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Ali Nobil Ahmad is a researcher, journalist, and consultant with expertise in migration, political ecology, and media. He has taught at leading universities, published peer reviewed research, and worked as a practitioner in each of these fields. He has a PhD in History from the European University Institute in Florence and is a former recipient of The Guardian’s Scott Trust bursary for journalists. His writings have appeared in peer-reviewed, journalistic and literary publications such as The Guardian, The Caravan (India), The Elephant (Kenya), The National (Abu Dhabi), Third Text, and Wasafiri. His monograph on human smuggling from Pakistan to Europe, ‘Masculinity, Sexuality and Illegal Migration’, is published in paperback by Routledge and Oxford University Press. 

Ali’s current position as Head of the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s African Migration Hub entails policy analysis; advocacy; strategic planning; international project management and implementation; partnership development and cooperation in the field of migration governance. 


Previously he has taught humanities, social science, and film studies in the United States and Pakistan; he has held academic positions at leading research centres and universities in Italy, the UK and Germany.


He has extensive experience as a curator and arts coordinator, having collaborated with the ICA and BFI in London, the Kino Moviemento and Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in Berlin, and the Lahore Biennale Foundation in Pakistan to curate major public programmes featuring screenings and academic talks.


He has made two short experimental documentary films on climate justice and migration: Waseb [Nation] and Lok Sath [People’s Tribunal] are about the 2010 floods in Pakistan and their aftermath. Both have been widely screened at festivals, galleries, and conferences across Europe, Asia and the United States. His third film, Single Wicket, is an environmental short inspired by the cricket writings of CLR James. Shot in Lahore where cricket is played by marginalized youths on construction sites, it explores ‘tape ball’ as a curious case of post-colonial cultural translation, and life-affirming manifestation of everyday urban reality in the Global South.

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