migration in Morocco and the wider Maghreb region since 2011, exploring issues around uncertainty, illegality, and immobility. He has published on political subjectivity and migrants’ organisations (2018), trust amongst irregular migrants (2019), transit and migrants’ existential mobility (2019), and participation in arts-based projects (2019, with Prof. Jeffery). He is also co-investigator on MARAM: Mobilising Access to Rights for Artists in Morocco (GCRF 2019-2020), a collaborative project between the universities of Edinburgh, Manchester and Keele with the Morocco-based cultural association The Minority Globe.


Soumia Bouchouk.
Soumia Bouchouk

Soumia Bouchouk, is a Research Support Engineer at the Center for Research in Applied Economics for Development (CREAD), since 2014.

She is currently a member of the Mobility and Migration Research Team, in the Department of Human Development and Social Economy at CREAD.

She holds a State Engineer Certificate in Statistics in Business Administration and Decision Models from the Higher School of Statistics and Applied Economics. She is currently studying for a Master's degree in Demography, "Health and Population".

She has participated in many research projects and studies, including "Innovation in the pharmaceutical sector in Algeria", and a study on indicators for measuring research and development at the Center for Research in Applied Economics for Development (CREAD), and has worked in many national surveys and studies on migration issues . She has also worked on projects with DANONE, the International Labor Office, and the BBC.