There are several projects within the Democratic Education Network that have started recently, and one of those is called the Refugees in the UK Documentary Project. It has been presented by team member Nausheen Khan that the focus will be on refugees who fled their country of origin post-2001 to arrive in the UK and it will follow and give specific insight into the journeys of 4 refugees in the UK, whilst also providing a historical and political context to the UK migration situation in general. This documentary aims to highlight the many struggles of refugees and asylum seekers here in the UK. It will be achieved through identifying reasons for migration, the struggles faced during their journey and arriving to and settling into the host country, as well as integrating into its’ society.
“We feel this would best suit this documentary and particularly the current situations going on globally. The documentary will incorporate people from different countries as we hope to broaden our scope by presenting stories of refugees from different countries and backgrounds, giving the opportunity to hear varying journeys and perspectives.”
The four profiles presented will present personal information such as age, personal aspirations and interests, and country of origin but also discuss reason for migration as well as their current situation in the UK. Additionally, their experience of the cause to leave the country of origin, the journey of getting to the UK and the impacts this have had on them personally will be presented. These profiles allows the documentary to exhibit that there are so many different experiences when it comes to migration and the many challenges that refugees face throughout their journey.
The documentary will also include interviews with different speakers connected to the field, in order to gain insight and opinion on the refugee crisis, welcoming refugees, history, politics surrounding refugees, policies and what more needs to be done. These interviews are also hoped to highlight what more needs to be done in regards welcoming refugees in the UK and providing a system which is helpful rather than at times the opposite and unwelcoming. Also, different theoretical concepts such as orientalism, post-colonialism and border issues will be brought into account.
The hope is to give a political commentary about the concept of migration, identify the issues some people have with refugees and asylum seekers and understand how laws and policies in the UK continue to be problematic. This will be achieved by changing the narrative of refugees and their situation. Instead of the constant dehumanisation and negativity which is portrayed by so many media outlets (something this documentary hopefully will change) the goal is to focus on bring into light the plight of refugees and how it is important that we welcome them with open arms.
“We feel film is the best way to do this, as it allows an audience to visually see the emotions and actually hear the story from refugees which we feel can make a bigger impact [than using other media outlets] […] Through this we hope to evoke emotions within the audience through the storytelling of the refugees, and create a connection rather than having boring statistics which we believe can create space for debates and conversation.”
We at Inside Westminster look forward to seeing how the project unfolds and being able to learn more about refugees and migration to the UK. This is a great opportunity for students to broaden their insight and knowledge of the situation of refugees in the UK as well as to use this knowledge in a creative way to produce something great. If you find this interesting, please do get involved. Meetings take place on Tuesdays at 4.30pm in the student common room at the Wells Street campus, or get in touch with the Inside Westminster Team for more information.