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Citizenship Studies seminar series: Covid Chronicles from the Margins

Monday, May 23, 2022 - 13:00 to 14:30

Title: Covid Chronicles From the Margins: Migrant Solidarity and Belonging via an Experimental Arts-Based, Collaborative Digital Ethnography

Facilitator: Prof. Marie Gillespie

This seminar investigates how forced migrants from around the world have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic via creative and artful resistance to marginalisation. Covid Chronicles from the Margins exploits the creative potential of smartphone tools. Migrants share pandemic experiences in poems, songs, music, photos, short videos, written testimonies, diaries, artworks and blogs. In chronicling COVID-19 experiences, we are building solidarities and belonging; promoting a better understanding of the problems being faced; campaigning for the recognition of rights and social justice; and facilitating self-representation, civic engagement and community participation. With the help of arts-based methodologies and smartphones, we are beginning to understand how this pandemic unfolded among people whose lives, voices, talents, hopes and dreams often go unnoticed and undocumented in mainstream media and academia. ABCDE is a shorthand for this novel and experimental digital ethnography where young people set the agenda and represent experiences: from attacks on LGBTQ youth in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya to fires and floods in camps among Rohingya refugee youth in Bangladesh. 

Suggested readings or activities:

Please take 5-10 minutes to visit the Covid Chronicles From the Margins Archive and choose one item that seems particularly relevant for you – a cultural artefact that either connects to an aspect of your own research, and/or provokes a question. We will then use these to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of arts-based methods.

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