Katarzyna Grabska

Senior Researcher

Research Interests


  • gender, generation, youth
  • displacement, refugees, return of dispalced populations
  • access to rights for refugees in urban settings
  • art and activism in the context of war and conflict
  • participatory, arts-based research methods
  • co-creation of knowledge
  • feminist and decolonial methodologies

Recent Research Projects

Geographical Expertise

  • Egypt
  • Sudan
  • South Sudan
  • Horn of Africa: Eritre and Ethiopia
  • Europe: Switzerland


Katarzyna is a social  anthropologist, her research focuses on gender, generation, youth, displacement, refugees, return of dispalced populations, impact of war on gender and generational relations, and identities, access to rights for refugees in urban settings, art and activism in the context of war and conflict. Katarzyna has researched since 2002 on displacement and forced migration issues in Egypt, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Jordan, Ghana, Kyrgyzstan, and Vietnam. She works with visual media, art-based research, feminist methodologies, and participatory methodologies. Since 2002, she has been carrying out a longitudinal study of gender relation transformations among Nuer from South Sudan in Egypt, Kenya, South Sudan and in Sudan, Khartoum.

She collaborates often with artists in her research, and engages with art-based research to understand issues of belonging, displacement, mobilities and identities. She also is a film-maker.


2005 – 2010   DPhil Development Studies/Migration/Anthropology at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK       PhD Thesis: In-Flux: (Re)negotiations of Gender, Identity and 'Home' in Post-War Southern Sudan

1997 – 1999   M.A. in International Relations, The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, The Johns Hopkins University, , Bologna, Italy/Washington, DC

1994 – 1997   B.Sc.(Econ) International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK

Voluntary Activities

Board member of the Khartoum American School – 2014-2016, Khartoum Sudan

Board member and founder of the Barbara Harrell-Bond Foundation – since July 2017

Board member of Association des Mediatrices Interculturelles (AMIC), Geneva, Switzerland – since June 2018


(2018) Barbara Harrell-Bond: a life not ordinary, documentary: producer, researcher and writer; with Enrico Falzetti.

(2016) 2 Girls, documentary, researcher and producer. Received 10 first prizes – see below; screened worldwide.

(2015) "Time to look at girls: Migrants in Bangladesh and Ethiopia", documentary, researcher and producer.

(2005) "The Art of Flight', fabularised documentary about Sudanese refugees in Cairo, researcher and associate producer, Nomads Productions, June.

(2001) "Frankfuhrter Bahnhof" – documentary about homeless people, research and production assistant, ZDF Television, November.

(1999) The Crash" documentary about the international financial crisis, research assistant and production intern, Washington Media Associates, June.

Art Installations

(2019) January-March. "120 cows: violence against women" (120 vaches: des violences faites aux femmes) - St. Font, Lyon, France. Coproduction of the exhibition in collaboration with artists, researchers, refugee women and civil societxy associations.


  • Polish (native), English (fluent), French, German (fluent),
  • Russian, Italian (good knowledge),
  • Arabic: Sudanese and Egyptian Colloquial and Nuer (basic working knowledge)

Media appearances

  • Between the Lines Podcast: S02 Ep 10: Forced Displacement: Why Rights Matter – Lyla Mehta and Katarzyna Grabska. Listen by clicking here.


The following publications are specific to the PRIO Migration Centre. A more complete list is available at www.prio.org.

All Publications

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Grabska, Katarzyna (2022) Introduction: Transgressing and Reworking Social Boundaries Through Dance and Music, Music & Arts in Action 8(1): 1–13.
Grabska, Katarzyna (2022) “Kandakas and Meheiras”: The Emergence of Creative Citizenship and Belonging Through Women’s Music in Sudan, Music & Arts in Action 8(1): 32–49.
Grabska, Katarzyna (2022) Dance as Liberating and as Limiting, as Connecting, Creating and Crossing Boundaries: Interview with Prumsodun Ok, Music & Arts in Action 8(1): 85–93.
Grabska, Katarzyna (2020) ‘Wasting time’: migratory trajectories of adolescence among Eritrean refugee girls in Khartoum, Critical African Studies 12(1): 22–36.
Grabska, Katarzyna & Cindy Horst (2015) Flight and Exile — Uncertainty in the Context of Conflict-induced displacement, Social Analysis: Journal of Cultural and Social Practice 59(1): 1–18.

Book Chapter

Grabska, Katarzyna (2022) In Whose Voice? And for Whom? Collaborative Filming and Narratives of Forced Migration, in Katarzyna Grabska, ed., Documenting Displacement: Questioning Methodological Boundaries in Forced Migration Research. Toronto: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Grabska, Katarzyna (2022) Girls on the Move: Changing Dynamics of Migration in the Horn of Africa, in The Horn of Africa as an Innovative Political Space: State of Play and Lessons from a Globalised Region.. London: Routledge.
Grabska, Katarzyna (2020) Tracac czas: migracja dziewczat z Erytrei do Chartumu [‘Wasting time’: migratory trajectories of adolescence among Eritrean refugee girls in Khartoum], in Jaroslaw Rozanski, ed., Collectanea Sudanica vol. 4. Warsaw:: Wyszynski University (217–252).

Edited Volume

Grabska, Katarzyna (ed.) (2022) Documenting Displacement: Questioning Methodological Boundaries in Forced Migration Research. Toronto: McGill-Queen’s University Press.