Laura Freeman is a researcher, communications lead and data manager at MIDEQ’s South Africa hub at the University of Cape Town (UCT).
Laura is interested in the intersections between migration, identity, belonging and citizenship. Her research focuses on the (violent) exclusion of groups based on their (perceived) nationality and ethnicity; and she particularly focuses on xenophobic violence in South Africa and rebellion and insurgency in sub-Saharan Africa.
Laura has practitioner experience, including working on peacebuilding and dialogue projects in communities that have experienced xenophobic violence in South Africa (while Conflict & Migration Advisor at Freedom House, and Deputy Director at ALPS Resilience). Laura has been expert external panellist at the South African Human Rights Commission’s (SAHRC) national investigative hearing on xenophobia, social cohesion and migration; and has taught postgraduates and professionals about xenophobia in Africa. Previously, Laura was a program manager at UCT’s Safety & Violence Initiative (SaVI) (where she retains a research associateship) and lectured on conflict and political philosophy at the Department of Political Studies, UCT.